My relationship with food

A sampler of the range of variety in Indian food

Like most people, I have a weird relationship with food.

In Indian culture, (very much like the Greeks as portrayed in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’) the solution to every problem or every non-problem is to eat or drink coffee/tea. Unless a child eats a portion that is two tsp less than an adult portion, the kid is considered a “picky eater”. As a plump kid, but with that kind of exposure to food, I developed a too casual relationship with food – I’d eat food not considering the effects on my body.

When I tried to lose weight, I did it the only way I knew – dieting. The very way Indians say the word gives it a different twist, almost sinful,¬†embarrassing¬†and something to hide – think of your high school mean girl nemesis sneering and saying, “Oh, you need to diet because you are fat”. But I did not reckon with my mind – the variety of Indian food prepared during a special occasion, and every other week had a special occasion – would drive my mind crazy.

Denial did not work, and so the love-hate relationship continued as did the fluctuations in my weight.

Then I met Lee.

He was a trainer at MSAC (Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Center) and he introduced me to the concept of portion control. It was amazing how I started enjoying food, because there was no need to deny myself what I cooked for my husband. He also taught me the importance of eating sensibly so that would influence me against binging. And the importance of not beating myself up if I did binge.

5 years later back in Atlanta (but never having met another trainer who has influenced me as much as Lee or who I liked as much), I still carry the things I learnt. But I have an added weapon in my arsenal.

Running.

In the beginning it was extremely difficult to not eat everything in sight, and I’m sure it will be difficult when the miles start increasing. But running gives me a release to eat what I want to (within limits). I no longer feel guilty about eating at the husband’s birthday party. Nor do I feel guilty about 3 veggie fajitas (no cheese) on corn tortillas and chips on the “side”.

The funny thing though – The “passport” to eat what I want, I find that I don’t abuse it. I use it to have a small piece of dessert or something manageable.

Running has also given me the self-control against binging, and it has also given me an almost normal relationship with food.

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