My relationship with food has undergone quite a few stages and I think I can say that food itself both ruined my life as well as saved it. Now, after 36 years of eating (and not eating) food became part of my life philosophy as I believe (well, technically it’s not a belief but a fact) that as we are part of nature, food, also falling into this cathegory, is what we are made of (since we were conceived) and as with everything – it’s all about balance so one should eat in such a way that the nutrients “fall into us as missing puzzles” and that only. Anything more or less will (sooner or later, slowly or quickly) destroy our body and mind (which is of course fuelled by the body functions). But I guess we now live in the times when more than ever we are conscious about the “magic of food” and lots of research has been done and then articles presented to us on what to eat to stay healthy, beautiful and young. I’m guessing therefore I’m not the only one with the above view. The problem is – how to start, what to choose, do I really want to and am I (will I be) doing it right?
I have one word – a dietician. When you’re ready you do it. A good one. Not the idiot who tells you to starve for days and then drink some “magic potion” without even checking your blood tests or having a simple health interview. Don’t be bloody fooled because it’s a witchcraft of XXI century. Get a dietician, trained and recommended. Start there.
Now a question is – where in life do you have to be to take action? I did it after 34 years of living, 20 years of “fucking my life up” (excuse my French but I can’t find a better phrase to describe it) because of body issues (which I still struggle with) and 7 years (the darkest years of my life) of trying to conceive. We usually do it as the last resort, when no other “brilliant”, proven”methods work. Out of desperation. Shame that most of us don’t make a habit of healthy eating before a major problem occurs.
But that’s how it is in life, with us humans – we need a right moment. No one can push us. It clicks in our brains suddenly – whether it’s because we read an article about our favourite crisps or we lost a family member because of cancer. The motif, although brought upon us by life, comes from within. And then your life changing process begins.
I was brought up in a four generation house where my grandma was the cook in the family and no one else. It was her territory and her way of controlling life and the family. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and suppers were all prepared on schedules, plates pushed in front of us as soon as we reached the table. The food was always amazing and she knew it. Everyone knew it and was coming for more. My grandma was a bit of Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond. Dumplings, cutlets, pizzas, spaghetti and cakes. Oh my god, the cakes – cheesecakes, poppy seed cakes, birthday cakes. I actually have no idea how, say 5-year old child can fit all that in her belly. Well she could. We could. And we were growing… Wide.
I was considered chubby. Cute chubby. And I remember the giggles coming from my mum and grandma when they were watching me dancing or when I was trying on a skirt after another girl (much slimmer than me of course). Every girl was slimmer than me and I was chubby. I loved dancing (ballet and Latin American dancing were my passion and I secretly practised them in my room on my own) but it was hard to get to any classes (living in Poland in 80s was hard enough as it was, I would say, let alone find a hobby place) and besides I was constantly being instructed by my mother that if I want to dance I need to eat less and exercise more. And then I remember the very time when I became body conscious forever. I was 13; standing in my own room looking in the mirror and then I focused my attention onto my legs and then I decided – they are too fat (I was 160cm tall and 58kg).They have been too fat ever since (even now, when I’m 160cm and 41kg). So I gradually stopped eating. I’m not going to describe the whole of that chapter because probably it would be about 20 pages long, maybe next time. By the time I was 20 I was drinking 2 litres of Pepsi max and 2 slices of bread (maybe a croissant or a chocolate bar). Pretty brutal and idiotic, now that I look back. But try telling that to a teenager who knows best, is more stubborn than an ass, has ambitious goals to become a Latin American dancer with lean limbs and no gram of fat under her skin and is a sort of a loner. That’s how bad it was. Not only for my body, but my mind too. Everyone around me was telling me it was wrong. I knew it too but didn’t see how wrong. I only wanted to be skinny. No, my legs to be skinny. It became a habit, an obsession, part of me. It was who I was. And when I started trying for a baby seven years ago – I knew the struggle was related to my eating disorder, which at that time wasn’t that bad as it had been but eating disorder never ends. Your mind, once it falls into this black hole, is always anorexic. Just like you’re always an alcoholic even when you’re sober for years. Deep down I knew it was the chemicals and the junk and lack of nutrients that “fucked up” my hormones and caused health problems but I wanted medicine to fix it. Fix it quick. Right there and then. Nope! Nothing helped. No IVF, no drugs, no injections, no alternative therapies.
One day one of my colleagues who was a life coach recommended a dietician to me and, surprisingly, I booked her in no time. Surprisingly, because I never listened to anyone’s advice. Never. She changed my life. Well,technically I changed it myself by following her instructions. Approximately one year after my appointment and 6 months of applying both – appropriate food habits and cardio I became pregnant.
It’s funny how both people – my mum and the dietician – told me exactly the same thing (food and exercise) in two different times of my life and as a response to two different behaviours – and how differently they affected me.
I cook now and am experimenting with sugar-free baking. Taking inspiration from paleo diet and trying to find time to make as many of my own product as I can – breads and pickles are now on my list. I want Arya to grow up in a healthy home, where she is willing to make her own food without preservatives and artificial colourants. She cooks with me or down times just watches me cooking. And then does the tasting. That’s her favourite part I recon.
I’m still learning and I do enjoy experimenting. Possibly my family loves it too because last night’s butternut squash sugar free cake simply disappeared and I don’t think it was Bastian who are it.