2014 – the year I inadvertently got a healthier attitude towards food

I generally don’t delve into my personal life too much on here; despite the slight change of pace and direction on here thebunfight will always primarily be a food blog to me, with various lifestyle, home and craft posts. However, I had a conversation with my mum over the Christmas period and it crept into my mind to write a post dedicated to something important, this being my improved attitude towards food in general (and mostly my increased appreciation of eating carbs with my meals again).

Up until I graduated from university I was slim to average and I was generally perfectly content with how I looked. I’d been brought up eating healthy, home cooked meals by two parents who absolutely doted on me. During my MSc year weight started to creep on and unfortunately during that period of feeling like my career had no direction (that is so common for a lot of us upon graduation) my weight increased to a point in which I was unhappy with how I looked.Fortunately, I ended up moving to a new place for a job related to my degree. Rather more unfortunately I was now cooking for myself and I have a bit of a sweet tooth and a major love for cheese. In addition, an unexpectedly horrible few months led to an unfortunate cycle where I gained even more weight and tried to lose weight eating a low carb diet which I couldn’t maintain and desperately unhappy I ended up comfort eating on sugary, fatty food – exactly what you want to be eating when you’re trying to lose your bingo wings, eh? I still dislike looking at photos of myself from Spring – Autumn 2013 knowing how desperately unhappy I was.

Anyway, I’ve depressed you all enough and this story has a very happy ending. So my life, and self esteem were improved by several things in 2014 which will forever be known as my unexpectedly lovely year. The first one was getting more involved with the right sort of exercise for me – gym classes and running with female friends. If ever there was a lazy woman who needed peer pressure to get off the sofa it was me. I will forever be grateful to my friends from work for barking at me as I ran round various routes in Harrogate (even if i whimpered all the way!) Exercise is so important for your physical and mental health, and although I was going to the gym before I don’t think I really understood the full benefits of fresh air and a more demanding workout.

The other thing that has helped was starting a new relationship and changing living situation. Not for any major reasons to do with looking nice, or obtaining a more positive body image. Have you ever tried to tell a 6ft 3 man with a healthy appetite that his tea that night is a salad? What about fish and vegetables? So, for the ease of cooking for two I started making meals that were a compromise – so things that were relatively healthy but more filling. So starchy carbs such as rice, pasta and bread have all returned to the daily menu and I eat until I feel comfortable.

I no longer snack as much – I get far less hungry between meals generally. I feel more awake and I don’t get as much of a 3pm slump where i feel sluggish. For a number of reasons I feel happier and my general mood has improved. We have dessert as a treat, not a nightly occurrence and neither of us is as bothered about snacking every night. I think when lower carb diets are suggested to people trying to lose weight, we forget that it is difficult to maintain this in the long term. Its not as sustainable for most people. Its far less easy to say no to a chocolate biscuit when your body thinks its missing out by not having porridge for your breakfast. When you’re trying to keep to a lower carb diet, everything outside of this dining experience becomes something of a naughty snack and we start to associate eating things we should be eating less of as a pleasurable experience. I personally have noticed gradual weight loss happening since I unconsciously changed my eating habits.

I still adore cooking and baking and I regularly bake on a Sunday afternoon and I still love blogging and writing about food. However, I don’t feel the same guilt for enjoying treats and I tend to bake more with fruit or make things we can take with our packed lunches or things that will keep during the week. Funnily enough there is a Ferrero Rocher Tart post in the pipeline but this sort of bake has become something I like to make when I have more time, at special occasions.

To summarise, this post feels like an awfully heavy topic for somebody who gets excited by Kinder Egg toys and Moomin pyjamas but diets and body image are partially related to food, right?

Anyway, after a post heavy on feelings rather than cake possibly you’d like to see a few pictures from my year?

D and I at possibly one of the worst restaurants in North Yorkshire

D and I at possibly one of the worst restaurants in North Yorkshire

Hen Do with some of the wonderful people who make me run

Hen Do with some of the wonderful people who make me run

There is so rarely a nice photo of us both

There is so rarely a nice photo of us both – Hallowe’en photobooth fun

Th

ith female friends

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