Once when I was about ten, we went to a resort for my birthday weekend, lots of swimming, water slides and general water fun! I had been swimming all morning and later that day my parents came to me and asked me if I wanted some lunch. I asked what the time was – because that’s how you know when you are hungry, right? I had missed lunch, it was almost dinner time, I didn’t feel hungry and I hadn’t even thought about eating.
That was the last time I forgot to eat.
Since then food has been constantly on my mind. What should I eat? Is this too much food? Is this the right food to be eating? When will I get my next meal? It’s not like I have ever been hungry, we have always had food in the house, yet I somehow found myself with a deprivation mindset.
Quite honestly my mindset didn’t start to change until last year. You see when I was dieting, I felt hungry, wanted to know when it would be okay to eat again or when I could finally stop. When I exercised it was to burn more calories, so that I could either eat a little bit more or so that my caloric deficit would be higher. I never felt satisfied with the process.
I cannot imagine forgetting to eat, but not because I feel deprived, rather because I eat to fuel my body and workouts. Eating has become automatic, veggies, protein and then starchy carbohydrates, drink water before anything else and then the other snacks fall in between. Someone recently asked me ‘what do you snack on? Nuts?’. I was stumped! I didn’t know how to answer, because I don’t snack on one particular thing. So I explained that I do like nuts, and they have their health benefits, but my snacks tend to be protein bars and protein shakes. I explained that in the summer months I am more likely to snack on berries because they are in season and readily available. I went onto explain how I take a bar of Lindt 90% dark chocolate to work and let it sit all week, whilst I break off 2 squares each afternoon and snack on those. She looked at me in complete shock, which is what normally happens.
I started to wonder whether this makes me sound like I think I am better than other people because I can do this.
I went home dwelling on this idea, and realised that this doesn’t make me ‘better’ than anyone else, because some days it is 3 squares and some days I still eat more than I really should. What it means is that I have something I can share with others. I have taught myself through research and education how to eat, how to eat enough, how to eat for health and how to fuel my body.