I’m about to say something that I think is one of the most pretentious, hackney, idiotic things I have every said, or typed, since I described my 5 years post dropping out of school as “finding myself”:
This past year, I’ve been on a journey. A food journey. Since my dad died, I began cooking more. I don’t know if it’s in a effort to somehow connect with him because he used to cook amazing food all the time, or because when I was little we used to watch the Frugal Gourmet together. Or if it’s because now that he’s gone, someone has to make the food.
I know in part it’s because of me wanting to start eating healthier – and part of that means cooking for myself. But my opinion on food is different than other peoples, it seems.
I truly enjoy cooking and baking for myself. Going to the grocery store and thinking about all the food I’m going to make and share and get to enjoy in the coming week or two is a small joy in an otherwise dull or stressful week. And because, for me, food is something that I can never associate with anything other than joy, I want my food to always be delicious.
I don’t want to force myself to eat a meal because it’s healthy for me. If it tastes gross, if it brings me no joy, I want nothing to do with it.
So, despite the fact that the media, and commercials, and random strangers who are also apparently doctors because they know what’s good for me, tell me I should eat low calorie things, I don’t. I want my milk whole; my cheese to be cheese and not “cheese product”. My food should be full of the things that make that food what it is, not substituted with chemicals to make it taste almost like the thing but most decidedly tastes off.
Even fellow fat people will tell me I should eat the low calorie stuff. But food that is not naturally low fat/low calories doesn’t taste good to me, and I certainly don’t want to cook with them.
The thing is, I cook with cream, and butter, and bacon, and all of that. I also control my portions. While I could have 2 servings of a hearty beef stew made with lean beef, low calorie beef broth, no potatoes, and no cream, I’d rather have one serving of something that doesn’t taste like beef water.
And here’s the thing – watching my calories, being careful with portions – it’s been working. I mean, it’s not fast, I’ve lost about 30lbs since last July, it makes me feel better overall. I still get to look forward to my meals, knowing it’s going to be delicious, and I get used to knowing what being hungry feels like – I used to not, I’d eat when I was bored – and to know what it feels like to be full but not disgustingly overly full – which is a state I was usually in.
So now I make my own whipped cream, butter, and mayonnaise, from scratch. I’ve made my own pesto and tomato sauce. I’ve created some delicious desserts and snacks to enjoy. I eat way more vegetables and fruits (though I’ve always been a fan). I portion out my snacks so I know how much I can have, and I pace my eating better. I count my chewing when I remember so I can remind myself to slow the fuck down because I’m not in a rush, I don’t have to be somewhere.
It’s been an amazing journey. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but I have a long way to go.
And I’ll toss up some recipes and more cooking stuff from time to time =)