My wife wrote a post this week surrounding her love affair with food and the journey through anorexia to now obesity, this isn’t being mean just factual. This has sparked me to share my story, feelings, and love hate relationship with food. I hope this post will resonate with someone and you are empowered to take charge of your intake.
My love affair with food began somewhere in the vicinity of 13 years of age. Like most teenage boys I was a bottomless pit, an eating machine, and I wasn’t overly selective with what I ate. Intake for the average day included 16 WeetBix for breakfast with several glasses of juice, chips and fruit for morning tea, at least 2 sandwiches for lunch, 2 meat pies for afternoon tea, followed by a generous serve of dinner, and dessert of some varying description. As time progressed through my teenage years some things changed, I got a job, which meant I had money, a lot of which went on food.
I learnt to cook from a young age. By the time I was 10 I was able to select, prepare and cook a series of main meals, one of them from memory. Since that time I have only increased my culinary skills, and repertoire. I now cook over 95% of the meals at home now. This was great for learning skills and being a useful partner but it did not help my waistline. The ease at which I could make a simple chocolate cake, tart, or lasagne was most certainly terrible as I could satiate my hunger, normally between meals, with something that was either designed as a meal, or was what should be considered 4-6 serves consumed as one.
I have never been a small lad. I was 10lb 7oz at birth, or 4.74kg, I was nearly 80kg during high school, and at my heaviest I was just over 150kg. Now, I am no short gentleman, I am 6′ 2″ or 188cm, however, this does not excuse my current 125kg frame. For example my BMI is 35.4, though I don’t prescribe to the BMI as being an accurate measure of health, balance or otherwise it can be used as a general guideline. Ideally I would be both comfortable and happy with being at 95kg. This was the weight I was when I completed my basic training in the Navy.
Whats stopping me. First and foremost is laziness. I know I need to not only eat right but actually exercise. I cannot kid myself by saying I’m a Nurse I am on my feet all day and walk up and down the corridors all day, and consider that my exercise for the day. I also can’t kid myself when I do actually exercise to reward myself with something. I also need to not eat my emotions. When I am depressed I eat, when I am happy I eat, anxious eat, upset eat, bored eat, well lets face it not too many emotions that don’t spur on some kind of eating.
Secondly, the need to have the most lavish or rich food I can muster. One of my most favourite and simple foods to make its bread and butter pudding. It hails back to a time when there wasn’t a lot to go around, and you made do with what you had. Well I couldn’t leave it at using day old white bread, so I experimented. I used Brioche, Rye, Sourdough, and finally Donuts. I have now found that Donut and Butter pudding is far superior to normal bread and butter pudding, not to mention has nearly double the calories. This is the kind of thinking that needs to be changed.
Finally, serving sizes. The normal serving size for an adult is not to completely fill the large bowl, which holds just over a litre, with pasta and claim its a serve. I don’t need to use 4 cups of uncooked rice and divide it between 4 people. I need to stop filling my plate, or bowl and simply take an appropriate portion that will satisfy my hunger and not my eyes. I find that a lot of the food I consume, with the exception of things like donut and butter pudding, is good food. But, when we over eat any food, it becomes an issue.
So where to from here. I need to start exercising, it doesn’t mean joining a gym and smashing weights five days a week. I lost over 50kg in 12 months to join the Navy, and all I had was a plank of wood and some bricks. I need to stop making every meal a lavish meal, it is ok to have Spaghetti Bolognese without having sourdough garlic bread. I need to control my portion sizes. Recently I have started portioning my rice, because its really easy to go overboard with rice, and I have found that I don’t need to eat anywhere near as much as I used to. I can still have the bread and butter pudding even with donuts, but have a small serve not half a tray. I need to stay accountable. It is too easy to just continue being that large, bearded man, and accept where you are. I need people to see less of me, I need to lose weight, I need to do it so I can watch my girls grow up, keep up with them as they play, set the example to them. I need to control my self.
My name is Luke Sondergeld and I am a Food Addict
Maintain the Rage