A message of thanks to The Food Chain
"I want to share the following with you all at The Food Chain...
Thanks so much."
We recently received this message via our website from Phil, who has been receiving our nutrition support services.
"I want to sincerely thank The Food Chain for having a major input on my eating habits and the way I take care of myself today.
"I am currently receiving ongoing support and attending the amazing and most helpful and informative Healthy Living Classes on a Wednesday and Saturday run by The Food Chain and also having groceries delivered to my home by you guys, all having a great impact on me making positive changes in what I eat and the way I prepare meals. I have always loved cooking and eating food, but I lack enthusiasm and find it so boring cooking for one. This leaves me lethargic in wanting to eat and of course also has a negative impact on my weight. In the long run, this cannot be good for my well-being while challenged with long term HIV.
"The helpful team and those that come to visit us at The Food Chain show us how fun and exciting food can be. This has instilled in me the thoughts I have today of what my eating habits mean to me in the short term and long term. I love to share all the information and learning I am gaining from my time well spent at the classes, which are always followed by a hearty meal prepared from a team of awesome and amazing volunteers who want to help others who are challenged like myself with HIV. No matter how much we think we already know about HIV and food, there is always room for more to be learned.
"I have gone from being a great cook to an amazing, imaginary chef in my own kitchen and one of the benefits today for me is weight gain, but this also requires effort in remaining consistent in my eating habits and what I will shop for in the future when I walk into the supermarket.
"I am today cooking with less salt in my diet, reducing the amount of bad fats and the intake of sugar that has formed a lifelong pattern. I find myself eating more fibre in the form of nuts and am eating more dried fruit and also fresh fruits. Even if I don't like them raw I will cook them up and have fruit with Greek yoghurts.
"I have no excuse now to turn my back on myself and deprive my body of all that is good for me. Of course I am not going to be perfect in every way and will at time pig out on things I know are bad for me, but this doesn't have to be a full time obsession anymore.
"To have known The Food Chain for the many, many years I have been HIV Positive I once again feel compelled to say thank you for all the love and support I feel when I enter into the doors of The Food Chain in King's Cross.
"I would like to think as I continue, I can also give back a little too and one way I may be able to do this is to find out about how I can benefit others that use The Food Chain in the future by doing others proud by shaking a [collection] can or two on World AIDS Day. This is also a real way to remember with dignity many friends and comrades who are not here today.
"Why am I still here I will never know, but while I have life and have the support of people and organisations like The Food Chain, I will always have a heart of thankfulness and gratitude in knowing there are people out there that care, and care for me personally.
"I encourage others to put their foot forward and really think about how you too can give back, if you happen to know of the support that I have received over the past few years at times when I have really needed it. Please consider helping out, as funding today is very limited and without it we would not have The Food Chain today.
"Thanks greatly to the CEO and all the incredible staff that make up an organisation that really meets me at my door and steps in to give me the support that has the potential to make life, and living, really amazing."
Phil Michell in Hammersmith and Fulham