Since I can remember, even from a young age I have always been able to eat large quantity of food. Let's say it is one of my many talents, that I provide the world with. One of the first challenges which spring to mind was when I was around ten years old, and my ex step-dad dared me to eat a three course meal (it was around Christmas time). None of the family believed that I would conquer a prawn cocktail salad with a bread roll, a roast dinner and a chocolate pudding without no trouble. Well they were all wrong. I munched my way through those three meals without no struggle (Ok there was some struggle near the end, but I'm no quitter). This I feel, was a start of a beautiful love/hate relationship with food.
Living in a household with Eastern European grandparents (I'm very proud of my heritage) there was always plenty of food around. I can say that my grandmother had an unhealthy relationship with food, as during the second world war she went through starvation at a very young age, so she always wanted to make sure that me and my brother were always stuffed with food. I know I wasn't complaining, we were very spoilt children. My granddad (who I used to call Kiki) use to make us ice cream floats. For those people who have no idea what I am talking about, an ice cream float is a drink where you either use cream soda or coke and then top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you haven't tried this delicious drink, you have not yet lived and I tell you to go and try it out as soon as you can. For a treat of course. We always got sent off to school with a full stomach of either scrambled eggs with bacon, with a side of tomato sauce and two pieces of bread and butter or my all time favourite, a big bowl of spaghetti and sausage with two pieces of toast layered with butter. Like I said we were spoilt. My Grandmother was also a big and I mean a big fan of a good takeaway. We lived off a long main road in Brixton called Acre Lane, which was notoriously known as a pretty dangerous road but that is where all the good takeaway shops were at. On a weekly basis, we would have our weekend treat which could range from a greasy Chinese (the lady was on first name terms with my grandmother) to a greasy kebab. It was our choice, weren't we lucky!
Fortunately back in the day though I did love watching way too much television, I was still a very active child. Luckily the weight did stay off, but then puberty started so I wasn't able to eat like a horse as the weight slowly started to pile on. When I started secondary school I was still living in London and I spent one year going to an all girls Catholic secondary school, which I loved. Though I was doing well at this school, my diet however wasn't. The amount of food I was eating was gluttonous. Looking back at what I would eat on a daily basis back then does shock me. For one small girl I was probably eating for four small girls, no word of a lie. In a day I would munch through a sausage roll or two- washing it down with a bottle of full sugar Ribena. Then when I arrived at school if I had spare money left over (most of the time I did, spoilt remember) I would go to the canteen, where I would purchase a bacon roll (or two) alongside a hot chocolate. Oh I would also eat a banana as I "didn't like having breakfast" that was my excuse. I would probably have a snack or two before lunch, then at lunch, eat a full meal probably with a dessert as well. Then after school, if I had some change left over I would get another snack before getting the bus back home. When reaching home I was handed dinner which was definitely an adult size portion, stuff that in my face and then more than likely ask for dessert straight afterwards as I was still hungry. Most of the time the dessert was ice cream, either Vienetta, a Fab or a Cornetto. But I couldn't just have one could I- that would be bizarre, I would have to eat two or at least half the block of Vienetta. I was certainly unstoppable.
Looking back at my eating habits, since I was a young girl, I realise I ate my feelings. I didn't realise I did that but clearly I did ( sometimes still do). Food sometimes can be such a comfort for me, as food can't judge me plus I have the control of what I put in my gob. In some ways I have been fighting addiction to food for many years, without even realising it. Like self medicating in way. I know I definitely did that with alcohol, during my teens and early twenties. It's a lot easier to get a drive thru KFC, than to work on yourself and look at why you feel that way. Eating a calorific meal is certainly more satisfying, but you still have to deal with your shitty emotions the next day. It's one big cycle, going around and around which makes you feel dizzy and overwhelmed. It feels like you cannot win.
Though I brush it off as joke, when people comment on my large portions or say things like "where do you put it" "you’ve got a healthy appetite" and "you can't be able to eat all that". It's probably a subject I don't want to face as I always tell myself, "I know what to do" "I need to stop eating so much" and of course "I need to get back to exercising". What I have come to realise while writing this post is that, for many years I have been in a vicious cycle and I always end up beating myself up about it. Like a lot of the time I put my head in the sand, hoping nothing isn't going to bite me on the arse. But of course it does and it bloody hurts.
Most of the time I feel out of control so that's why I reach for devilish food, which are high in saturated fat, high in sugar, high in salt because those sort of foods are addictive and make me feel warm inside and give me that boost I need. Just typing this up, I want to get hold of myself and shake me while saying "bitch, what the hell are you doing, stop being in denial and get your shit together". Like I have said in past blog posts, it is so much more easier to say things than to physically do it at all.
The brain can be stubborn, you can be in complete denial and blind to the fact that you have a problem in the first place. I know for a fact my brain is like that most of the time, but sometimes I let my guard down and realise I need to get out of this routine that I am in. It's not an easy thing to do and more than likely I will over eat again (habits are hard to break) but I am fully aware of the things I have to do, so I don't end up in another vicious cycle again.