Tuesday, 10 May 2016

#BEDM Day 10 - Food Glorious Food

Now I must admit that the first thought I had when I saw this topic was to start singing the song from Oliver! But then I decided that this wouldn't help much and a quick chorus about cold jelly and custard doesn't translate well into a blog post! So I'm going to talk about my dysfunctional relationship with food, glorious or otherwise.

According to my mother I was a skinny child. She used to tell me of tearful visits to the doctor when she was worried that I wasn't gaining as much weight as I should have been doing. If only she could have fast forwarded a few years, that ceased to be a problem! I gained weight during the later primary and early secondary school years and was what might be called chubby. Not obese but I was heavier than I should have been. As a teenager I discovered the 'joys' of dieting and have terrible memories of Ryvita and cottage cheese packed lunches. But by the time I went to college I was in a happier place weight wise. But this was a move away from home and that's when my relationship with food fell apart. I basically got divorced from healthy eating and started a long term relationship with junk food.

I'm not saying that my college only provided junk food, just that I chose the junk. Pies, chips, white bread, fried breakfast, pastries, baked puddings with custard - yummy for a treat but every day for 4 years a recipe for disaster. I hold my hands up, I'm to blame. I put that food on my plate and I ate it. Nobody else. Add in lots of beer, plenty of parties and no wonder the pounds piled on.

So I left college overweight. I wasn't bothered that the dress size had gone up. I was happy, got a new job and met my OH. True, my wedding dress was a choice of one as none of the others fitted but I was happy. More weight went on - married contentment! - and by the time I got pregnant and started to wear smocks I looked like a Tudor galleon in full sail. Add in a late summer due date and I spent that time a hot, sweaty mess.

I ate lots of junk food because that's the food I like. Pasta, chips, bread, crisps, cake are my go-to foods of choice. If it was possible to eat nothing but crisps then I would - actually I think there are days when I have. I'm an intelligent woman and I know what healthy food and healthy eating is so it's not ignorance that is the problem. I'm not sure I know what the problem is but it's got to be in my head. I have a poor relationship with food and I think it's been further damaged over the years by dieting. There's not a diet known to man (or woman!) that I haven't tried, with varying degrees of success. I think some of them failed because they were too restrictive - who can survive on a shake and two cereal bars a day? I think some of them failed because I sabotaged them - I didn't want to be on a diet so I cheated and lied about cheating, blaming the diet for failing. But I think most of the failure is because diets don't work for me in the real world. There are too many temptations and I refuse to resist a temptation!

I know that what works for me is making lifestyle changes. Not banning any food but allowing controlled amounts of any food. For example, lots of diets say to ban bread; I prefer to limit myself to a small portion of bread each day. By having a small amount then I think carefully about when to have it and I enjoy eating it rather than scoff half a loaf in one sitting. I have a poor relationship with vegetables - which is odd for a vegetarian! - I know I don't eat enough of them but some of them just taste horrible - stand up and wave, kale and celery! So I have to make a conscious effort to eat vegetables with every meal. I could happily eat a bowl of pasta with a cheesy sauce rather than add some vegetables to the dish. So I know what healthy is and if I make a real effort I can eat a healthy diet. My food issues are nothing to do with that.

I make poor choices when it comes to food. I know that, I acknowledge that and I hold my hands up to my failings. I'm the one who puts the junk on my plate and in my mouth so I have no-one to blame but myself. Knowing that makes it easier to make good choices but sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is very weak; on those days I scoff several packets of crisps and feel guilty all day.

So food glorious food? Maybe not so glorious in my world.   


  1. It's hard, as we all know what we should be doing, but given the choice between that and something chocolatey, then most of us will head towards the chocolately. As you rightly say, it's about striking a balance - maybe add some vegetables to the pasta, have less crisps ...

    1. Sometimes the balance swings in favour of healthy, sometimes in favour of crisps!
      Thanks for leaving a comment.

  2. I too struggle with choosing the right foods, or the fact that I can in front of people but when I get home alone it is snack ahoy!

  3. I eat far too much chocolate, though other aspects of my diet are not too bad. I completely agree about diets, especially fad ones - I don't think they work for people over the long term. I think eating everything in moderation, and having as active a lifestyle as possible is what works. Definitely hard to resist temptation though! Thanks so much for linking up with #PasstheSauce.