The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Food, Glorious Food

As a rule I try not to look back on aspects of my life with regret. There’s nothing I can do about things past; besides, whatever happened contributed to the superb, fantastic, yet modest, person I am today.

However, there have been times of late when I’ve been almost overwhelmed with a sense of lost opportunity and it’s to do with food.

As has been mentioned in other posts, Maggie is truly a superb cook. What she is capable of creating through mixtures of buttery, creamy, sugary stuff is mouth-wateringly beyond description.

As has also been mentioned in other posts, I used to weigh 19½ stone (275lbs or 125kg), but over the past 2½ years have lost over 7 stone (100lbs or 45kg) through eating healthily and ongoing battles with food cravings.

Part of the reason I got up to 19½ stone in the first place was indeed easy access to my wife’s tremendous cooking ability, but that was only a part of it. The truth is an awful lot of that weight was gathered from years of eating crappy food that was ok but not of my wife’s making, and nothing special.

If I was going to get that big, why on earth didn’t I do it by eating really tasty, drool-inducing, mouth-slobbering, belly-filling, scrumptious, frumptious food - food worth risking your health for?

It feels like such a wasted opportunity.


Mary Witzl said...

I'm with you on this 100%: I'm a food elitist. If I'm going to take in calories, they'd damn well better be good-tasting ones.

I used to bake all the time, but found that by cutting down on this I took away a lot of the temptation that I too struggle with. In order to supplement the fat and sugar calories he is no longer ingesting, my husband goes out and buys junk food: cheap meat pies and sausage rolls, cookies stuffed full of hydrogenated fat, with sugary centers, bags of crisps. I can resist all of that stuff just fine. But then our neighbor, who is a fantastic cook, brings over one of his apple pies or a batch of vol-au-vents. And I am undone.

savannah said...

that's the thing...indulge only in the good things of this world, but not all the time, sugar ;-) and most definitely, not at the same time!

MsAmpuTeeHee said...

I understand that. And as an extension, I also discovered that when I was allowing myself to have something decadent and full of yummy goodness, that I'd eat it before I could even really taste it. It would be like--gone--and I couldn't even actually recall chewing it. What kind of crazy is that??! Realizing I was doing that has been a great wake up call though. I have made many changes lately ;-)

Eryl Shields said...

The opportunity is yours again! Now you've lost that seven stone you can regain it eating only the best Maggie's talent has to offer.

On a, sightly, more serious note next time we meet for coffee you can strap me to your back and try walking around town with me because I weight a little under seven stone. You'll be able to feel what it would be like to carry that much extra weight again. That should put you off junk (if not all) food forever!

Tom said...

I'm about to break for lunch: Now, should I have crappy Big Mac or the crappy Burger King Whopper?

Which will I regret more one day? Contrats on keeping it off, Kim. You're my hero...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Think of what you're teaching your kids, Kim. You're teaching them, by example, responsibility for their own health and diet, gumption at losing all that weight, and determination in keeping it off. If they see you eating Maggie's home cooking as opposed to the chemical crap they sell us in the shops that's a good lesson too. Home-baking is one of the comforts of life and there's nothing wrong with enjoying it.

Kanani said...

I think it's just so easy to eat junk these days and mistake it for food!

The other night I was really tired and didn't feel like cooking. So we went out to a popular restaurant. The tab came and it was equivalent to a half week's groceries or more.

Bottom line: it wasn't worth it. Didn't taste nearly as good as what I could cook here.

The other thing I do to watch calorie intake is that I eat on time. That way I'm less prone to snack.

Pendullum said...

It is always good to re examin a life...and paths we have taken...
and roads which we are on... Seem more pleasant when we see how far we have come...
; )

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - I almost think it's a self respect thing. We're more likely to cram junk into our mouths if we don't feel we deserve better on some level

Savannah - I can't afford to all the time - I always knew I was born to be one of the idle rich, but my parents let me down...

