I’ve recently read two Substack Newsletters by two men I respect greatly. Both of them, like me, have struggled with food, and it’s funny how it can become an addiction.
Let’s start at the beginning. When I was young, I loved food, and nothing much has changed, except for me not eating correctly; amongst other things, I have Diverticula Disease.
Anyway, I took any chance that I could to eat. I always wanted takeaway food, like McDonald’s, KFC or the good old fish and chips. And any pocket money I got went, I was straight to the shops to buy any lollies or chocolate. I also drank so many soft drinks.
I was a very chubby kid for most of primary school and was made fun of due to my weight. In year six (1996), I went away with mum on a trip to Perth. I just happened to get my growth spurt while I was away. When this happened, I couldn’t believe it. I was no longer the chubby kid. I could eat what I wanted and get away with it.
After spending my teenage years eating junk and playing footy (rugby league), I thought I would always stay in shape as long as I exercised. It wasn’t until I left school that things went downhill.
My first job out of high school was as an apprentice butcher. Butchery isn’t a bad job; where I worked was a different story. It was a very toxic place, where I got bullied a lot. And the only way I could make myself feel better was with food. Most days, I would go through Maccas drive-thru if I didn’t have football training. Or I would buy packets of Doritos and chocolate and locked myself in my room. I also gave myself a nickname, Fatty McMercer.
One day, I decided to tell one of my colleagues, who at the time had become a friend, that I would eat my feelings after a rough day. I was hoping that someone would understand what I was doing. Instead, he told me that was a ‘bitch’ thing to do. After that response, I would only tell people who I trusted anything personal.
Fast forward to today, and I still have my battles with food. Thanks to Brent and Ben, I know I’m not the only one struggling with food. And that it also gets better when you work on your passions.