This is my story, it’s a long one, brace yourself…
Like most, I live in a world where I think “it won’t happen to me”, but unfortunately it did, and I was the one to do it to myself. By my early 20ies, I could no longer refer to myself as a bit on the heavy side, I was obese and desperate to change my situation, so that’s exactly what I did!
Some family background ….
Let me start off by saying I have the most amazing childhood memories. I may have been an only child to a single parent, but there has never been a dull moment and I’ve enjoyed the entire ride. I have an amazing mother, who is one of the warmest, kindest and nurturing souls this world has to offer and I truly feel blessed. She has been gifted with the most amazing cooking skills, in fact, all the men and the women in our family possess those skills, me included. Our homes are ones with open doors, we love to entertain and always cook as if we’re feeding an army and of course everyone is welcomed. I kid you not; a good old fashioned braai at our house is a diabetic’s nightmare. The spread is endless from Texan steaks, marinated red wine and mint lamb chops, crispy honey pork rashes, good old boerie, accompanied by toasted cheese, tomato and onion saarmies, potato salad or creamed potato and mushroom bake, rice salad, garlic breads, various green salads, roasted vegetables in tinfoil, you name it, and it’s probably right there in amongst the rest of the spread. Needless to say anyone watching their weight would be at temptations door for sure; and of course a little taste of everything needs to be had, leaving you stuffed like a tomato, lazing on the couch with your pants button undone. This is a ritual I have practiced on more occasions than I’d like to admit to. Anyways, you can understand where my love for food comes from.
My mother met my father at the gym strangely enough. My mother, who has been more over-weight in her life than slim, worked down the road from my father’s brother gym “Jack’s Gym”. My father was quiet active in the boxing scene, and used to practice at Jack’s daily. To be honest, I have no clue how their relationship materialized, all I know is they met at the gym, fell in love and started dating. About four years later they were married and I arrived. Unfortunately the Ford’s were only married for a little over three years before my dad was diagnosed with a tumour on the spine and within three month he had passed on. My father was fifty three at the time, my mother twenty eight and I was three and a half. In a way, I guess I’m lucky I was too young to realize what was going on. The only thing I remember was a conversation I had with my half brother Mark; he told me our daddy had gone to heaven to live with the angels and wasn’t coming home. I don’t remember being sad or upset; all I was concerned about was whether the angels were going to feed him? Once Mark had assured me that he would be able to have all the food he liked, I was satisfied that he was never coming home.
I don’t have detailed memories prior to the death of my father, but from about the age of four (when I started primary school), I can remember some things as clearly as if it were yesterday. I remember the home we shared with my grandparent’s in Westville. I remember my grandmother working in her immaculate garden, studying her flowers and painting them on canvas. I remember my grandfather in the kitchen cooking up a storm and the bowls he let me lick thereafter. I remember all our family pets, from the dogs and cats to the chickens and rabbits. I even remember our neighbours annoying geese that used to constantly do their “business” on our patio which drove my grandfather absolutely crazy. I remember Rose, our domestic worker and the countless hours we spent playing and cleaning the house. Overall, I remember happy times and the smell of food in the air.