AmpuT - I think it's another version of what I said to Mary, above - part of us doesn't feel we deserve to enjoy it

Eryl - I'm glad the idea of strapping you to my back and walking round town is on a more serious note...

Tom - make yourself a nice sandwich with granary bread

Sam - we've always tended to be a bit more careful with the kids' food. And we try and get Rogan to cook at least one meal a week now

Kanani - I do like to eat out when I can, but I seriously object to paying for food I could have done better myself for a fraction the cost

Pendullum - it's true, sometimes we forget how far we've travelled

The Birdwatcher said...

I feel the same way about my alcohol consumption. All those brain cells and liver capacity wasted on lager, when I could have been drinking real ales or fine wines. Mind you I wouldnt have remembered any of it.

Well done on the weight loss. Its one thing to lose it and another to keep it off.

Kanani said...

Well, I like to cook. Lately I've been reading more of my cookbooks. And on YouTube --which is really the MOST addicting thing in the world, there are all sorts of cooking spots to watch.

I've even noticed loads of Gordon Ramsay uploads. He's very good, but his TV shows are generally so swearing loaded and he humiliates everyone around him that it's a god send for him that he has these short 2 - 6 minutes snippets where he's not swearing, but just cooking!

Kim Ayres said...

Birdwatcher - I like it - I can see how thoughts about alcohol could be exactly the same :)

Kanani - Another British cook you might enjoy is Jamie Oliver - he's creative, natural and usually doesn't swear as much.

Anonymous said...

When I used to cheat on the no-gluten diet, back when cheating only meant a slight stomach ache and not the debilitating flu-like feeling I get for a week if I ingest the stuff today, I was VERY particular about what I would eat to cheat. I love pizza--so I only ate the best at Two Amy's in D.C., with occassional nods to the place next to my old office job. I crave donuts, still, but would only eat half a Reeves Bakery blueberry donut (made fresh every day until they closed earlier this year after decades and decades as a DC institution). Now, absolutely nothing tempts me to cheat because I value how well I feel when I don't. Now, I have to be ultra vigilent about hidden ingredients in food stuffs I never would suspect might "poison" me. Halloween was not good to me--Snickers, it turns out, has soy in it, a no-no for my allergy. Thus, nother junk food off the list (I almost cried when I discovered Good n' Plenty candy has wheat in it!). My point in this way too-long comment: At some point, maybe one just quits fighting the urges, and instead of giving in, gives oneself a break. No drama, no angst, just not eating what ails you. Cheers, my friend.

Jeff said...

Great point Kim...

Most people go to New Orleans to party...I go to eat..some of my favorite foods and places to eat are there. And it's all sooo good.


Anonymous said...

sorry in advance.

this isnt about you and is on and off topic at the same time. it is just a saturday night rant.

overweightness (new word?) is one of the things i get annoyed about. i have in my time been in a few very poor countries and seen that obesity simply doesnt exist in them.

therefore the whole argument about big boned or glandular doesnt cut it with me at all. it is possible to make a cultural case for the problems of obesity but the genetic one is an argument i just dont buy.

i am very happy you have managed to get to a position you are more happy with.

Kim Ayres said...

Restaurant Gal - If you know you're going to be in pain, or unwell if you eat certain foods, I guess it makes it easier to avoid them, even if it doesn't remove the cravings.

Jeff - I'm all for enjoying good food - the problem is knowing how to stop...

Michael - as someone who is very aware of the complexities of politics and the environment, I'm sure you won't be fooled into thinking that obesity is a simple problem with simple solutions.

Big boned won't make more than about a stone's difference, and gland problems affect very few people (although it is a real problem for that few).

The probelms of eating more than your body requires can be a mix of many different things and just throwing the label "greed" on it, which is the most common reaction, utterly fails to take into consideration a whole pile of different factors.

I've written about this on a number of occasions. If you're interested take a look at these posts

Why Did I Overeat?
For the next time you see the finger being pointed at the fat person, and
The difference between Habit and addiction

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