Disclaimer: I am not a qualified nutritionist. I’m qualified to cook it for a living not dispense accurate advice on eating and anything I say is my opinion. I know people who do the nutrition thing but the best person get solid nutritional advice is a qualified professional.
I love food. I really friggin do. I enjoy eating fish and chips with the kids, sharing a roast dinner with the family and making a good lasagna. I love food to the point I got really upset once when I was denied a piece of cake by someone who thought it was funny to do it as a joke, because I love cake. Like most people however I have a checkered history with food. Like most stories we have to get into the wayback machine and go to high school. I wasn’t very confident nor was I popular. If I look at it objectively I was really only a little bigger than I am now but I got ripped on for being fat. However when you are a kid and people start calling you fat you take it to heart rather than telling them to shove it and my baby bipolar brain went down the line of ‘get thinner they cant call you fat and it’ll be all OK’. Well, the skinnier I got the more I got called fat, the more I lost weight and so on. That switched to Bulimia at some point which was far worse than not eating. Two eating disorders under my belt by 18. Like I said, not an unfamiliar story for many people so I wont dwell on it.
The problem is that when you have a problematic relationship with food is you cant feed yourself. I don’t mean actually putting the food in your mouth or cooking. I mean that you have all these rules about food that hang over from disordered eating (I still don’t drink full cream milk and it took me ages to eat a packet of plain chips) that can mean eating is hard. You assign ‘good’ and ‘bad’ values based on what you’ve read, been told by some well meaning person or seen that some underwear model eats. You become convinced of garbage like carbs are the root of all evil (which they aren’t by the way) and Pete Evans is a qualified nutritionist because he is qualified to cook food.
In my case I was sick and tired of seeing the only way to eat was rabbit food, birdseed and goddamn kale. I was convinced there had to be another way of being able to have my cake and eat it too. This is where flexible dieting for me came in. I tracked what I ate, and it didn’t matter what I ate, as long as it fit within certain parameters that were right for me. It gave me back the freedom to enjoy my food and know one day of pizza and eating like an asshole wouldn’t ruin my figure or my life. Hell, even a week wouldn’t do me in. I basically retrained my brain to be ok with food. The hard part then is I started doing this at a point when clean eating was huge and I was told many times that I’d never lose weight eating doughnuts, cheeseburgers and my approach was horribly horribly wrong. Guess what this little black duck did? I lost weight eating doughnuts, cheeseburgers, pizza and all the good stuff. Yeah sure I still ate rice cakes, salad and porridge but I had a blast eating food which I hadn’t done in years.
Fast forward to now and I don’t care about abs and fuelling myself so I can lift small cars for shits and giggles (thanks for nothing arthritis!). I’m more about eating food and having a good time with my family. I could probably stand to lose 5 to 10 kilos sure but I’d rather be happy and make memories than not eat the birthday cake because I was worried about not following the ‘rules’ or a number pri ted on the tag of my pants.
I suppose the point to all this rambling is that food is good. Food is tasty and eating in enjoyable on so many different levels. No food is evil unless you have some sort of horrendous life threatening allergy. You wont drop dead if you have some cake or have a blow out on pizza (if it’s binging every damn day or you’re numbing feelings with food that’s a whole other issue). Particularly around Christmas. You see ‘avoid Christmas weight gain’ bullshit. Fuck that. Be happy, feel good about your body and who cares if you put on a little over Christmas. There are bigger things in life to worry about. Chill.