My Relationship with Food

Food, in my opinion, is by far my greatest joy in life. There is nothing else in this world that can deliver pleasure to me as consistently and regularly as the act of eating. Sleeping is probably my next most pleasurable activity but is a distant second and is more a habit and a necessity than a pursuit. Albeit, while eating is also a habit and a necessity, it is also so much more than that.

When looking at one’s life from birth to death, I would be as bold as to say that eating is the single most  enjoyable activity that you will pursue throughout your entire life, from that first suckle at your mother’s breast until your last meal the day you die. What other activity even comes close? Sex? Get two people to have sex every day for a month and they will be completely bored with it. Love? Perhaps in a Hollywood movie, but in reality, rarely is love so simple. A mother’s love for her child? Yes, perhaps, but that child will inevitably leave, and while the love will live on in memories, the daily visceral experience of it will be gone. Work? For a few lucky people, actually, yes, I can believe that this could be more enjoyable than food. But for the teeming masses, I contend that food is the only thing that is going to be there for you every day, to help you through the good times and the bad, to share with your friends and family, and to nourish both your body and your mind. And as if all that weren’t already enough, if prepared properly, food can also manage to taste oh soooo good and touch your soul!

Which brings me back full circle to what I’m really trying to say. I love to eat. I mean I really love to eat. The fact that I live in the city with the world’s best food doesn’t hurt. But regardless of where I’ve lived throughout my life, I’ve always loved to eat. Except for those few periods in my life where I’ve gotten into the routine of consuming too much, too regularly, to the point that even the heavenly act of eating became almost mundane. These occasions usually proved to be warning signs that I was living a life of excess, unsustainable, and dangerous for my health.

And then within the realm of food, there is the sweet and the savory. Or in my case, the food of sustenance that enters my stomach and a separate black hole that seemingly has the infinite capacity to suck up anything and everything that is sweet. Yes, I cannot deny that I have a sugar addiction. That is the only way I can justify my acts of selfishness, like polishing off an entire Tim Tam box in one sitting, downing 250g of chocolate in 10 minutes, or even guiltily eating half my son’s birthday cake, none of which go over very well with the other family members. There is no other logical explanation for my acts of selfishness except that I am a sugar addict. But, at least, a repentant one at that. Whilst I have over time managed to tame this fire within my belly to levels that no longer cause consternation in my day-to-day life, I still have a sweet tooth that I suspect is probably my best shot at ever getting into the Guinness Book of World Records.

And it is precisely this love affair with food that led me to alternate day fasting, after many years of yo-yo dieting, in an attempt to find a lifestyle that is both enjoyable and sustainable over the long term.

In short, I fast to eat.


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