Food is fuel.

I used to know this guy.

We worked together, actually.

He was, and I'm guessing still is, pretty awesome.  He was so awesome, in fact, that he had the dubious distinction of being scheduled for the closing shift with me every Friday and Saturday night, week in and week out, because he was the only one on the staff who could keep up with me.

Lucky guy.

Anyway, one time right after Easter, he showed up to work with a bag of leftover ham.

It was a gallon sized ziplock bag, and it was pretty full.

He ate some ham for lunch that day.

And the next day.

And the day after that.

I teased him mercilessly about his bag of ham.

His response?

"It's just fuel to get me through my day."

I laughed, then went back to my Doritos, Snickers and Dr. Pepper from the vending machine, which was my typical workday lunch.

Now, some five or so years later, I finally get it.

Food is fuel to get you through your day.


It totally makes sense, for the first time ever.

Since January, I have been tracking calories in versus energy out, and I'm learning a lot about how my body works and what it needs to survive (lots of water) and what it needs to perform at an optimum level (NOT Doritos and Snickers).

I'm also learning what food is not.  Food is not, or should not be, a reward.  For as long as I can remember, I've thought of it that way.  It was a reward at school for good behavior and good grades.  It was a reward at home for milestones and celebrations and birthdays.  It carried over into my adult life with a vengeance.  Bad day at work?  Burgers and fries in a greasy sack will make me feel better.  Great day at work?  I'll reward myself with a pizza.  And forty pounds later...

Now having said all that, I still love food.

And I love to cook good food.

And I love to eat good food.

But I do not love having an a$$ the size of a compact car.

So I'm working on it.

It's a process.

It's a SLOW process.

And sometimes I have to think about a guy with a bag of ham, and remind myself he was right all along.

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