Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A massive learning curve for me on this journey has been the conscious acceptance that not everything I eat has to be magnificent. But before I go on, let me stop and explain two things about the statement I've just made:
1) When I say 'magnificent' I mean fantastic. I mean fabulous. I mean fantabulous. I mean a meal or snack tasty and filling, mouth-watering and leaves you wanting more. I could go on for hours but I'm guessing that the majority of my audience here understands.
2) I very specifically chose the words 'conscious acceptance' as opposed to 'realisation' there. A realization, it seems, it not the right word. If you had asked me a year ago 'does everything you eat need to be a delicious, delectable delight?', my answer would of course have been 'no'.
But, to return to my statement, I've come to understand, that- possibly for my entire life- my actions in this area have not reflected my opinion.
I think I've spent most of my life waiting for my next meal. That's not by any means to say that I 'live to eat' as the hideous phrase goes. I have lived, and continue to live, a full and fulfilling life on many levels, including career, family, friends, love, travel, good times, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
However, what I now understand is that when the time for food did arise, whether it be snack and full meal, I never wanted to miss out. I wanted every bit of food I put into my mouth to be as wonderful as the last. I love food, and spent a great deal of time trying to work out how I could top what I last ate.
The range I consumed was great- I have never (okay, maybe for a year or two during college years) been much of a fast food eater or soda guzzler. My downfall has been a variety of worldly cuisines- Thai curries, Indian breads, Chinese dumplings, German sausages, french pastries, local cheeses, Italian wines...I could go on and on.
The main point is that once I got in the rhythm of instant-food-gratification, I would never miss out. As long as I could afford it and had time to obtain it, I could consume it.
So, you ask- what's changed now?
Well, I've had this epiphany, haven't I? I have registered in my consciousness that my hard work with exercise and calorie counting was often sabotaged by the deep-seated inner need to never let a meal time go to waste with crap boring food. Even though I've already lost 19 kilos and I have largely taken control of the hunger beast, it was just today that as I lifted my spoon of dull old butternut pumpkin supermarket soup (nothing against pumpkins or soup, just against supermarkets) to my mouth in the lunch room at work my only thoughts were 'This'll get me through the afternoon. Looking forward to roast chicken on the weekend though!'
And BANG! There is was- my moment. I had seen an actual clear and recognizable change in my thought pattern and behaviour. Where once I would have been throwing my soup, along with the best intentions, into the bin and running out for a sushi, salami sandwich or samosa, I contently chowed down the offending soup, happy in the knowledge that there would be fine food in the future, but just not in this minute.
For many, this may seem small time- but for someone who has won so many battles, but ultimately is always behind in the war with food, this is one big victory.