Life Before Slimming World / Food Addiction

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My last post in the Weighty Issues category was ‘Life After Slimming World’. Now I’m going to give you a snapshot of what came before Slimming World. Hopefully by writing pieces like this, hopefully someone reading them will identify with what I’m talking about and realise that A: They aren’t the first person, nor will they be the last, to have a very fundamental problem with their diet – and B: They can change. If I can, anyone can.

In ‘So Why So Fat?’, I came to the conclusion that I was fat because I ate too much. Just for funsies, I’m going to show you exactly what I mean by too much. It’s weird, in one way I’m deeply ashamed of being SUCH a fat bastard, but in another way my mouth is watering! It’s not like being a reformed smoker, where the smell of a cigarette is enough to make them queasy; the sight, smell and sound of food turns me into a quivering mess. A bit like seeing Daniel Craig stepping out of the sea in his wee blue keks, or watching Max from Eastenders getting out of the shower with a towel round him. Truly swoonful stuff.

Before Slimming World, there was no concept of structure when it came to mealtimes. There was no menu, no planning, no anticipation about what I would be eating at any point during the day. Everything was instant. I felt hungry, I went to a shop, bought something, ate it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You get the idea. For a solid five years I had a dreamlike/highly destructive situation where I worked in a bar that served food. Very nice food. I could pretty much eat what I wanted, at anytime of day or night, yet I was still hungry. I’ll give you an example of a typical weekend back then. Do try to keep up – and don’t judge me! I was hungry!

Friday:

In to work for around 10am. I’m not a fan of early mornings, so I sleep as long as possible and just squeeze in a shower before I leave the house. I catch up with the rest of the staff, this usually involves a cigarette or two. After an hour or so, the hunger starts kicking in, this usually coincides with the kitchen getting ready for service – presto! The homemade soup is ready to be tasted! A bowl of it goes down well with a few slices of bread.

Twelve o clock brings opening time, so the lunch customers land and it’s all hands on deck. A busy service finishes up around three o clock, and then it’s time to get the staff lunches out of the way. I either get something made for me (a stir fry maybe, or a panini and some more soup), or I’ll nip across town to get an alligator bite and a German biscuit. Yum.

A bit of admin upstairs and I’ll head away for a few hours between 5 and 9. I might go home for a snooze, or I’ll go shopping and maybe meet someone for something to eat before I head back to work. After all, I have a long night ahead of me, and I need to keep my strength up. I head back in just before nine, and catch up with the staff, get the nightclub ready for opening, and have a bit of craic in general with the customers.

When everything’s ready to go, it’s just a matter of waiting on the nightclub crowds to arrive, so I have a recreational bottle of Lucozade with the girls in the paydesk. Incidentally, the paydesk doubles as a chippy (you couldn’t make this shit up), so when the food for it is being made; I am designated taster. Feeling a bit tired – more Lucozade. By this time, the nightclub is busy, so I am happily occupied until chucking out time. When the rabble has cleared, I have a well deserved taco chip before heading upstairs to count the money. A couple of hours sorts out the cash room, and it’s time to head home. A few of the staff are still knocking about cleaning up, and we have a few cigarettes and a bit of slagging before heading home. I have to leave one of the boys home, so we hit the 24hr garage to get some goodies for the ten minute journey. It’s at least four am at this stage by the way.

NOW! This was my favourite part of the day. I would get myself a bag of goodies that I would take home and eat in bed. Yes, in bed, whilst watching some Family Guy or Scrubs. For the purposes of this post, I visited the very same garage and picked my most favourite assortment of goodies so I could photograph them and give you a visual image of what I was throwing into myself.

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Two sandwiches – a creamy one and a crunchy one. Usually a BLT and something involving stuffing and mayo.

Doritos – chilli or tangy cheese depending on my mood

Two chocolate items – Twirl and Minstrels always good. Maltesers would also have been good, but I was feeling the Minstrels today.

Beverage! A very healthy Coke Zero! Full fat Coke was always a little intense for me.

Like I said, this was my little cache of goodies – all for me. And I wouldn’t touch a bit of anything til I was at home and in bed, with the tv on. It wouldn’t have felt right otherwise. God almighty even as I’m saying this I feel like a mentalist! Now – the method to the madness: OCD snacking

I would open both sandwiches at the same time, eat a BLT half first, followed by a chicken stuffing half. Then the other BLT half, finishing up with the chicken stuffing last. It’s my favourite, so I want my last sandwich memory to be it. Next up, crisps. I would usually complete the beverage along with the crisps, leaving a dribble in the arse of the bottle to extinguish the cigarette I would have to have before starting into the chocolate. It would be disgusting to smoke after the chocolate you see. Minstrels first, then the Twirl. Feed complete. At this stage, it’s probably after six am. So it’s time to turn Stewie off and go to sleep.

Saturday: exactly the same as Friday, except I don’t start work til three or five, so I’ll skip the soup and have a Chinese on my break at six/seven – then carry on as normal.

Whilst I’m writing this, I am chuckling away to myself at the sheer ridiculous levels of excess involved here. I know I’ve used a weekend as an example here, but weekdays weren’t a great deal different to this. I think its fair to assume i was strongly addicted to food. It meant more to me than most things in my life, and it was always a secret priority. How fucked up is that? I still visited the 24hr garage most nights, and I shudder to think how much money I forked over to them over the years – given that today’s little grocery list amounted to £9.27. The manager of that place is getting hit for a donation towards this marathon attempt!! As well as counting the cost of this splurge, I took the liberty of counting the calories. Oh dear. A grand total of 1,432 calories – not to mention a very rotund 57.6 grams of fat. I think I shall end this post right there, as you can probably feel my cyber blushes though your screen. Having said that, the fact I consumed these vast amounts of, well – shite, for about five years straight without either having a stroke or a heart attack has filled me with a very male sense of bravado, and I would quite like a Blue Peter badge for Courage in the Face of Certain Death. I am a machine!

All joking aside, I want to advise strongly against eating bagfuls of saturated fat. It’s not a good idea long term. I also want to point out, this is me being completely honest; ask anyone I worked with back then and they can confirm this. I’m not adding on bits to this story for dramatic effect, or to provide false hope for anyone looking to use these tales as inspiration to lose weight. Maybe you, or someone you know, eats more than this! I would doubt it though….. So, this all gives more credence to my overwhelming point – if I can ditch the pie addiction, anyone can.

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