Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fighting the Battle

Hello whoever is reading this! Probably still just you mom. I realize that. But I’ve heard rumors that since the creation of this blog some 3 years ago and a grand total of 7 original blog posts over that period of time, my readership has expanded 300% and now includes my mom, my dad, and possibly one of my two sisters.
            Anyway, the purpose of this post is to begin to mend the broken faith that so many people once had in me. The title of my blog is Life: The Guidebook. And as the title insinuates, it was originally meant to be a guidebook for one’s life! And in my original blog post I promised to cover a wide range of topics and included my credentials to cover those topics (see here). And, although it wasn’t easy to type 7 entire blog posts over these last 3 years, thus far I have failed to cover…well, much of anything really.
            What spurred me into action again here today is actually a serious and private battle I’ve been fighting for many years now that I’ve finally decided I need to make public. And this is not a topic that I take lightly, because I know that I’m not the only one suffering from an addiction. And, if you choose to keep reading, I warn you that this is a topic that I’m planning to be completely honest about and it may be a little uncomfortable for some. And it’s not something that I’m proud of admitting to, but at some points in life, you just have to admit defeat and ask for help and support from people who care about you. So all I’m asking for from anyone reading this is understanding and support. Please know as well that this is not easy for me, but here goes:
            I, Karl Kowallis, for about as long as I can remember, have been hopelessly addicted to food.
            There I said it! And it’s true. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about at night. And even in sleep I can’t escape it, for my dreams are haunted by visions of food (mainly anything salty and from a pig). I make 3 and only 3 important decisions each day: What to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I don’t waste my time thinking about anything else during the hours between those meals (like, if I should finish school, or choose a career, or get married or something), because I want to be sure and make the best decision possible for myself.
            You might laugh, but this is no joke. It’s a slippery slope and I, my friends, have been to the bottom of that slope. There was a brief time (this is at the bottom of the slope) when I would eat at the Cheesecake Factory every day.  And, this is hard to say but it’s true, some days I would eat at the Cheesecake Factory TWICE a day. And, this is even harder to say, but I would typically order a piece of cheesecake at the restaurant AND order a second piece to take home and eat later! Wanna know the sad part? I don’t even really like cheesecake that much. I’m so ashamed!
            Luckily I’ve bounced back and have begun to climb back up the slippery slope, but it’s not easy. Along the way, pretty much everyone has had some advice for me…my all time favorite being the suggestion of many to simply ‘snack on almonds’ because they will curb your hunger. Really? You know what else curbs my hunger? Cheeseburgers.
            But the problem is not that I’m just really, really hungry all the time. Hunger alone doesn’t drive someone to eat an entire large Dominos pizza AND THEN have a couple more slices of another pizza shortly thereafter (yes it’s sad, but I’ve done it). No, that person is driven by something sick and twisted deep within his soul, a part of him that he is constantly battling for control of his own actions.
            Unfortunately for me, I also come from a family whose get-togethers revolve solely around eating. For example, at a recent family gathering this was our pre-planned morning of activities: breakfast at the hotel, stop by a French bakery for morning buns, visit a gourmet chocolate shop, eat at a restaurant called ‘The Braught Haus,’ and then stop for ice cream. This all happened before 2:00pm at which point we went to my Aunt’s house and ate until it was time for dinner.
            Anyway, this all reached a head about a year and a half ago when I stepped on a scale and realized I was 10lbs short of 300. Let me tell you, as someone who prides himself on having ladies flock to him like ducks in a park to pieces of wonder bread, it was a very humbling spot to be in.
            I’ve since lost over 30lbs and am currently participating in a weight loss contest where the person who loses the highest percentage of body weight by January, 6th will win a pot of around $400. I’m doing well and I feel like I could definitely win this baby. In fact just the other day I had my biggest victory yet. I went to Texas Roadhouse and had a plate of hot rolls and honey butter set directly in front of me and I didn’t even touch them! Oh I got real close and smelled them and imagined myself eating them, but I didn’t touch them. Hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
              But even if I don’t win, I think all of the participants can count themselves winners, right? But seriously though, I want to win real bad. That money could get me out of a few jams (I still have an unpaid tab at the Cheesecake Factory). So help me out.  Maybe grab my phone and smash it if you see me ordering a pizza or slash my tires if you see me in the Wendy’s drive through or something. Anyway, thanks for understanding!


  1. Karl, great post! I understand your quandary with food. I too was addicted to the greatest food choices under the sun...hamburgers, juicy steaks, pizza, potato chips...you name it! Anyway, good job on figuring out how to eat better. Those you love and who love you will thank you when you're still around years from now. That's what motivated me to change my dining habits...

  2. Karl -- I'm so proud of you. Let's get together and I'll take you to lunch at the new Burt's Biggie Bacon Burger Barn (great alliteration, by the way) and then we can stop at...what do you mean? I can invite my son to lunch if I want to. Oh heck, excuse me for a minute Karl your mother wants to have a "word" with me. I'll get back to you later on the lunch thing. --Dad

  3. Let's go hiking. Rain, sun, or snow. :-) oh , and the mIssIng schwans ice cream bars were our little secret, until now. What a bad influence I was! Hit me up on facebook and lets play commander keen. You still have it don't you?