Food Rocks? Seriously?

Firstly, yes I am serious… I do think that Food Rocks. Good job too, as it’s been the name of my food and recipe blog since I started it in the Summer of 2017.

I don’t actually talk like a teenager from the 80s (“Man, this Food ROCKS!”) , rather it’s a bit of a pun that made for a catchy title. I studied geology at university and retain a keen interest in Earth Sciences, so the chance to reference that here was too good to miss. It makes me smile at least…

I don’t work as a geologist any more and instead spend my day in front of a computer playing with data. Sometimes when I get home from work the last thing I want to do is sit in front of another screen for hours, so I like to escape to the kitchen and play with food instead of numbers. For me making food (and then eating it) is one of the best ways to unwind after a stressful day. I even enjoy writing down what I’ve done and taking photos of it to share with the world.

I know it sounds like an odd way to relax but it really works for me. I get a huge sense of accomplishment almost every time I serve up dinner – whether it’s for my husband, my friends, my family or just me on my own. I take after my mother in that I’m a bit of a feeder, though unlike her I’m also a lot of an eater!

Many of my memories in life revolve around the food that I was eating at the time… Most of it memorable in a good way, some of it for all the wrong reasons. Ask my dad about the Portuguese Bread Soup incident and he’ll chuckle away for quite some time…

I started writing about my relationship with food, both cooking and eating, back in January 2017 when I challenged myself to lose some weight ahead of my forthcoming wedding. I’d spent many years watching my weight yo-yo – from 95kg to 150kg and pretty much everywhere inbetween. I’d finally reached the point where I wanted to get off the rollercoaster and live a healthier life.

A big event is always a good motivator as it’s a fixed date to head for, so you have a goal and a timescale in which to get there. Much better than having an open-ended “aim”… I admit that a part of it was selfish and shallow in that I wanted to have nice clothes, memories and photographs to look back on in the future. But I guess the real reason was that I wanted to be able to look forward to the future with my new husband without having to worry too much about my health.

I started a blog as a way of recording that journey but kept it all anonymous – I wanted it to be a matter of public record as a way of motivating me to keep going, but I wanted it to be private enough that I could hide behind the blog if everything went wrong. I called it the 8 Month Challenge, as it would be 8 full months (34 weeks in all) from the day I started until the wedding.

I wrote a daily diary talking about the food I was eating, the exercise I was doing and the weight I was watching fall away. I didn’t follow a diet plan – I used MyFitnessPal and some extreme willpower to keep my food intake under 1,800 calories per day.

Over the course of 8 months I lost 26kg (57lbs or just over 4 stones) – a great success. For most of it I enjoyed writing about the journey and the food I was eating, but as the wedding approached I started to lose interest. I wanted to move on from the purely weight loss focussed side of it. Not because I consider it to be “done” but rather I found pleasure in developing and writing recipes. The food was the interesting bit – not the weight loss. (Though I have gained a few kilos since my wedding, so maybe I need a new mini challenge and a return to that for a few months!).

Anyway, whether it’s a quick snack, a dinner in a fancy restaurant or cooking in my own kitchen I’ve absolutely loved talking about food and the emotions and memories it evokes in me.

That’s what this blog is all about – food that I’ve loved eating and food that I’ve loved creating. Food Rocks – at least I think it does!

– Scott

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