Yep you got it, re-la-tion-ships.
Those that know me are now thinking that I’m the last person that’s qualified to offer advice about relationships as my track record does not auger well to be taking on a subject of this magnitude.
But hold on keep reading because I'm about to take myself to a very dark place!
As you've already figured I'm not about to offer advice how to improve your relationship with your partner, your kids, your family or friends. What I'm about to talk to you about is your relationship with food and drink because the success in your health and fitness endeavours will depend entirely on your relationship with with food & drink and of training.
What most of you don’t know and I am about to fess up about one of the most intimate and tempestuous relationships of my 59year life.
The one near fatal attraction that threatened to derail my whole life into absolute misery if I continued on that disastrous path my tempestuous mistress was leading me to.
This is my story of Fatal Attraction proportions but unfortunately unlike the movie there is no good looking woman in sight.
This is my story about my fatal attraction with food and drink and more so a seductive temptress named sugar which since my early days has had me by the “Curly Joes” and still refuses to let go.
I reckon sugar seduced me whilst I was still in the womb and continued her illicit affair with me my entire life.
As many of you are aware I’ve come from a family that has lived to eat.
Until her dying days mum considered sugar a staple part of a healthy diet and used copious amounts of the sweet white crystal drug in everything from our breakfast which often consisted of Kellog's Cornflakes or Coco Pops with 3-4 tablespoons, yes you read it correctly tablespoons of sugar and for a treat or dessert we’d often have toast with butter and you guessed it sugar on top.
That is if we ran out of biscuits which wasn't too often in our household because Mum worked in a biscuit factory and (listen to this) Dad even had a stint working for Nestle in Campbellfield - now we’re talking about Kit-Kats and Peppermint Crisps in abundance!
Needless to say we were the most popular kids in our street.
I grew up drinking sugar laden soft drinks instead of water, even my knick name was Tarax for f**k sake because as a teenager I worked for the Soft Drink company which founded Solo Lemon Squash.
And then as I entered my late teens I got exposed to alcohol and for a number of year’s excessive amounts of this liquid ruled my life.
Until one day I woke up to myself albeit a little battered and bruised and came to terms that as much a I thought I was a funny drunk others didn't, hence the cuts and bruises on my body.
Like in any tempestuous relationship the highs are monstrous and the best feeling ever.
But the lows on the other hand are the exact opposite and there’s no make up sex to make them worthwhile!
So eventually you come to a point when you have to decide whether the euphoric feelings of a sugar or alcohol high are worth the excruciating pain of the lows that follow and tell me honestly, who has never vowed never to drink again?
Personally they are not worth the trouble and many years ago I made the painful admission that I was a junk food & drink (alcohol) addict and in order to realise my sporting dreams I had to make changes to combat these my addictions. I had to find a way of keeping them in check realising that eliminating them totally was not an option for me.
Alcohol was easy, I stopped going to night clubs, I matured, got myself in a relationship so I didn't have the need to go clubbing to pick up and drove to restaurants which meant I couldn’t drink and drive.
Junk food on the other hand and sugar in particular is another beast in itself because it’s in our faces all the time just like that destructive lover who always seems to brings out the worst in us.
Junk food is invasive us and dominates all our senses. It's in our faces all the time, it's transmitted into our homes in the form of electronic and print media and our streetscapes are littered with junk food advertising.
The first thing you notice when you enter food stores are the high carb, sugary products and it’s not only in the supermarkets even your local fruit & veg and convenient stores are guilty of this practice.
Have you noticed the sweet stuff (lollies, chocolates) at the front of the store as you enter? And look at the setup of your favourite bakery - what’s in the front counter as you pay?
Yes, donuts, coffee scrolls, vanilla slices and chocolate éclairs! And why is that you might ask?
Well let me tell you why. It's all about the mighty dollar!
Because sugar is the most addictive drug known to man and it’s also very cheap to produce with high profit margins but more importantly sugar makes you want to eat more!!!!
So you buy more than you can eat and you end up eating the lot because sugar is an appetite enhancer which means that it stymies the signals of fullness that your stomach sends to your brain.
And the same applies to the live fresh sugar treats called F R U I T, yes fruit which has fructose and what is fructose it’s a sugar of the hexose class found especially in honey and fruit.
Isn't fruit meant to be healthy?
Yes it's healthy all right, healthy for the fruit producers pockets.
There's not one day in my life that I haven't craved sugar!
As we know change does not come easy no matter how strong willed you are and personally I’m only a Donut or a grape away from my next binge and from losing the plot!
But I have acknowledged that and have come to terms with my addictions (s) and only when I admitted that I was an addict only then did I find a way to resist and realise my sporting dreams.
How did I do it?
I did that by finding a way of switching On and Off my tastebuds, that’s where will power and keeping your eyes on the prize comes into it.
As an addict you can't afford to relax for a single moment nor take your eyes off that prize!
In the beginning it was not easy and I had many lapses and like in most tempestuous relationships the threat of falling back into the arms of your destructive lover is forever present but down deep you know the temptations must be fought and eventually you end up winning more than you lose.
in all honesty I would never have been remotely successful in Bodybuilding if I continued consuming the shit that I was putting into my body, it’s simple as that!
I’ve conditioned myself to Eat to Live, that's my secret!
There you go I’ve been totally honest with you, now it’s your turn, do you Eat to Live or Live to Eat?
The difference is simple.
Eating to live means that you eat to sustain yourself, Protein for tissue repair, fat of carbs for energy mixed with greens for wellbeing.
When you are hungry you ask yourself what food groups do I need to eat to sustain myself?
And forget about appeasing your taste buds.
On the other hand, Living to Eat you are constantly looking to please your taste buds and tend to throw common sense out the window.
I call this Taste Bud Slavery :)
You get the message?