I enjoy reading food literature books that I can relate with: when the writer has gone through similar life experiences as I have or when the writer shares the same life principles, beliefs as I have. Born Round by Frank Bruni is one of those books. It is one of my ultimate favorite books because I can really relate with some of Frank’s life stages and his struggle with weight, which is a constant struggle of mine, especially now that I’ve packed in a good (but really BAD) 10-kilos in the past 5-months. My heaviest weight EVER. Not good right?
First, it isn’t my fault that I was born into a family of food lovers: a family, whose sole luxury in life is to eat good food.
As soon as I gained consciousness, around 2 years old, I knew that life was all about enjoying the food…lots of it. There are two fond food memories my parents love to share with people:
- At age 3, I finished an entire platter of spaghetti with meatballs (which was meant for 3 people at least) all by myself
- At around the same age, I finished two regular sized ramen bowls (Imagine how big ramen bowls are!) all by myself.
So was this a premonition of my food guzzling future?!?!
Then I started competitive swimming at the tender age of 5. See? Just like Frank Bruni, who also was a competitive swimmer during his younger years.
Unlike normal children, who went to school then went home to enjoy playing with the neighborhood kids or to watch the afternoon variety shows with their yayas (nannies); I spent my after schools training at the swimming pool. Two hours of hard core training – around 5 to 7KM swims = the extreme need for carbo loading. As young as I was, I already learned to pile up a mountain of white rice / noodles on my plate on a daily basis. Plus competition time, which was at least once every two months, meant EXTRA carbo loading. The mountain of carbs turned into two or three mountains of carbs. Yikes! So imagine that I was in competitive swimming for a good 12-13 years? That meant a habit forming 12-13 years of carbo loading! Oh yeah!
I was petite and pleasantly chubby as a kid, though not someone you could call fat or even obese. But since I didn’t have a lean and slim physique as an ideal competitive swimmer would have (You need to be lightweight yet muscular enough to reduce the drag / resistance and cut through the water, creating the speed you need. I was competitive, ok?), I was forced to go on diets and take extra gym glasses in between morning AND afternoon training. I had to do a daily food diary. I had my meals portioned carefully. I took extra cardio classes on top my morning and / or afternoon training. I tried the After 6 diet: no eating after 6PM. Ugh. The diets and cardio helped a little, but still I did not get the svelte body I needed…I just loved eating okay? It’s in the genes.
After those long years of competitive swimming, I decided that I wanted to start a not so new normal life. I wanted to enjoy the normal life of a high school senior: gossiping after school (Well, mostly during class), meeting boys, and whatnot. I wanted a break from the rigorous routine. Yes, I enjoyed that break from my daily training; but, unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy a break from my athletic eating prowess. I lost my athletic built and won a few extra pounds. Not good.
Fast forward to year 2002, I fell in head over heels in love with a food lover. Uh-oh. He introduced me to the deadly concept of the buffet table and eat-all-you-can dinners, which were totally alien to me before I met him. Double uh-oh. Though my family enjoyed eating out regularly (at least once a month), I think we enjoyed it more moderately than he and his family did. We usually ate in up and coming restaurants and hole-in-the-walls in the metropolis with noteworthy quality and not necessarily quantity.
For me and my family, quantity is forgivable if the quality is off the charts. I could live without buffets and eat-all-you-cans, but this guy could not. Smorgasbord dinners then became a regular part of our date night repertoire. Until this very day actually…all because I married this food lover! Triple whammy uh-oh! Hahahaha! Carb loading me and eat-all-you-can loving husband is a match made in food heaven. The fatty section of food heaven that is.
Of course, even if we both love food, we still do get conscious of the mass we pack into our bodies. This is especially when he gets into his nitpicking mood and I get all defensive about my weight gain. And so, each time I get picked on, I dove fast and hard into my diet and exercise sprees.
- Master cleanse(a.k.a The Lemonade diet): did it!
- GM Diet: did it too!
- South Beach Diet: did it three!
- No rice diet: did it four!
- Gym membership: did it!
- Bikram Yoga: did it!
- Circuit Training: did it!
- Running: did it!
But did I really lose and maintain the weight loss? Uhhhh…I lost some poundage. Then gained them back again. And lost some again. Then gained much more. Therefore, the answer is: it’s a N-O. No to losing AND maintaining weight loss.
Like Frank Bruni, I was born round too, then made myself rounder and rounder. Now, I am at my roundest. Drat. I am not proud to say that my pants make my thighs look like overstuffed sausages. I am not proud to say that my love handles are like a stack of doughnuts. I am not proud to say that my arms look like a nice plump meat log. I am not proud to say that my face is as round as an extra-large Chinese pork bun. Everything is just ROUND. Ugh.
I’ve been trying to get myself properly motivated for a lifestyle change: healthy, smaller (significantly smaller!) food portions, eating slowly and regular exercise, for the past months. But Dubai is just full of good eats: exotic cuisines and amazing ingredients from all over!
I know what to do, but I can’t seem to find myself to JUST DO IT. I’ve hit a wall, a seemingly unscalable foodie wall. So I do hope that I get to conquer it very soon just like Frank Bruni. I was born round too, but I don’t want to stay round forever. So I am (or I think I am) starting tomorrow…
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. Check out the other foodstuff favorites of mine here:
- Filipino Breakfast
- Top Chef TV Show
- Chili Con Carne
- Spanish Sardines
- Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy
- Taho in a cup
- Pipino Vegetarian Restaurant
- Arroz ala Cubana
- Aling Rita’s Isaw stall
- Milk Tea