Food is my life and my life sentence.
I love baking and cooking. I love cookery books, full of interesting flavours and combinations. I love cookery programmes and competitions which feed my passion for new ideas and flavours.
Food is my hobby. I love cooking for people: a simple dinner, a three course special occasion or a cake. Seeing that people are enjoying my food makes me immensely happy. A night in with family and friends and tasty food is bliss, as is a good meal out at a bistro or restaurant. Treats and a good film is heaven.
But, food is guilt, torture and comfort too.
I evaluate every meal, every mouthful hating myself for any over- indulgence. When I restrict my food to punish myself for my greed I am unhappy and long for something else.
When I am tired, I crave salty-savoury. When I am hormonal, I crave sweet. I’m tired a lot. I have PCOS so hormones are an issue too.
I use food to comfort and food to overwhelm my emotions: often stood at the kitchen counter, sense-blind to everything but my anxiety or stress trigger. And then I come to and feel the food in my mouth and see the half empty packet in my hand, heart thudding.
I have been overweight for 27 years. I have tried every diet I can get my hands on, many times. I have searched the Internet for answers so many times. Food, diets, calories consume so many of my thoughts.
Breakfast is rushed at my desk whilst reading emails or guiltily eyeing the door to my office in case someone walks in and sees me.
Lunch is often rushed too at my desk or self consciously eaten whilst on duty. Tea is made when I am exhausted, often too hungry and tired to care what it is and under pressure to feed three hungry children with my eye on the clock.
I believe that the first thing that people see is my weight. I believe that people treat my differently because of my weight. I think I am probably going to end up alone because of my weight and the way that it has destroyed any self-esteem that has been hard won by a small weight loss.
Despite the many, many contradictions in the Diet World, I know I need to eat less to lose weight. I have a fair idea how to eat healthily. I love vegetables and fruit. I love variety. I have successfully lost weight but never enough and it always goes back on after a few years. I hate my body, I hate my greed and my dependence on food.
The scales has ultimate power over me. If I don’t weigh, I eat too much. When I lose weight, I celebrate or treat myself with food often subconsciously but not always. When I put weight on I punish myself by giving up or comfort myself by eating.
Twenty seven years of failure is enough to make you believe that you are never going to succeed. Small successes pale into insignificance compared to the huge amount I need to lose. Goals are never reached, motivation is depressing.
Food is not greed, to me. Food is my poison, my comfort and my cure.
Food is my life. My hobby, my happiness, my habit; my comfort, my culture. Losing weight is not about eating less but about changing my life, changing 37 years of bad habits and traditions.
I don’t know where to start anymore.