In a rather ironic twist of events, I am now freelancing the food beat for The Roanoke Times, the daily newspaper where I used to work for seven years as a newsroom manager/blogger/columnist/page editor.
Check one off for my 2014 goals: I will be writing a lot more now.
As I have documented here during the last five years, my relationship with food is, in Facebook terms, complicated.
I love food — I’ve been cooking full meals since I was 9 years old. And food loved me so much it was clinging to me. And all that clinginess led to joint disintegration, high blood pressure, muscle atrophy and inability to move without pain.
So I had to reframe the boundaries of my relationship with food to save my body and my life.
So 2013 was the year I developed a new relationship with food — concentrating on nutrition and reading labels like a hawk, eating more whole foods, consuming smaller portions. I bypassed fast food faves for more protein-laden, complex carb-oriented, lower-calorie meal choices.
Simple carbs, especially bread and sugar became, to quote Cookie Monster, “a sometime food.”
And I felt much better for it. I lost 49 pounds before I went under the knife and had my tummy reconfigured. Since then I’ve lost more than 50 additional pounds. I incorporated exercise into my daily routine and found it really is a better stress reliever than cupcakes — an idea I would have LOLed in the past.
While surgery has certainly helped me with portion control, make no mistake, there are ways around that. I know that I could gain the weight back. Small amounts of high calorie food goes down easy, as does soft, gooey desserts and liquids. I could graze and sip my way back to where I was if I don’t stay focused.
So that’s why I believe writing about food and becoming immersed in the local food scene here will actually be good for me. I want to continue to make my best food choices and I want to continue to eat really good food in reasonable quantities.
Nobody likes being preached to about their food. I don’t want to use this new platform to lecture readers about health food. But I do think I can lend a voice to those looking for lighter options while still satisfying those who can indulge in decadence.
The two philosophies I want to use with my new column and blog (header hasn’t been updated yet, btw) is that no food is off-limits (unless you have a medical reason to eliminate certain foods, obviously) when consumed in moderation and that no matter how nutrition-packed and healthy a food is, if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not worth investing a single calorie.
Those philosophies match this blog, too.
I will continue to post here about weight loss, bariatric surgery, exercise and fitness and of course, food. Sometimes the paths of the two platforms may cross, since both will be on my Facebook page, so I will definitely be a lot less sweary here.
Gotta keep it professional and represent, yo.
So let’s see if I can do this. One of my food writing heros, Frank Bruni, struggled with weight all his life and just when he got it under control, he became the restaurant critic for The New York Times. He managed his beat and maintained his fitness. Here’s to being Bruni-like in this new adventure.