I don’t have a food issue. I mean, it’s not like I hate food. Mind you, I’m not sure I really like it.
I don’t have a food issue. I mean, it’s not like I starve myself. Mind you, I do forget to eat.
I don’t have a food issue. I mean, it’s not like I’m seriously over or under-weight. Mind you, my parents were called into school to discuss whether I was anorexic.
I don’t have a food issue. I mean, it’s not as if I don’t put a meal on the table every night. Mind you a trip to the local supermarket kills me and if anyone offers to do it for me, I’ll bite their hand off.
So at the ripe old age of 40+, I’m just beginning to recognise that perhaps I might just have a little bit of an issue with food. There was no light bulb moment, but, having connected with Jayne on Twitter, her blogs began a slow awakening as they spurred me to examine my eating habits.
From the year dot, eating had never been high on my agenda – I just wasn’t interested. Coming from a food-loving family, whether this was due to some long-forgotten incident or to a rogue gene, remains a mystery, but nevertheless, a glaring reality.
I say food was never on my agenda, but as I sit back and think about it, perhaps this is too simplistic a view. It has become clear to me that with every major event in my life, has come a change in my eating habits.
The first event that sticks clearly in my mind was the heart-wrenching death of my guinea-pig, Grang. Yes, I know we’ve all experienced the death of a dearly-loved pet, but how many of us have consequently turned vegetarian? I was 13 years old and Grang had been left in my charge by my best friend as she set sail for a new life in Australia. So you can imagine the myriad of emotions I went through as, one morning, I discovered Grang had been gobbled up by a greedy fox. From that day forward, I didn’t touch a morsel of meat – well for five years anyway. Mum, having battled through every meal with me in a vain attempt to achieve a clean plate, was now faced with a hormonal and vegetarian teenager, who didn’t like vegetables!
I’m not sure that there was a major event that turned me back to meat at the age of 18. Perhaps it was the perceived ‘benefits’ of a Big Mac or that I could no longer resist the tantalising aroma of mum’s Sunday roast.
Meat may have been back on the menu, but food remained a very low priority. Who needs it, when there’s all the new delights of uni to discover and who has time for it as a young 20-something leading the London fast life?
Cue husband-to-be and a rediscovery of delicious home-cooked food. Yes, my husband is a foodie. He loves the stuff. Not just eating it, but cooking it, experimenting with it and even shopping for it. Well, they do say opposites attract. Finally, I can eat and it’s no effort at all. But the old habits are ingrained and, as soon as David is away, back they come. Thankfully, he is rarely gone for long and so, for the most part, my dietary requirements are met.
Then along comes baby Sam, and suddenly food becomes paramount. Not for me, of course, I’ve proved quite conclusively that I can do without it, but, oh no, not my baby boy. So armed with my Gina Ford bible, I surround myself with ice-cube trays, sweet potatoes, broccoli and all other vegetables – organic of course – and so the weaning process begins. Unlike his mother, thankfully Sam quite enjoys his food; that is until he discovers its amazing powers to control mum. He doesn’t need to speak to tell me, “If you don’t put the telly on, I won’t eat.”
Two years on, I find myself sat in front of the offending square box, baby Sophie and bottle in one arm and a spoonful of food in the other as I pander to Sam’s ‘need’ to be spoon-fed in front of CBeebies. I would give any contortionist a run for his money to make sure my kids get their daily intake of nutrients.
Sam is 9 now and Sophie 7 and I’m glad to say that we all sit down at the table for a meal nowadays. But Sophie continues to confound and infuriate me with her lack of interest in food. Perhaps it is that rogue gene after all; Sophie’s not fussy, she’s just not interested. Perhaps it’s time to apologise to mum for all the heartache I must have caused her!
This journey back in time has made me realise how much food has been part of my life, despite my efforts to ignore it. My experience with Sam and Sophie has made me realise that for as long as I may have denied it, I obviously do see food as a very important part of life. Not just the obvious need to fuel the body, but also the hinging role it plays in bringing us all together at the end of the day.
My bad habits may have been around for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t change them if I make a conscious decision to do so. I am proud to say that I am now in my sixth week of eating breakfast every day; something I haven’t done since mum quite literally had to force it down my neck. OK, so the first week was a real struggle and I can’t deny that each mouthful felt like dry pebbles grating down my throat. But, today, I actually enjoy taking the time to sit down and eat with the kids each morning. The difference is that this was my decision and not due to the influence of another force. Breakfast is mine to own.
Lilias can be found on Twitter and here on her website. She’s made a fabulous change AND this change will benefit her children too! Little eyes often think that grown ups don’t eat breakfast, imagine the difference this makes to their future.
Success is all yours Lilias so enjoy it and say hello to your I CAN Attitude!