According to Google, food is defined as any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink in order to maintain life or growth.
I feel that this does not begin to scratch the surface of what food truly can mean to people and culture as a whole.
Food can be an experience, a conversation, a friend, a form of comfort…but it can also be one of the most challenging relationships we can inhabit.
While I am passionate about training and fitness, food is still a struggle for me at times due to our rocky relationship and tumultuous past.
I have always struggled with enjoying food to excess. I was an overweight child and the youngest of three, so I was seldom told no. As I grew into my preteen years I began to realize that I was always the heaviest in my class, but food was never something I ran from.
This led me to steadily gain weight and I was even too heavy to play pee wee football as a child.
When I was in middle school my Dad signed me up for after school wrestling and because of my weight I had to wrestle with high school athletes. It did not go well.
One of my biggest regrets is that I did not form a healthy relationship with food at a young age. As a junior in high school I was at my heaviest of 280 lbs and a vastly different body type than what I am now.
Growing up and even to this day I have a sweet tooth, a carb tooth, a meat tooth, and until I was in around 18 I had a heavy soda tooth.
Going into college is when I finally buckled down and took lifting and exercise more seriously. I also began to become more thoughtful of my food choices and formed habits that I carry to this day.
My habits began to change out of necessity due to the fact that I was attending a military college. I do consider myself fortunate that this was my starting point and was not due to health issues.
This is where I learned that small achievable steps were the best way to make the best possible changes. The first thing to go and remain gone to this day was soda.
While I was able to get a handle on most cravings, they are still present. I feel the reason most people fail to remain constant with weight loss is that they are unable to cope with the fact that the craving will usually remain.
While I am a fitness professional now, I still have to keep myself in check in regards to food choices. I have learned that you can’t out-train a bad diet.
Even for me, the temptations are very present and often difficult to overcome. I do not consider myself a food addict, but I do still have difficulty in staying with the best selection of food.
If you struggle as I do, the best advice I can give is to simply slow down. We live in a hustle and bustle society where we grab and go. This has led me to make bad choices in the name of speed and convenience.
By prepping or deciding what we eat the day before we take measurable steps to eliminate temptation.
I am by no means immune to eating bad foods and sometimes more often than I like, it is recognizing the behavior before old habits creep up.
Food can be an uphill battle that will have many ups and downs. I have experienced them and still do on a daily basis.
I have been the serial snacker and the carb loader. Enjoying what you eat is important, but you cannot forget food’s primary purpose as fuel.
Too little and we cannot sustain our bodies, too much and we gain excess weight. My relationship with food has taught me that balance is key.
Maintaining that balance is how we still find enjoyment and comfort in food while properly fueling ourselves for the rigors of life without overindulgence.
Keep that balance so you can let food fuel you and not let it rule you.
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