I have loved food since I was a child.
I loved the preparing of it, the ritual of it, and even though I was often picky, I still loved eating it.
I loved the beauty and comfort of food.
I loved the romance of making things from scratch, of going outside to pick oranges off my own tree, and then squeezing them for juice for breakfast.
I was only 10 or 11 years old and already making myself lovely breakfasts in bed, with that fresh squeezed juice, crisp, buttered toast, and scrambled eggs.
It wasn’t Doritos and Oreos that I liked, but honest, home made, delicious food.
I also read cookbooks for fun.
I knew just where the cookbook section was in the library, and had favorite cookbooks I’d read over and over again, like novels.
The best were about breakfast and baking.
I still have some of my earliest, “kid” cookbooks, full of illustrations and kid friendly recipes.
I’d pour over those and beg my mom to let me cook from them.
I never wanted to be a chef, but always a home cook, preparing meals for my family and people I loved.
Making food for people symbolized caring for them.
Although I didn’t know it, I definitely showed my love with food.
Fast forward 30 years and I am still the same girl.
My relationship with food hasn’t changed.
Except I’m not picky anymore.
Thankfully, I grew out of that by the time I was 13 or 14.
But all the rest, the beauty and romance of food, the joy that preparing it and sharing it gives me, and the comfort of it, it is all the same.
I follow foodies on Instagram, when I go to my parents’ house where there is cable, I watch the Food Network, and Bon Appetit is one of my favorite magazines.
I love food.
Because of all this, I often find my relationship with food to be a struggle.
I mean, it feels hard to admit I love food.
Almost as if it is shameful, like admitting I love crack or something.
The thing is, I don’t want to make food bad.
Especially when I am not eating chemical laden, dye infused, processed foods.
But even when I’m eating home made muffins, made of whole wheat flour, apple sauce, and grass fed butter, there can still be a problem.
Because food has calories.
And good or bad, I have to burn those calories off.
Wholesome, home made, muffins might be better for my health, but they still have to be burnt off or they’ll sit on my body and add jiggle to my middle.
I wish it wasn’t so.
I wish I was one of those people who could eat whatever they want and it just doesn’t seem to matter.
But I’m not.
So I exercise.
And yet, the reality is, I still have to be aware of what I eat.
It is my truth, and even though I don’t like it, I am learning to accept it.
Now if I could just learn to continually make the best food choices……
I’ll be honest, it is a daily struggle with me.
Again, I wish I could be more like those people who get all excited about things like cauliflower crust pizza and quinoa cocoa bites.
I really do love roasted vegetables, salmon, salads, and brown rice.
But sometimes, especially at the end of a hard day, all I really want is a brownie and a big iced coffee.
And potato chips–the healthy kind, made with real potatoes, and no other ingredients than oil and salt.
See how I can talk myself into trouble?
I want chocolate all the time, not just sometimes.
I mean, don’t those people ever just want a cheeseburger?
When our trainer, Timmie, gave us a handout last week describing how many burpees it took to burn off some of our favorite foods, we all gasped and groaned.
It was shocking.
About 700 burpees.
But at the same time, I felt kind of empowered.
It’s nice to know the reality of my food choices, and what I need to do to account for them.
To be able to say, “guess I’m taking an extra long run today because I had a cheeseburger on date night.”
And now we come to the hardest part for me.
It’s actually my goal I as I continue to grow into this Living Fit lifestyle.
I want to be honest about whether or not I can burn off those food choices.
If I am loading up on chocolate because I am stressed out, will I really have the energy to burn it all off?
If I have lots of treats on the weekend, will my week ahead allow for the extra workout time I need?
And if not, can I cut back on the treats?
That is the struggle I face.
To not just have the knowledge, but to do something about it.
I share all this because I think it is important to know we are not alone in our struggles.
Sometimes I look at other people and I wonder if I am the only one who battles this stuff.
I don’t think I am.
And now you know you aren’t either.
I hope that is an encouragement to you.
And I hope you’ll give yourself a little more grace when you choose real pizza over cauliflower pizza.
We can cheer each other on as we do all the burpees it will take to burn it off!
Now keep on Living Fit!