I guess it’s time for me to speak up painful truths once again.

Here’s to people who think (and say) I should relax & everyone eats normally so why can’t I just calm my titties and eat normal food like the rest of normal people. (They also, apparently, use no punctuation. :P)
Funny as it sounds, I do get this a lot – from people who think food doesn’t matter and everyone eats crap (they call it normal food, ofc), so why shouldn’t I.

There are many reasons I love healthy food – it’s delicious, healthy cooking and baking are so creative and I love experimenting in the kitchen, food is its own art. I love knowing that a delicious cookie I just ate will nourish my body instead of killing it.
Why do I bother thinking about that?!

Because I wanna live.
I want to live a long, healthy life and I’m not willing to take chances when it comes to my wellbeing.
I want to know I did my best – while having a pleasurable experience every time I eat.
I want to know I did my best to ensure one day, when I’m 95, I’m gonna be able to move on my own, eat my own food and wipe my own ass.
I want to know I will experience all I possibly can from this life. I got this body and only this body – I’m not gonna throw it away just like that.
This body is my home – if I ruin it, I may not be able to see my daughter grow up.

Nina, you’re getting pretty dark. Right?

Well honestly, I never thought I’d be saying any of this stuff – but I saw the ugly side of not taking loving care of your body.
Once upon a time, I had a dad. Lovely fella, you’d say.
He was fit, he was active – he’d get up almost every morning to go for a run, was lifting weights, working out. Everyone thought he’s super healthy.
Except that he wasn’t. Except that he allowed cancer to eat him from the inside out.

Now, many people, family included, concluded it’s a bad luck, and I mean – he smoked, so he was just one of those people who payed the price.

I didn’t really buy into that. My mother smokes and always did, 100 times more – he smoked only like 5 cigarettes a day. She is also known for eating an entire cake alone, while the rest of us slept. Her idea of working out was walking to the fridge. She also had a taste for beer – too much of it.
Yet, she’s perfectly healthy.

So, unlike the rest of my family, I couldn’t allow myself to conclude my dad had bad luck. I had to dig deeper.
That’s where nutrition came up.

I remember, while in high school, telling him not to fry his stupid meat in the same oil over and over again – it’s cancerous. He smiled and continued.
His idea of a meal was shitload of meat and white bread. Every fucking day.
While this sad diet was, I’m gonna take a wild guess, really nice for building his muscles, it was also very nice for building his cancer.

It ended up with all of us watching the strongest man we knew dissipate.
The man who was running a couple of km a day couldn’t walk to the store that was just down the street. He couldn’t lift anything.
He was suffering through chemo.
His smile became empty and his voice became hopeless. Every time we talked I knew he was just waiting to die. His eyes lost their sparkle.

It makes no sense to share too many painful details because I prefer being a source of inspiration, not desperation.

Long couple of months later, he died. I was 7 months pregnant. That day, I really wished I wasn’t – I couldn’t even attend the funeral.

After a while, when I picked myself up, I decided he was not gonna die in vain. At least not in my world. So I decided to learn a lesson from his experience.

What I learned was, exactly what I said earlier – I have this body, and this body alone. It’s my temple. It allows me to experience every single thing I ever experienced. It allows me to hear my daughters laugh, my favorite music (Nine Inch Nails, in case you were wondering), to wake up to a bird song. It allows me to feel the touch on my skin, the rain, the wind. To feel, to smell, to move, to show my love.

Without my body, without my health.. What could I be?

It took me a while to see the connection – I wish I wasn’t the only one searching for it.
I wish more people in his life were open to learning from his death, instead of just saying – oh well, that’s really really sad, and cry when they think of him.

But it doesn’t matter, I cannot influence them. I can only influence myself – and I choose, every single day, to do my best to make sure not to die when my daughter is 7 months pregnant.

Luckily, my choice also happens to be delicious, creative, and I can share it with others.

What do you choose?
How much do you appreciate your body?
How are you making sure to be there for your family?

Please, people, do your best not to die on them.

Your health is not just for you, just like my dad’s health wasn’t just for him.
It was for all of us – all of us suffered with him, and a part of all of us died with him.
I wish he took better care of his temple. I wish he even considered it.
Maybe he’d live to see his grandchild – I mean, she is pretty amazing.

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