My name is Phil, and this is My Life as a Foodie.
I started this blog to support my podcast, which began in the early Summer months of 2007. The podcast served as an avenue for me to explore food issues and food culture in America, and the world. It caught on quickly and I built a moderate following of listeners, many who became personal friends over the years. As the show grew, so did I. I learned more about food, cooking techniques, new restaurants, and the truth about the food industry with every episode, and I shared that wealth of knowledge with my listeners.
Through that journey and exploration, I packed on over 30 pounds. Since entering my 30’s, my face had become round along with my once slim midsection. I’m not alone in thinking like most people think – it’s part of getting older. You gain weight easier than you did in your teens and twenties. Your metabolism slows down, you’re making more money so you’re eating better and, subsequently, you get fat. It’s almost accepted.
To be honest, I wasn’t fat by most people’s standards. At 6’2″ I weighed in at 206 pounds. But given that I’d been an active amateur athlete my entire life, my fighting weight had always hovered around the 175 pound mark. For my frame, that felt right.
In 2010, my wife Katrina was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her battle, she was faced with the truth about her own health and vowed to lose weight when her treatments and surgeries were behind her. I vowed to get my health back as well, so I started running. I’d never run before. I hated it when I first started. But I knew it was the only way I could get my body back in shape. Within a month, I’d injured my knee and ended up at the doctor’s office. Along with helping me with my knee, the doctor wanted to run a full physical on me to make sure everything was OK when my knee was healed enough for me to resume my exercise regime.
That’s when my blood work came back. The the news was far from good.
My cholesterol was high, my blood sugar was all over the map, and I exceeded the healthy limits of calcium. On top of that, she told me that considering my body style, I should try to drop my weight to under 200 pounds before resuming my running program. All of that pounding wasn’t good for my knees, and it was likely that I’d end up hurting myself again. Her only suggestion was low-impact cardio and a healthy diet.
I was embarrassed. My blood work had always come back well under the danger zone. I started looking at myself more critically in the mirror and grew disdain for the “beer belly” that somehow decided to grace the washboard stomach that I sported in my 20’s.
From that point forward, I started taking my health seriously. I continued everything I was doing on this blog and in my podcast, but I turned things around in regards to my approach. I cut back on fried foods, the multiple beers I drank on a daily basis, ate out less, I exercised 5-6 days a week, and I read everything I could read on the subject of getting my fitness back in the healthiest way possible. I was the most enlightening two years of my life.
Katrina lost her battle with breast cancer on May 25, 2013. She fought valiantly. Her fight was one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen, and will ever see. I live with her loss every day, but I move forward in my own spiritual journey with her memory stuck firmly with me. I vowed to live my life stronger than I ever have, and with a greater sense of purpose than I did before.
So here I am today, 40 pounds lighter, 4 waist sizes smaller, low body fat, fast on my feet, healthier than I’ve been at any time in my life, all while entering my 50’s. And I’m just as much the “foodie” that I was when I started in 2007 – maybe even more so. Food is my life. I think about it constantly. When I’m not working, I’m cooking or thinking about cooking. Food is fuel for my mind as well as my body.
I welcome you to explore the wonderful world of food with me as I continue my journey to learn and share what I’ve learned about food, nutrition, and a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. It’s just as much about my life as a foodie as it is yours.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the show.