Write about Food

Tell us about food: what you ate today, your perfect meal, your favorite seasonal foods.
You can talk about junk food or health food. You can rant and rave or even apologize for over-indulging at dinner last night.

Food…my greatest friend and my worst enemy.

I have a history with food that can show similarities with neighbouring countries that go to the occasional battle. I love food, I hate food, food loves me, food hates me. You get the idea.

To give some context on this Love/Hate relationship, I basically grew up with a grandmother who hammered the importance of enjoying your food. Nothing she cooked was done half-arsed or without proper seasoning. Butter was also a frequent companion on top of a mountain of potatoes. You had to fully enjoy your food, eating for a cause other than that was never apparent or needed. Eat because you enjoy it.

Unfortunately, as much as this all sounds delicious, it also comes with some problems. For a start, food that is delicious is usually quite luxurious in the calorie department. These add up, and before you know it, you are overweight and a teenager —known as a match made in hell — and you are also now the target of other teenagers who can’t help but point out your “big bones”.

This was tough, make no mistake. I wasn’t an active kid either — partly because I wouldn’t go out in public to run around for fear of being seen— and the go-to for me then was obviously food. Food could comfort you on the hardest of days, the endorphins that get released when you dig into your favourite food would numb any insult. Once these disappear however, you are back to square one, or even worse.

In my late teens I decided that enough was enough, simple as that. I didn’t need to read a magazine to highlight this to me, no intervention was needed other than me, myself and I having a little chat. So naturally, I had to go from zero to 100mph over night. I dropped the daily chocolate, bread, pizza, fizzy drinks, you name it.

All of it was gone, this is the perfect definition of a healthy break up.

Then I got active. I took up MMA, walking more, even doing a push-up! This was probably the weirdest part for me. It involved building up confidence to being around people and being active at the same time, not an easy feat when you have avoided it for a very long time.

At my heaviest, I was close to 270lbs, or 17 stone. Although I am tall, that’s heavy no matter what way you look at it.

The change

When you drop bad food and replace it with good food, the change is pretty much instant. You know that phrase you are what you eat? Well thats probably as true as they come.

Once the bad foods stopped on a regular basis, and I became more active, I changed, dramatically.

270lbs turned into very quickly turned into 180lbs, 6 months to be precise. It’s here I can tell you that your body doesn’t like quick changes like that. Compliments quickly turned into questions.

Jaysis, are you sick? You look awful.

Maybe I hadn’t been paying attention to myself. My love affair with food had turned into a hatred. I wasn’t eating at all and I was always exercising, I hadn’t gone 180 on it so much as I had landed in a different universe.

It might not be news to most but eating is pretty much essential. So when you stop but keep up the training part, your body has a unique way of telling you that you should reassess that.

Another change

My adverse reaction to food was that I had associated it with being overweight and unhappy. In my head, I figured if I drop the food, then i drop the unhappiness.

This is far from being true.

I had to educate myself on the healthy options that I had, eating didn’t have to be associated with being unhappy. I could change that (again).

So I did.

Probably the most important thing I learned was about balance. I would say right now and for the last few years, I eat what would be described as “clean” food. Lots of vegetables, meat etc, these are the staples of my diet now. Understanding the benefits of eating healthy and how I feel when I do has changed my persepective.

The fat kid still lives strong inside me. Pizza for instance, it’s a food group to me, probably always will be as well. Although I am fully aware that eating it every day is probably not the best idea. That doesn’t mean I can never have it, it just means I balance it out.

Balance is important. I wouldn’t advocate eating only green veg and meat all the time in the same way I wouldn’t advocate eating pizza with a milkshake for lunch every day either. Find the balance that works for you and go from there.