I was born with a hyperactive metabolism and always took it for granted that this state of affairs would last forever. I could eat extraordinary amounts of food without gaining an ounce in weight and doing zero exercise. Life was good. Life was full of food and no matter how much I ate; I was still slim and sexy. People were amazed at how much I could eat in one sitting, swallowing food while hardly chewing – they used to call me “the vacuum cleaner.”
All that changed on one sad day in 2005, when three significant things happened – I lost my best friend, I stopped traveling overseas, and my job duties changed. Everything happened all at once.
I remember that while I was in college, I used to wait for my roommate to be out of the room so that I could order a pizza and not have to share. Yes, I used to order a whole pizza and eat it all by myself. There was a Chinese restaurant nearby where they had the best fried rice – I would buy two large containers and gobble those down in less than an hour. Any steak I ordered had to be massive, accompanied by an enormous pile of mashed potatoes…and let’s not forget the fried chicken, sometimes a whole bucket was not enough for me.
I never exercised either – sweating because of physical exertion was anathema for me. Only crazy people would break a sweat for no good reason other than running away from a dinosaur or a flying cockroach. After a good meal, the best thing to do was to sleep and get up two hours later to have some more food.
This blissful existence lasted a long time, even thru my two pregnancies. At one point, it seemed that the more I ate, the slimmer I got. I attributed that to a metabolism that did not quit; that kept on going no matter what. Once I hit my mid-forties, the metabolism began to slow down. That, in combination with the series of unfortunate events I mention earlier, was the beginning of the descent from being slim to resembling an egg on legs.
It did not happen overnight, the weight gain. It was gradual and almost imperceptible as I always wore clothes that were too big for me. As long as I fit in my clothes, everything was okay, right? A furtive glance in the mirror told me that my belly was growing, that my beautiful coconuts were turning into watermelons and that my neck was gradually disappearing. I also noticed that I was eating less and less, not because of lack of appetite but there seemed to be less space inside my stomach to eat too much at one time.
This did not make any sense, does not make any sense. For a food geek like me, this situation is a catastrophe. I am eating less and less and growing bigger and bigger. I am still sedentary and don’t move much as most of my work is done sitting down. The things I eat now are healthier and more diverse than ever – more fruits, more veggies, and fewer carbs but that is not enough to get back to a happy place for my body.
The more I think about the solution, the more terrified I get about my future. I already have no significant other, if on top of that I have to eat only salads and exercise at least three hours every day for the rest of my life, then I am simply doomed. My metabolism has decided to go on an indefinite strike, and something drastic has to be done for my health, for my heart, for my joy.
Pray for me while I get off my ass and start moving.