When comfort becomes uncomfortable

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I stepped on the scales this morning.

I had dreaded doing it and had actually pushed the scales off to the side at an angle so I could not just step on them. I’d have to drag them out away from the wall and dresser to be able to weigh myself. That was enough extra effort to have to go through to keep me from doing it for the past few weeks.

But after struggling to get the button on my largest pair of jeans through the slot yesterday, pinching my finger in the process,  I knew it was time.

I scooted the scales out in the open, prayed the glass held up and stepped up on them. I heard the sliding clanger hit the bell at the top of the carnival strength game.

Up 14 pounds in a little over two months. That includes Christmas but it’s not an excuse.

Now I’ve always been on the big side, earning my first overweight nickname in the fourth grade.

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Me in the middle in my Chubby Checkers pants. This was on a field trip in the fourth grade at Bethel Christian Academy.

The van for Bethel Christian Academy stopped in front of the house. It was a private school about 40 minutes away that my best friend and I went to for one year. Our parents didn’t like a teacher we were going to have at the regular school that year.

The van’s door swung open.

“Hop on up here, Chubby Checkers.”

I can still hear the van driver chuckling at his own joke as the rest of the kids roared away, pointing at my red and white checkered pants.

That was a tough year. We also were weighed in class in front of everyone. The teacher’s assistant would call out our weight so the teacher could write it on our forms. I hated that. So I spent a year at a Christian school basically learning to hate myself. Or at least that is what I ended up equating the experience with.

 

So as I spent the last few weeks starting to hate myself all over again, I slipped into a search for comfort in the foods I ate and drinks I drank. Warm, filling foods like goulash, pastas, cheeseburger pie, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese. Drinks like bourbon, beer and sweet tea … and bourbon.

I was, as the song goes, looking for love in all the wrong places …

It’s gotten worse since Christmas. I can see it. I can feel it. I’m not denying it. But I am struggling to stop it. It was easy if I felt things slipping and I was working.  I could tell myself only on the weekends. But I don’t even know when the weekends are anymore. What is today? I have to look at my phone to figure it out.

I am killing myself with comfort and blaming my situation for it happening. I need to stop doing that. I could have just as easily been using this unexpected time to get my mind and body in better shape. Instead I’ve mostly used it as time to wallow around and form a rut I can crawl into each morning.

Enough is enough. I’ve got to stop speeding up my own demise. I know I don’t have to give up everything. But I have to make major changes in the way I am living my life.

I may never be Slim Whitman, but this Fat Albert wouldn’t mind getting back to being Chubby Checkers.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “When comfort becomes uncomfortable

  1. I’m going through a similar journey. You can do it. We can do it. Happy to help hold each other accountable! You’ve had a difficult year and you coped the way you knew how. It’s really, really easy to find comfort in food or alcohol for just about every emotion under the sun, including happiness. So you needed your time to comfort yourself and now you just need to dust yourself off, find the strength to change your mindset and get moving again. You are a strong person – I have no doubt you’ll get back on track.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going through a similar journey. You can do it. We can do it. Happy to help hold each other accountable! You’ve had a difficult year and you coped the way you knew how. It’s really, really easy to find comfort in food or alcohol for just about every emotion under the sun, including happiness. So you needed your time to comfort yourself and now you just need to dust yourself off, find the strength to change your mindset and get moving again. You are a strong person – I have no doubt you’ll get back on track.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think 2nd grade was when I began to round out and the name calling began. And it seems since, no matter my weight or jean size, I always feel like a vulnerable eight year old. Thank you for bravely sharing, it helps us all feel less alone in our struggles

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeffery, Michele is right! You coped with alot this past year! So finding comfort in food and drink is how most people deal with life’s disappointmen’s! But now that you opened the door for all your adorning fans to know then you are taking ownership of your health and diet! You know you can do this! And don’t beat yourself up either! You didn’t gain the weight over night and you won’t lose it over night either! I know how hard it is to be suddenly without a job! And sitting around house does not help! Baby steps! Start a food journal to keep tract of what you are eating and calorie content! Take Coulby on a daily walk ( he will love it)! Good luck and use your adorning fans as a sound board! that is the least we can do for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am very proud of you for starting this journey. I know that when you put your min to it, you will be able to accomplish anything. Always remember, we all love you and are cheering you on to success.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeffrey — Every year, since my mother died, I have a very difficult time in Winter. I know about the SAD problem, and I have a much harder time Dec – March. My “national holiday” is the switch over to Daylight Savings time. I do much better with weight Spring through the end of Fall. All the challenges we face leave their mark on us. You have experience real trauma with the NJ stupidity. My identity used to be having a great leadership Director job with the Delaware office of a nationally known non-profit. When they took my responsibilities and changed them to a “work out of the truck of your car” in the boonies scenario, I quit. It took me months to get over it, and I realized that my job had become my self identidy.

    I only wrote all that so that you will know that I really do get it. Depression can easily add 20 pounds . . . I think I gained about 35, until I figured out what was causing it, and got out of a really bad situation. So now, I’m down 26, and still aiming for 30 more. But I have to really guard against comfort food and drink. I do understand.

    Hang in. and know that you already have the largest support group I’v ever seen. If you would like to set up an informal weight loss group just with us guys, I’m in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Jeffrey…I know the struggle is real…at least for me at this point and age that I am you know you are doing something good for your body mind and soul as opposed to when you were younger when I did it for other people’s approval and wanted to look a certain way. One day at a time…heck one hour at a time this is doable and don’t forget to treat yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff, thank you for sharing your personal story. I have always struggled with my weight and I felt every single thing you said right in my heart. It’s such a tough journey. One I know very well and at 50 one I’m sick battling. I try and not think of food as my friend or my enemy anymore and it seems to help me. It’s hard to do but it works when you try and stay to calorie counting instead of choosing food we hate and being deprived . From reading your Facebook it sounds to me like you are off to a great start! Keep it going. You can do it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: My topless days have long been over | jeffrey gentry

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