My relationship with food

How I Luv Keto got started

I luv keto was originally started around two years ago, I was on my own personal journey to overcome a binge eating disorder and coeliac disease but most of all to lose weight, during my research I have discovered just how little I knew about nutrition and just how unhealthy my relationship with food was.

Along the way I have discovered that the food we eat cannot only heal us from existing diet-related illnesses but I’ve also learnt that our bodies are continually rebuilding so we need to continue to feed it good healthy nutritious food, think about it like a house you need good foundations and good solid materials or your house just wont last, our bodies are exactly the same.

I have also learnt that eating the wrong types of food can lead to an array of health issues and autoimmune diseases.

I started I Luv Keto to share my research and findings with others to help them lose weight but I’ve discovered that keto is so much more than that, it has helped me to see that you are what you eat and you do not have to live with these chronic diet-related diseases, you can get well just by feeding it the food we were designed to eat.

My relationship with food

A bit of a backstory about me I was brought up by my violent alcoholic father until the age of 14, my mum walked out leaving us 5 kids practically to fend for ourselves. In the early years, my father worked and upon finishing work would end up most of the time in the pub.

When we left school at the end of the day we would hang around the streets until he came home which sometimes was late into the evening, feeding five kids when you are drunk is not on the top of your priority list so a glass of fizzy pop and a bowl of cereal or toast was given and off to bed we went.

You’ve all heard the saying kids should be seen but not heard? When I was growing up it was a case of kids were not seen and not heard and violence was used to keep it that way.

During the week we were mostly confined to our bedrooms and on weekends we were sent out the door as early as 7 am and told not to come home until around 4 pm, that is unless it was raining and then we were confined to our bedrooms for the entire weekend, I think my father thought kids didn’t need to be fed or if they did it was very little or way too much.

We pretty much survived on handouts, stealing food or money to buy food, and eating fruit from other people gardens. We were always praying it didn’t rain on the weekend because at least we knew we would get food somehow.

I don’t know much about my father’s upbringing but what I do know is that his father was pretty much the same as him and he just handed down his handy work to his son, I can only assume that’s how he was treated by his father before him and the cycle of abuse was never broken.

Nutrition

Nutrition wasn’t something that was talked about growing up, you were given food and you ate it or faced the consequences! everything we ate was processed, manufactured junk food.

Vegetables came out of a tin and we never had fresh fruit or vegetables in the house, we never had a proper roast dinner except at Christmas, everything we ate came out of a box, a tin or a packet we drank water from the tap but were given one glass of fizzy pop before bed every night.

We didn’t have much money growing up so my father never did a weekly or monthly food shop we bought everything on a day to day basis from the corner shop or if he was in a good mood we had chip shop, if we had chip shop the choice was either chips or half a Clarks pie but never both and always served with bread and butter.

We didn’t eat regular meals like normal families most of the time we ate one meal a day unless we ate in school, and more often than not it was cereal, toast or sandwiches when we did eat.

When we did have cooked meals every single meal consisted of some kind of stodge, with potatoes and always included 2 slices of white bread.

What our meals looked like:

  • Spaghetti bolognaise
  • Stuffed marrow
  • Corned beef hash
  • Fish fingers, mash and baked beans or tinned spaghetti
  • Fish fingers tinned new potatoes and mixed veg
  • Tinned ravioli (puke)
  • Madras curry

As you can imagine our corner shop didn’t have a huge array of different foods so meals were extremely limited, my father did used to go to a market once in a while hence why stuffed marrow was on the menu, I cannot tell you how disgusting that was! But like with all our meals you ate what you were given or faced the consequences.

My relationship with food

My father didn’t have a clue about portion control and often put up huge adult size portions that you were not allowed to waste, these big meals meant you were forcing yourself to eat when you were past the point of being full and even vomiting because you ate too much.

Food was also used as a punishment growing up if you were naughty you were sent to bed with no food at all, if you hadn’t eaten anything during the day at school you were sometimes going a full 24-48 hours without eating at all, there were days I would eat tissue to stop the hunger pains, there were also times that if he didn’t starve you he forced you to eat food that you didn’t like over and over again until you gagged at even the smell of it.

One of his favourite torture foods was tinned ravioli none of us liked it so he would force you to eat it cold (as if it wasn’t bad enough when it was hot!) If you didn’t eat it he would give you some other punishment like a ruler or a bamboo stick over the knuckles or a belt or stick across your butt, and god help you if you moved as he was about to strike.

Taking pity

Everyone local to us knew who we were and some would take pity on us and invite us in to play with their kids and feed us, I remember one lady who lived locally she would bring us in and let us play and give us food, but we always had to be out of the house before her husband came home from work, I never quite knew why when I was a child but as an adult I knew it was because my father was well known for being violent, not just towards the kids either and everyone local to us were scared of him.

I also have fond memories of the head of our old nursery school, for years after we left she would allow us to come back on weekends and school holidays, we had a ritual we would have to carry out first though.

We had our own little bags with a flannel and toothbrush we would go in wash up and brush our teeth before we were allowed to do anything, when I was a kid we only bathed once a week on a Sundays so you can imagine we were always filthy.

After we washed up we would have breakfast and be allowed to go play with the other kids until lunch, after lunch Jean (our nursery head) would send us on our way with a few pence in our pockets to buy sweets.

When we got too old to blend in the with the other kids in the nursery she would still make us do our ritual of washing up and brushing our teeth and then give us some money so we could go and buy food while we were roaming the streets.

One day we went to the nursery as we usually did and they told us she had died me and my brother were devastated not just because we weren’t allowed to go anymore but because she was one of the few people who understood what we were going through at home and showed love, compassion and kindness to us when no one else did.

Ill health

Growing up I was surrounded by ill health, my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (ms) in her early 20’s, my sister had severe psoriasis from a really young age, sometimes leaving her hospitalised, my father had emphysema and bronchitis and one of my brothers had eczema and asthma, all of us kids were suffering from mental health issues due the violent, traumatic upbringing we had.

Just from my own research, I have discovered that the illnesses my mum brother and sister were suffering with could all have been cured by eating the right food, these illnesses fall under the autoimmune category, autoimmune diseases are your body’s way of saying something isn’t right.

Conventional medicine doesn’t treat the disease it treats the symptoms but the problem with this is these medications have side effects and usually, you need to take more medications to counteract the side effects of the other medications.

If you visit a doctor that doctor will never say oh you just need to stop eating junk food and you will be fine, they issue you with a pill, lotion or potion never telling you about the side effects, doctors have zero nutritional training they are trained to prescribe medications to treat the symptoms of disease.

When I got older

When I reached the age of 14 I had enough of the controlling and violent ways that were handed down from my father and voluntarily put myself into the care system, my relationship with food didn’t change I still ate the garbage food but I never overate or binged on junk food, my weight stabilized and I weighed the same 9 and a half stone and was a size 10 for 5 years.

After I got my own place I found it hard to manage my money which meant there wasn’t much left for food but I was used to not eating for long periods of time and sometimes would go days without eating anything at all, then at age 19 I got pregnant and gave up smoking and that’s when my relationship with food was completely out of control, I went from hardly eating anything to binging day and night on junk food, within months I gained 7 stone and within 2 years I ballooned up to a size 32-34 and 24 stone.

Due to my upbringing and being uneducated about nutrition, years of eating junk food has lead me down my own path of ill health, I am now on my own journey focusing on eating healthy food to get my life back and hopefully helping others to change the unhealthy relationship they have with food in the process.