I have had a weird relationship with food all of my life. When I was young I was a fairly picky eater. I ate a limited variety of things and had a very simple pallet. I was resistant to trying new foods. As I got older and had to cook for myself, I found that I ate horribly because I had no clue how to cook and had no patience for doing so. I would be so pre-occupied with whatever I was doing (programming, schoolwork, etc) that I wouldn’t realize I was hungry until I was past hungry and then I’d eat whatever was handy. I’ve come to realize that “whatever food is handy” generally means garbage, because anything that can be made in a few minutes in a microwave is not particularly good for me.
None of this bothered me, though. I was naturally thin. When I graduated high school I was 6’1″ and weighed 155 pounds. Skinny was an understatement. I could eat anything and never gain a pound. I think that compounded my dietary problems as I never thought twice about what I was eating.
By the time I reached my late 20s/early 30s, though, all of that caught up with me. At one point I had ballooned to almost 220 pounds. Then I started to bike ride and go to the gym and have managed to stabilize my weight between 200 and 210. I’d like to be between 190 and 200.
My eating has improved over the years as I married, had kids, and started working harder to eat better balanced and less pre-made, microwavable meals. (My wife made this a lot easier as she does the evening cooking.) I don’t drink much alcohol or pop because I don’t want the calories.
I’m happy with my exercise output. Now I need to work more on my intake. I tend to snack, but only in the evenings when I watch a little tv before going to bed, which happens to also be the worst time to snack. I’ve started trying to control my intake not by limiting the amount of food but limiting the amount of non-fruits and vegetables during snack time.
Meals, too, are a problem for me. Because I never gained weight when I was younger I could always eat until I was full. Now, though, eating until I’m full is too much food. So that’s my next task: try to take smaller portions.
I know myself. If I try to go cold turkey on some of these things I’ll never succeed. But if I dial down the intake a little at a time, over time, I’ll be able to control my eating for the long term. In the meantime, though, I try to be patient with myself. I’ve always been really good at taking care of my brain. I can do a better job taking care of my body, too.