• Oliver Messner

What To Eat

When it comes to food, I have generally always thought of myself as being picky. In my adult years, I steered clear of things such as sweets, chips, white bread, too much sugar, any and all forms of fast food. Not because I didn't like the taste of some of these things, I mean come on, who doesn't like a good hamburger and fries but because these types of food are usually unhealthy for you. Being a contractor, it has always been important for me to be fit and strong. I cover a lot of different fields on sites and there isn't really any time to be winded or massage tired and sore muscles. Up and down stair cases, scaffolding, ramps and ladders the entire day. Carrying bags of cement, adhesive or sand all over the show. Working on roofs, small bathrooms or often out in the sun all day. That type of work does not treat the junk food lover very well. So, lots of good proteins, vegetables and fruits were the staple of my diet. There was never even the temptation to indulge in 'that which is forbidden', as it was just never bought and therefore not available at the house. I maintained this mind set right up until my first child reached a certain age.

Seemingly out of nowhere, these foods suddenly found their way into the house. They were smuggled across the threshold, either nested amidst the groceries when my wife went to the store, disguised as harmless gifts that my folks brought over to the squealing delight of their grandchild or boldly packed in bulk within the ever present party packs that got handed out like... well, candy at birthday parties ( which, for some odd reason, seem to happen every week, although there aren't even twenty kids in the same classroom). While healthy meals were still being prepared, they were increasingly substituted by easier, quicker and more convenient options. Chicken nuggets, hamburger patties, deli meats, chips, minute noodles and even take-out meals are just some of the consumables that insidiously wormed their way into our life. I found myself eating these things as well because they were on hand, extremely easy to prepare and, I will admit to myself in the quiet recesses of my mind, didn't taste half bad.

So I fell into the trap that is junk food with a sprinkling of take-out, or how I like to call it 'crap food'. While I didn't balloon up like you hear and see other people do, I did nonetheless pack on a few extra pounds. I still to my workout program, maintained my normal diet of plenty chicken, lots of tuna, tons of eggs and various other healthier foods. Only now that diet was interspersed with a hand full of chips here, a bowl of ice cream there and some pizza all round.

It was ridiculous, I'd have the freaking stuff in my mouth before I knew what was going on. At times getting angry and cursing myself vocally in the kitchen. Thank god the neighbors never saw that one, as they already thought of me as being a bit 'different'.

About three years ago, I started getting it together again. I upped the workout routine, stopped eating all the horrible, horrible junk food and was well on my way to getting back into my normal shape and then BAM, kid numero due. I was determined that this time, I would not give in to temptation and tried my best to maintain the set regimen.

That did not last very long at all. Having had two consecutive knee ops in the last year and a half, spending about a quarter of that time on crutches and the fact that one form of junk food or another was available once again at the house, I quickly regained the weight that I had lost.

My body developed a coating of what I like to refer to as 'daddy padding'. A protective layer that guards the body from the inevitable times when my kids decide it is once again time to pounce, kick , punch, pinch, climb and generally whale on dad. Others may call it fat but I have my pride and will continue to refer to it in the delusional, self serving term that, while in no way accurate, sounds a hell of a lot better.

So once again I find myself on a quasi diet. Losing weight, while maintaining muscle mass. It's proving to be a lot more difficult this time. The two concurrent knee operations have impacted the range of motion on my right knee joint and don't allow for a standing bend. Weighted, ass to grass squats are defiantly out at the moment, as are some of the other weighted movements that I have become accustomed to over the years. Running in itself is just embarrassing and is best done alone, in the dark, on a quite street, with no one around and the lights out. A hobbled run would be a very inaccurate description. Picture Quasimodo, half-heartily chasing after a ball down the street and you start to get the picture. Besides the pain, it's also hormone sappingly embarrassing. Causing my daughter no end of entertainment when she breaks out in a laughing fit.

I'm curious to know if someone else has had similar issues and would love to hear about it.

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