In the last few years, and more so in the last few months, a constant litany I hear is how fussy an eater I am. I had thought I was not really a fussy eater and ate everything. But the more I think about it, I think why the hell not! Why should I let everything pass through my lips (no snide remarks please). What I eat is very important and it’s time to stop eating for comfort.
Almost four years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes and that came with its set of problems. Giving up chocolate became the hardest challenge for me. Sweets and chocolate felt like extensions of me. This diagnosis came at a time when I was moving cities. What better time to eat all the possible chocolate? A chocolate bar for comfort, hot chocolate for an upper and another bar for a snack. Unfortunately, my lifestyle put a huge damper on this plan. I spent the first few months, even the first year cursing everyone around me — genes, gods, luck, all those other fat people, all those other fatter people and since nothing made me feel any better, I realized it was time to do something about it.
I slowly made my peace with it. Today I do resist things I am not supposed to eat, but I can also accept it for what it was — a danger sign for an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle. But a side of this diagnosis was that I now watch carefully what I eat. Not just in calories, something I have started recently, but even other ingredients. Sugar and all its forms are sparing in what I ingest. Fat is also looked at seriously and ghee and cheese I may consider once in a while but empty fried foods I don’t mind giving up. I don’t even feel bad. I still eat chocolate, lesser in quantum but eat the ones I like only. Earlier, to suffuse guilt, I could eat bad, stale chocolates, just because it was CHOCOLATE. Never mind not enjoying it.
My latest regimen coupled with diabetes usually means slim pickings. So when I do have a chance to eat something that does not make a frequent appearance, why should I eat something that is so-so in taste, flavor or of a family I don’t like? It is not being picky to my mind but just not important enough to give up my hard-earned (and still earning) control. Like if I have to eat sweets, I would pick cake or mousse over barfi. Barfi over petha. But if only petha and halwa were available, for example, I could easily give both up.
Calories, fat and sugar are important indicators and why spend it on a fried samosa when I am not even fond of samosas? Eat a square of chocolate instead? Why eat bad milk chocolate just because I do not get the one I want? Nothing is as important anymore.
Does it make me picky? I think discerning is a better word. I relish the crunch of salads and slurp of juices as much as the crunch of a bhajiya or the slurp of a delicious curry. That awareness makes me feel very empowered (a word used by a friend recently and an apt fit I thought). I wrote this blog’s motto a long time ago and realized I am truly believing it. Everything I eat must be for a reason other than just because I want to.