Wednesday, March 02, 2011

HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED DIFFERENTLY AT THE WAY YOU ATE?


Warning: Please note that this will be the only post in my entire blog where I will talk about my weight, other people's weight, and my obsession with food.

I'll be the first to admit it, I love food.

I love cooking, I love eating, and I love to try new things. Of course you may know that already, but just in case you're new to visiting this teeny part of the blog world, I'm putting it out there. My love for food is serious.

And you'd be so surprised (not!) to hear that I'd like to lose a few kilos (and I'm not thinking Size 0, in case you're wondering). I know, join the rest of the western world, right?

Four years ago, I lived in a developing country where being thin just meant you weren't affluent and healthy. It was hard work to get fat. No-one I knew thought losing weight was a good thing. But if you put it on, compliments just came flooding your way, "You're nice and fat".

Yes, unheard of here in the first world. Meanwhile, we don't feel completely happy unless we're looking like the starving people in 80% of the rest of this planet.

The world's gone mad, I say.

And I've digressed (I'm off my soapbox now and back to where I was going)...

Well, since my babies were born I've basically forgotten how to eat properly. Because having babies and then breastfeeding really rocked the boat for me. Having a new baby meant I ate more. Firstly, because I was so tired (did you know there's a connection between obesity and tired people?), secondly, because I was madly looking out for that little person totally dependent on me for well, everything, and thirdly, when feeding another human being, I lost perspective.

I was constantly starving and ate like a pig. A year or so later, I stopped breastfeeding, and just kept right on eating that way. It didn't help that I put on 18+ kilos during both pregnancies. I had to change what had become a bad habit, because I didn't need to scoff it down anymore.

You can imagine the outcome. It caught up with me, and the last few months I've slowly gotten my waist back (yet I'd like not to have a muffin top anymore).

For encouragement, I've been reading on the subject matter as much as I can. Recommended by my darling step daughter Kelly, "The Only Diet There Is" written by Sondra Ray has been a good reading experience. It's an old book, and although it's very new agey, I like the sentiments. Think your way to being thinner. Not actually eating what you want and hoping to be thinner, but just realising that you deserve to look and feel fabulous. Her basic theory is this: you affirm yourself, you work out why you don't "get off it" [do anything about losing weight], and you make your meals enjoyable. This includes: thanking God for your meal. Sit at a beautifully laid out table. Think about only good things while eating. Eat slowly. Enjoy every mouthful. Eat only good food.

Fabulous points, I say. And I've been giving this lots of thought (food for thought, perhaps?). But the last few point is where I become unstuck. Although we thank God for every meal before we start, there is nothing relaxing about meal times at our place. Why there's picking up the flying utensils my one year old decides he doesn't need, the bib he takes off umpteen times during a meal or the constant requirements for condiments, drinks, seconds and dessert. Meal times are a matter of stuffing my face when I get the chance and jumping up and down for the rest of the time. I didn't even think about what I was eating. And I tell you, that is not pretty.

Then I had another realisation. I bought the kids' DVD "Ratatouille" (a kids' foodie movie about a rat who likes to cook) for our family movie night. There is a scene where they introduce the rather skinny food critique. While the young Gusto jokes about how skinny he is for someone who likes food, the food critique responds by saying:

"I don't like food, I love food. If I don't love it, I don't eat it."

It's what Sondra has been trying to tell me (yes, I'm on first name basis with the writer of the book). And it's high time I started thinking the same way. Not eating average food. Eating good food. Enjoying it. And not stuffing myself.

This week has been the week where all this wisdom is starting to sink in, and it's finally working. I'm not finishing every morsel and then going for seconds when I don't need it. I'm thinking about what I'm eating, and enjoying it. But then stopping when I've had enough. Also deciding to choose foods that are healthier, tastier, and better for me. If I don't love it, I'm not eating it, just for the sake of it.

It's totally changed the way I think about food.

What about you? What new thing have you  tried this week? Linky up below and share with us what new thing you've tried this week. Whether is be as major as quitting your job for a new career, or a change in your routine or like me, my mindset.

a day in the life of us