The 54th Deadline: Sustenance

The 54th Deadline: Sustenance

“You are what you eat as they say, so just try to eat a bit better here and there.”

I love food. As someone who works with food on a weekly basis, it’s only natural to expect me to like actually eating it. And I do like to indulge and try different kinds of foods out there when I can.

As an aspiring chef, a lot of the process of improving just involves experimenting, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and then constantly applying new techniques into the mix until something good results.


However, as much as I love to eat, I know at some point I have to make a significant decision and think about my health as a whole. Because you see… I can only admit I was not blessed with an amazing metabolism. I cannot just eat whatever I want. Everything I do put into my body can and will adversely affect me.

But as much as I am aware of this, for especially the past year, I have not been eating well per se. Let’s just say there has been a lot of junk food, soda and other things that are fine in moderation. However, to eat and drink it just about every day like some college student away from home for the first time is quite unhealthy.

Granted, working at the restaurant actively somewhat evens it out. I am stronger than I have ever been before, but I would need to do some kind of consistent workout routine to get the cut, toned-body look.

And this is the crossroad I find myself at as a person who wants to be a chef and also loves to eat: where do I draw the line to balance eating with actually taking care of myself?


I can continue with my bad habits and just ignore my health entirely. I can just eat whatever with not a single concern over what’s going into my mouth and how it all plays out for my well-being.

I could be like that, but I don’t want to for a variety of reasons.

I want to live a good, enjoyable and long-lasting life. I want to be on this planet for as long as I can, and it’s not going to happen if I keep hacking years off of my life with a subpar diet.

I realize I don’t have “cool” vices like smoking to my name, or other things such as excessive alcohol drinking. Still, too much soda does the body wrong regardless. Pick your poison, as they say.

I have been down the really unhealthy path before, where I could tell I was just gaining weight and just becoming really unappealing in a variety of ways.

I felt fat.

I lacked energy.

I craved food all of the time.

I was always out of breath with minimal exercise like walking up the stairs.

I disgusted myself, and feeling so disgusted prompted me to do something about it.

The list of legitimately alarming signs grew and grew as much as the number on the scale, so I made a decision to go on a diet that worked. I lost a lot of weight, felt better about myself and then another turning point in life forced me to undo a lot of what I had accomplished.

When you’re in survival mode, you have to focus on keeping yourself somewhat together. I ate and ate what I could, though this totally neglected any attempt at eating even a little healthy.

Months of junk food later, here I was again a week ago, thinking about all of the takeout or other expensive, bad-for-you items I could purchase just to sustain myself.

And you know what?

Something had to be done. I didn’t have to keep living this way unless I really wanted to do so. And truthfully, part of me says I need to cut down.
It will have to be in phases, though. Manageable phases.

I have to start with simple things to reduce. Sugary drinks like pop and juice.

I have been drinking lots of tea and water in its place. I will just try to drink pop and juice once in a while, genuinely shifting it toward a treat/reward versus an everyday thing.

Trust me. It has helped. It’s noticeable how I am feeling a bit better each day, like my body just seems to function a bit more with the absence of so much excessive sugar I was consuming on a daily basis.

In regards to other foods, I have been eating a lot more fruits and veggies. I have to develop a taste again for the healthier options. That’s the thing a lot of people mess up with when it comes to diets. It is going out of their way to find the alternatives you can actually stomach.

Mind you… This is all very hard. Healthy food is genuinely more expensive versus the processed, prepackaged stuff that is easier to come by that’s also easier on your wallet.
I have attempted my hardcore diet that worked before, and let’s just say being almost hit by an actual ambulance forced me to stop the diet completely.

I had to stop it because it just was not working right without the proper circumstances. I felt too anemic, which was a really glaring sign that my body was not coping well with a lack of calories I once was burning through weekly.

After all, the No. 1 thing to avoid with any diet of sorts is to feel hungry. When you’re feeling hungry, you’re doing it wrong. All it does is trigger your body to eat itself from within, and what goes first is usually your muscles and not your fat.

My hope? I want to start getting at least somewhat healthier. I think I will try incorporating some light exercise into the mix. Again, phases. I have to separate this all into phases that I go from one to another until my body becomes acclimated.

I don’t expect to get ripped or anything. I want to work toward being, at least somewhat, in shape. If I can achieve this much, I will be content enough to try transitioning even further toward being a better me.

“Complete the process.” – Nhan Fiction


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