To The Strugglers, To Me, To Us

So, here we are again, another ramble. You know, what? Sometimes I just feel almost silly here typing at a screen to people I’ll probably never see, may never interact with in any meaningful regard, will never know what impact, or lack of, these posts might make to them. I mean if I started this with: Heya, Spanky, would it even matter? It’s the message that matters, the intention to bring something worthwhile into existence, right? I hope so and I’ll continue to believe it. Don’t worry dearest of readers, I won’t lower the tone of the blog’s style so drastically. We’re here today to talk about a subject near and dear to me, in other words: Me! Yeah, this isn’t a post where we turn the Is to Us-es, er, you know what I mean. We need to do this and we all know this. No, that rarely resonates with me, we’re all too individual and all too similar too. We’re a complex mess of everything wonderful and awful. There’s that we again, sorry about that. How did we make that mistake? Heh.This is just a little look at where I am in my free-food journey. My healthy travels. My life in regards what I eat. Without any further ado, let’s start.

Dearest, Spanky.

Kidding. I’m not going to lead gradually into a listed version of my thoughts, I’m going to barrel ahead full speed with hopes for clarity. There came a point in all this, the weight-loss, the healthy eating, the, well, everything, when I realised that the life that was, as well as most of the person that was, no, that’s not a fat joke, well, it kinda is, was no longer. It had been purged, or perhaps usurped, or it just went quietly into that good night. All these new habits, now firmly cemented, all this new, though no longer new to me, food, this new…-ish body, still a work in progress, no surgery yet, sadly, all of this new has become the everyday, the mundane, dare I say, ordinary? There is still a struggle, but its the everyday struggle everyone faces to a different degree. This life has simply put become mine. How? I have no idea, time, effort, a stubborn unwillingness to quit. So I thought I should look at the things that have become so vital to me. Perhaps they’re the things that have created this life, this person, perhaps they’re an after-product of all those time. I have no idea, maybe in a few more years I’ll understand it all better. I wouldn’t hold your breath, curious reader.

*Picks up crumpled note* Oh, geez, ahem. Oops. I had all this worked out while eating cereal and now it’s gone. Let’s try getting it back. You might think I’m being facetious, you don’t know how bad my memory is. Alright! The first thing that strikes me as funny is all the staples that I have acquired. I mean staple foods, no staples for injury, I’m not that clumsy. There are foods I just stock up on without thought, mostly the basic foodstuffs that many would ignore. Bananas, apples, frozen berries, blanched vegetables, nut butters, spices, herbs, yoghurt. God only knows what else. Or I would if I could muster the effort to think more, this will suffice. So often these seemed for others. Now they’re mine, or I’ve made them my own. They’re no longer bought to be healthy, or with intent to someday eat, now they’re just a part of the kitchen, sitting there in their assigned places. I could no more neglect to eat my daily banana than I could to think up a suitable comparison for this analogy. This didn’t happen without effort. There are staples I don’t like, ones I just tolerate because they’re not terrible. Vegetables I learned to eat because they could be stored or frozen. I tell you, learning to freeze fresh produce, to store food, to make it from scratch as easily as you’d think up a clever end to this sentence, took time, but it was worth it. I no longer cook and ask why I should, I’d feel odd if I wasn’t preparing my own food day in and day out. I’ve made shortcuts for myself, made it easier by rote and practice, I’ve helped it blend in as part of my everyday routine. The aberration would no longer be me cooking a meal, the opposite would be. I still think of it as work, but it’s work that I now do without much conscious thought and certainly without any thoughts of stopping.

I wish I could articulate this all better. I feel for those struggling to get to a point where they no longer feel that any food related troubles are impossible to overcome and endure. Not to say it’s easy, just to let you know it gets better, different too, trust me on that if nothing else, Spanky. Another aspect that strikes me is the giving up of the ephemeral, the transient, the, wait can those be given up? My head hurts. What I’m getting at is this: If you rely too much on mixes, pre-packaged foods, on exact and specific brands then you’ll have trouble when they go and they all go, trust me. Only I stay by you, only I endure, only I am the last modest person in all this! Well, that went awry. Basically eat fruit, seeds, nuts, vegetables, those things rarely vanish. I can’t count the times that I was caught short because a brand was no longer available, the more specific it was and the more reliant I was on it the bigger the issue it became and the more demoralising the whole experience was. My flour disappears? Now I can survive, I’ll be angry, but I can manage. How? Well, I started by eating everything I could. You ever look at a butternut squash? It’s oddly shaped. People have no idea what it is. How to prepare it can be a mystery shrouded in further mysteries. But I bought it, probably in trepidation that I’d be asked what I was doing with that odd vegetable. Oh, the looks, the questions I’ve gotten when pulling out some unheard of, unfamiliar food. People are a nuisance is what I’m driving at. But stick to it, you’ll open up pathways to better places, to more enjoyable meals and to better health. There is no greater feeling than walking into the free-from section, knowing what everything there is, and watching another struggling. You walk up to them, Spanky, and you look them in the eye and you how what you do? You cock a snook and run away! No. No. I’m joking. You just know that you’ve done well to get where you are.

I’m checking for typos and sense, one of which may be plentiful, the other less so. I suppose lastly I look at the person I am, have I really changed so much? Probably, I have skills I never would have thought I could obtain, interests I never knew existed. So much has changed, but it doesn’t feel alien, it feels natural, like there were gaps in myself that needed to be filled. In dealing with all these problems I’ve acquired more than I overcame. It’s not the dramatic rebirth so many claim, maybe it is for them. Who am I to say? I’m just a slightly better me. But any degree of improvement is worthy of celebration, right? Yeah. There are things I’d have done differently, times I wish I could undo, so much to say that I just can’t articulate. Now though, if nothing else, I’ve given myself the time, the life, the self, maybe that’s the word, to look at all I want and try to realise some of my hopes, my dreams. No matter how simple. If you’re struggling, with weight, with food troubles, with, well, anything, then remember you’re struggling to be happy. There’s no greater struggle, it’s probably selfish, surely it is, but it’s deserved, so much can lead to misery, if you’re fighting to be happier, then you’re doing the right thing. I don’t know how to get there, it’s probably be something I always have to fight for. Worth it, worth every damn minute of this journey we call life. I’ll leave it at this, press publish and then wonder if I should just delete all this. I won’t though, not now. Maybe once, but these words, how ever little import they contain, deserve to be left out there, floating on the great expanse of endless stories that is the internet. Thanks for sticking with me for a while, you’re a good egg, Spanky. Okay, I’ll stop.


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