If there is one other thing I’m most passionate about next to travelling, it is health and food (or well-being). And I don’t mean this in a “I’m-a-health-guru” kind of way. Not at all. I’m so far from being a healthy eater.
It’s not uncommon for people to have a sweet tooth. I certainly have a sweet (and cheesy) tooth.
But here’s the elephant in the room that I struggle to come to terms with: I COME FROM A DIABETIC FAMILY.
My mother developed Type 2 Diabetes from a very sedentary (and overly relaxed) lifestyle. It’s scary to know that she did not get hers from genetics. Her family line is quite healthy but the lifestyle she had got her diabetes. For as long as I can remember, she has been giving herself insulin shots every single day (on top of a myriad of medication).
My father, who passed away in 2005, was also diabetic. His own mother (my grandmother) was diabetic and passed away due to complications from diabetes.
So yeah… the chances of me getting diabetes (if not already) is about 98%.
When I was growing up in the Philippines, we lived just beside the American Naval base, so our diet (brought about by parties, social gatherings, family friends) was heavily American-influenced. In a very bad way. Imagine the 80’s — the heyday of Pop Tarts, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen, Frito Lay chips and French Onion Dip. These were staples inside our household.
Miraculously, none of us in the family grew overweight and this is both a blessing and a curse. It’s mostly a curse because well, we ate all the bad food we wanted but because we weren’t physically growing, there was no physical warning for you to stop. We were killing our bodies from the inside but there’s no outwardly evidence of it.
I’m not in any way blaming my parents, or my parents’ parents for this. They were all busy and tied to the thriving family business and back in the day, people were not as informed about health and nutrition as we are now.
My lifestyle and diet changed when I moved to Australia. On the surface, it’s easy be misled to think that I am a healthy eater.
I don’t drink coffee, no alcohol, no sodas, no Starbucks or any frappes, lattes,
I don’t eat red / processed meat, (2016 update: I’ve now been a pescetarian for 7 months and counting) no smoking, no drugs. My staple food is seafood, grains and vegetables. Unfortunately, chips and chocolate also make quite a staple appearance.
I try to undo this by doing working out almost every night. But I know that what you consume is what is more important. This formula (eat sweets = work out harder) so far works, but I know it’s not for long.
The struggle of weaning myself off sweets and junk is Real, and it’s not about weight loss.
I just don’t want to end up making doctors filthy rich later on in life. (My mom’s doctor hates me as I keep researching on alternate ‘super foods’ to get my mom off some of the medication).
Now I usually turn down non travel-related media events, but when I received an invite for the media screening of “That Sugar Film”, I said yes in a heartbeat.
Given the health background I just mentioned above, my family and I should be first in line to see this film. I’m a sucker for documentaries like this. I’m a visual person, and even though I’d already read most of the facts stated in the film, it’s still more awakening to watch it in the big screen.
If you have seen Super Size Me (2004), it is a similar concept. Except “That Sugar Film” is more of a game-changer. Super Size Me is a documentary about this guy who eats nothing but fast food and junk for a month. The medical results were hardly surprising at the end of the film.
“That Sugar Film”, explores in-depth how the world became a fat-hating, sugar-loving society, and how this now led to a generation of overweight and diabetic population.
Damon Gameau embarks on a low-fat diet containing natural /(supposedly good) sugars. Granola bars, fruit juices, cereals, yoghurt…things that are normally considered healthy. And he maintained regular exercise throughout this 2- month experiment.
The results are quite scary. No, actually the entire movie was scary for me. The documentary, similar to Super Size Me’s style , is filled with facts that are presented in a very modern visual presentation that will inculcate alarming data in your mind.
Although it had some bits and clips that I thought were unnecessary (music video type insertions that are there to add pizzazz probably), the entire message is very important.
I love how it opened my eyes to not just rely on research (some of which are heavily funded by Coca-Cola!) that are fed to us. Do your own research, eat things in moderation, and know which food contains hidden sugars- are the main takeaways of this film.
Watch the trailer:
That Sugar Film is touring Australian cinemas in March.