The thing is that my problem with food is that I like food too much and I pretty much like all food. Obviously I like some things better than others, but the only thing I can think of that I won’t eat is peanut butter. I like peanuts and butter, but together? Yuk!!
This post, for May’s new Life Matters Meme is cross posted on my own health blog. I hope that going forward we will be able to complement each other and build up resources for others to use. I’m planning my own meme next month, which I hope people will also join in with. But for now, the topic is food and problems with it.
As a child
My mum had a strong dislike of waste and my younger brother was picky and pretty lazy. He ate slowly and mucked about and we (my two brothers and I) weren’t allowed to get down until we had all eaten everything. So, I tended to help him out, especially with meat. There is a memorable occasion after I’d been elsewhere at dinner time and the next time she unloaded the washing machine she discovered an uneaten lamb chop in the pocket of his trousers. After that she offered more sausages, something he liked. But I trace my willingness to eat everything in sight to those days. Plus the fact I wasn’t faddy and just liked food. My appetite was healthy.
I never dieted until after I’d had my son
I was an active teenager and young adult. Not sporty but just busy. I could eat lots because I rarely stood or sat still. As a nurse, I spent a great deal of the day running around, up and down stairs and breaks were far and few between. I was a size 12 when I married, but put on weight on honeymoon. I wasn’t worried that I needed a size 14. Looking back I can see I was slim and healthy looking. But each new job was a little more sedentary, I drove instead of taking public transport and started to like wine.
We were married for 7 years before we had my son and had a reasonable amount of disposable income. There were lots of opportunities to socialise with friends and family, we ate out a fair bit. We also developed a taste for pizzas or other fast food that we could get in and cook at home. This was washed down with a bottle or so of wine.
I didn’t enjoy pregnancy and did a fair amount of comfort eating. I craved things like grapes which seemed healthy. Couldn’t drink coffee and often felt unwell. I had a few odd turns while eating out so did so rarely. I had pre-eclampsia and retained fluid. At the end of my pregnancy I’d put on 2 stone in weight. I became more active almost immediately. Breast fed and just by cutting a few things out got to my pre-pregnancy weight and in no time. If that was dieting, it was simple. Little did I know.
Yoyo dieting made me fat
Over the next 10 years I would settle into life, eat what I fancied and then decide I needed to lose some weight and do so. My son was a faddy eater like my brother but I didn’t make him eat everything up. I ate it for him in the kitchen. I also ate food as I cooked and more as I served up. By the time I approached my 40th birthday I was back at my 8 month pregnancy weight and this time it wasn’t falling off by just cutting back. I joined a Rosemary Conley club because it involved a half hour fitness class. I lost the weight in time for my birthday and decided I was done.
More time passed and I joined Slimming World. Here you could eat pasta or rice till it came out of your ears but you had to restrict fat and sugar. This brought me into the world of large portions of starchy carbohydrates and aspartame.
I’ve been a slimming world member on and off for over 10 years now. I’ve lost weight and put it back on. This time I’ve lost weight and put it back while still attending the group. I enjoy the friendship of my fellow group members, but the diet doesn’t work for me anymore. The company will tell you this is not a diet, but a way of life. But the problem is many of my fellow members eat a lot of highly processed food and tons of artificial sweeteners.
Getting cancer was a wake up call
There are people who will tell you that your diet causes cancer. That if you are over weight and also drink alcohol that causes cancer. It contributes but there are a lot of factors involved. However since my own diagnosis almost 18 months ago I have read a lot of books, articles and blogs about diet and health. I have begun to realise that the processes applied to food production to make them ‘healthier’ may well be harmful. I’ve begun to appreciate the taste of real food rather than artificial. I don’t plan to become obsessed with what I eat but the steps I’m taking right now are working.
Since November last year I’ve made some big changes. I’ve introduced intermittent fasting and stopped snacking. My fruit consumption has reduced, but I do still eat it, mainly berries. I’ve reduced my starchy carbohydrate input and eaten a lot more vegetables. I’ve eaten little sugar laden foods, indeed am finding them too sweet to eat. Though I had a small mince pie on Boxing Day and really enjoyed it. I had some chocolate at Christmas too and, it was a treat. I ate whole meal pasta last night and again felt it a treat.
I’m trying to change my relationship with food
Firstly to eat when hungry. I reckon I lost that ability when I was a child eating my brothers left overs. Whereas my son retains it. Now I eat lunch and dinner when I am hungry and not really before.
I’m trying to savour food, to enjoy the tastes. But also to eat real food. I want and need to lose weight for a specific purpose but this time I want it to be the last time. I’m committed to ending my dieting journey and instead finding something that I can sustain. Just because I like food I don’t have to eat it all!