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Food and I always, ALWAYS had a love hate relationship. It has been my friend and my enemy. I’ve used it for pleasure and I’ve used it for pain. Never (until recently!) have I seen food as a source of pride. An experience. Something to be enjoyed, cared for and something to be passionate about. Slowly, slowly, slowly a new world has started to open for me. I thank my husband fully for this. He’s grew up with a foodie Dad, who pushed him to cook and to enjoy everything he put into his mouth. Every time Hubs and I go out he gets me out of my shell a little more. I remember when we first started going out seriously, I was ashamed to go out and eat in public. Thinking everyone was looking at me. Why was the fat girl eating? I know that’s not what they were thinking now, but it felt that way. My meals would consist of things like pasta, chicken, bread and potatoes. Now those are well and good things, however why have pasta when you can have risotto? Why have chicken when you can have venison? Why have bread…okay I got nothing here, there is always a reason for a good loaf of bread! You catch my drift? Over the years I have been branching out and trying all sorts of things I would never thought I would enjoy, or want to eat. For my birthday I had sheep’s brains wrapped in prosciutto. Not something you’d want to eat everyday, but I tried it!

Now in a quest for optimal skinniness I have been avoiding all the foods I love and love to try because well, one does not get skinny with food. Do they? A few years back I went to weight watchers, a lovely place where big people go to learn about eating. I never EVER thought about it at the time, but they were on to something. The basis for WW is that you can eat anything in this life you want. ANYTHING! Eat cake, eat bread, eat risotto, eat venison, eat chocolate…eat it all! There is one catch; you can’t eat it all, meaning you can’t eat all the cake, you can’t eat the whole loaf, you can’t eat the whole shank. Practice the art of moderation. It worked for a short while. I lost weight, worked out and got in fighting form. My body stopped at a certain weight and even though most people call this a plateau, it’s called your body reaching optimal health and knowing that you’re in the best health of your life. You have to be comfortable at that weight.

Funny enough; 11 years later, after working out for almost three years straight. After Three years of trying this and that. I’m back to my WW basis. I refuse to count points and I refuse to calorie count. But I’m here. In the world of moderation. I went paleo for a while, with hopes and dreams of sculpting my body into some goddess. However I was just stuck. I think it has good base. Eat real food. Make real food. Love and enjoy real food! However there is so much off-limits. No grains, no beans, no dairy… none. I think for some people that works and I think for some people no grains provides very very good health benefits as does dairy free and every one knows someone who should never EVER eat beans! If you are paleo and you’re feeling the best health of your life then I applaud you! For a foodie like me, it wasn’t working. When I had a chance to have a slice of cake, I’d want the whole damn cake! When I allowed bread, I’d want the whole loaf. That’s not healthy, denying yourself anything is not healthy!

Three years ago I set out on a mission for myself to get healthy. Somewhere down the road it turned into something totally off base. You should never set yourself a goal to be skinny. Skinny is a word. Healthy is not (well it is, but you tangibly feel healthy!). My goal over the summer for my kids has by osmosis turned into my goal. I want to eat cake, I love cake! I want to eat bread, I love bread! I want to eat risotto, I love risotto. I want to eat EVERYTHING. I am a foodie and the world is full of food that we should all love and enjoy!

What a freeing experience when you know you CAN have cake everyday. But how you approach that is what makes it awesome. I allow myself a treat at lunch everyday. Every damn day. Now am I eating all the cake? All the cookies? All the mousse? No. I put a small portion on my plate, I take time with the bites. I notice the flavors, the smell, the texture. When I’m satisfied I stop. Full stop. That could be two bites in, or the whole thing. The fact is, I ate it and enjoyed it. There was no guilt attached or my favorite thought ‘now I will have to go to the gym for 5 hours’.

I refuse to punish myself any longer. I love food (have I said it enough??) I want to eat what I want and cook what I want. I want to believe in the food I’m cooking. I will eat it all. Moderation. All in moderation.

Recently I read an article where Melissa Mccarthy talks about her current weight loss. She said she didn’t do anything special. She ate what she wanted when she wanted. She let go of the guilt associated with that and loved the food she put into her body. She just practiced a little moderation. Those lovely French people I’ve been reading about have this mastered too. Then WW! maybe there is something to this, that we’ve all been missing. Maybe it isn’t about denying yourself what you love, it’s about letting go of the guilt and allowing yourself one of the world’s finest gifts, the gift of eating. In Moderation