Weight Control Infocenter
Food is a Four Letter Word
by Susan Dugdale.
Food is a four letter word. So is `life', `love' and `diet'. Scramble, stir and pour. What
combination do you run? Food is life? Food is diet? Food is love? So
you're a food is life person. Do you live to eat or eat to live? And what
about the person for whom food is immediately associated with a diet? What
lies behind this? Is it a life long struggle to keep hands out of the biscuit
jar and the body clad in svelte size ten? If you love food, do you love it
for itself, it's taste, texture, the socializing associated with sharing
meals or the pleasure in preparing it for others?
Food and our attitudes to it are some of the most fundamental we have. They were laid down
in our infancy, at a time when we were completely incapable of rational
thought about them. Food just `was', if we were lucky and `wasn't' if we
weren't. A baby will spit foods that don't taste right but in the end they
will not starve themselves. They will be trained to eat what is provided.
Somewhere they innately know `food' equals `life'. But things have changed.
We're not children anymore. We're grown up. And if like me, you're of a
`certain age' ,we're the baby boomers. Here we are full of contradictions. We
want life but we want on our own terms. We want freedom , choice and health
as well. A reworking of the foodie cliché, `we want the cake, and to eat
too' is an apt summation. Sadly, it's not that easy.
Glance at any
magazine rack and their covers shriek confusion over food. Slender Miss
Moderately Famous beams her pleasure over discovering the delight to be found
in a diet of bananas. She swears by it and swans around in a bikini to
illustrate its efficacy. The side bar reads `Delicious Deserts' to wow your
friends and `Cake for Comfort', recipes from those by gone days when
cholesterol was king. Nobody demurred over `take six eggs ,beat well
and add to creamed half pound of butter and sugar. And that's without the
Pause for a moment now. How many so -called diets are
you familiar with? How many people do you know are who flip-flopping their
lives between, one diet, no diet and the next?
Atkins diet. Lots of
protein. No carbohydrate. Very few vegetables. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig,
and other systems. Branded, prepared foods, bought as part of the dietary
regime. Fad diets: banana, grape fruit, juice, bread … Diet pills: `fat'
burners plus.( Reading the possible side effects to these is scary, worse
than a horror flick, as it's real people swallowing them.) Surgery?
For some, the life long struggle to find equilibrium with food has got
simply too much. A stomach stapling operation is the answer or maybe wiring
the jaw, to limit the quantity of food that can be put in the
It's interesting to reflect that as the western world
gets richer it also gets fatter. Diseases associated with weight and
hence, food choice and intake, are reaching epidemic proportions. Equally
ironic is that the population of Britain, during its war years (WW2) and
beyond when food rationing was the norm, was at its healthiest. Wealth,
it seems, does not equate with health.
So faced with a barrage of
information and much of it, at least superficially contradictory, how does an
ordinary baby boomer person begin to make sensible conscious
choices around food?
To begin with, the entrée, is work out what your
basic programming is. Were you taught to eat everything put in front of
you, regardless of whether you actually wanted it or not? Clean plates meant
you appreciated the care put into preparation or work done to buy it. In a
family where love was shown through food, to not eat it, may have
been unforgivable. Do you have the `sweet tooth'? This is often associated
with treats, special events, being made to feel worthy. `You've been a very
good girl, so here is an extra slice of cake for you.' Are you a bread and
carbo-junky? The vegetables are for rabbits and I need filling up. I
need solid food. Maybe the hollowness is something other
After a thorough work out we may discover a whole lot
more about ourselves and families that has very little to do with mamma's
famous dumpling stew.
In my family, food was largely fuel. It was
provided and as my mother wasn't such a great cook , it didn't achieve
the status it had in other families I knew. Of course, as children we
envied those other kids who had mothers who made superb cakes, deserts, and
biscuits. Nevertheless, as an adult, I've not had to struggle around food in
ways I've seen my friends do.
My husband, however, came from a `sweet
tooth' background. He was one of those boys who stuffed himself on
lollies, icecream, cake, biscuits, anything with sugar. When he hit that
`certain age', this legacy began to catch or rather build up around his
waist, thighs and hips. He stopped being Mr Lean and became Mr Cuddly.
Needless to say, he didn't like it. Neither did he like, the diminution of
energy he'd always had in boundless quantities. He didn't want to accept a
middle aged lot of thickening body and lessening ability to use it as and
when he wished. There began a quest to find what was right for him in terms
of food. The sweet tooth and bread junkie within were finally
To cut a long story short, ( over a year's
experimentation), we have found what works. It's a modified low-carb diet.
We eat vegetables by the ton with protein. Carbohydrate figures once a
day, in the evening meal. Gone are covert snack attacks and their tell tale
litter of chocolate wrappers. He doesn't even miss them. What I've seen, is
remarkable. The energy is back, the familiar body is back but more than
this is the zest for life. This is baby booming at its best. May it be
bountiful for you too.
Food is life. We love it.
What's Wrong with Losing Weight?
Everyone wants to lose weight, but unfortunately, stepping
on the scale doesn't tell the truth about what's wrong. This article spells it out while giving heaps of details for turning things
around & leading the reader towards health &
Susan Dugdale is a freelance writer and co-worker for This Team Leads: a
group of marketers dedicated to providing honest income opportunities and
resources for `small budget/big dreaming' people. http://www.sss-ebooks.com/index.php?r=40
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