If you are a frequent reader you would have read the post all about my weight and exercise struggles, today I want to talk to you more about my relationship with food. This tender relationship started as a baby, if you ask my granny she will tell you as a baby my eyes watched whenever anyone was eating from plate to putting their fork in their mouth my eyes would follow the whole journey as if I had fomo or something.
If you ask my mom she will tell you as a baby I was always hungry and didn’t want only milk so the doctor advised her to add porridge to my milk so I would be full and satisfied. The love of food continued throughout my life enjoying weekend ice cream dates with my uncle at Creamy Inn in Harare; I can taste that flame lily right now mmm!
As I grew up my tastes evolved and there came a love of going out to restaurants again all focusing around food. In a nutshell living to eat instead of eating to live. Fast forward to mid-2017 when I listened to a podcast by the Innovators with Tim Nokes that truly changed my outlook on the way I look at food. Look I am not about to go full on banting and upping the fat content of my meals, I meaning adding extra fat to my coffee nah mate I’m fine (no judgement if you have chosen this lifestyle). What resonated with my in this pod cast was the idea of intermittent fasting and cutting out empty carbs. He also spoke a lot about the food industry and how they market food and teach us that carbs are needed in every meal. When you unpack this and look at each section in isolation you soon realise that a lot of what our brains are fed all come down to marketing and what people and brands want us to believe.
My biggest struggle during the week was what to eat for breakfast and my whole life was revolving around what food I could take with me to work and what will I eat if I get hungry. After listening to the podcast I realized breakfast isn’t necessary although MANY people will tell you it is* but for me I felt like I was shoving things down my throat when I wasn’t even hungry. This is when I decided I would listen to my body and only eat when I was really hungry and not to just tick the box and say I’ve eaten breakfast, so nowadays the first thing I eat can sometimes be closer to 12pm. If I am hungry earlier I will of course eat, it’s not about starving my body or punishing it – it’s more about listening to it and giving it what it needs versus what my mind thinks it once.
The result of this new mindset is twofold; firstly I have lost about 3kgs with food alone, I am still working on getting motivated to go to gym and workout hey Rome wasn’t built in a day! Secondly my life is a lot freer without worrying about what I’m going to eat throughout the day, I am a lot more chilled when it comes to breakfasts and lunches. I also make sure to have some tins of tuna and lentils on hand so when I don’t have left overs to take for lunch I at least have an easy back up on hand. I also don’t feel guilt anymore for example before when I was trying to diet and had something that didn’t fit within that e.g. a pizza or sweeties the guilt was enough to eat me up, now I allow myself to have it if I want it because it’s not a ‘rebelling’ act anymore I don’t seem to want many of these things and there is zero guilt associated with food.
The other thing that I have been thinking about a lot when it comes to lifestyle changes and when I reflect on my old relationship with junk food; often it is referred to as a treat or a cheat meal – if you take anything from this blog post please take this. You are not a dog that requires a treat for doing well, the treat for being good is the love you are giving your body.
When it comes to what I am eating, I am trying to avoid processed carbs and reading the packing so I know what I am putting in my body. For example when buying spices or condiments I make sure there isn’t sugar in what I am buying (you will be shocked at how much sugar is in these two products!) because let’s be honest I’d rather have a chocolate that I know has sugar in it than have some tomato sauce that in my mind is savory. We are also trying to have a few vegetarian meals a week just to give some variety and mix things up really.
Look I am not perfect and have only been on this journey for the past 5+- months but I have noticed such a big shift in my body and mind that I just had to share.
*I am no dietician this is just my personal experience.