“When diet is such an integral part of our identity, it’s easy to succumb to the tempting idea that you can reinvent, resurrect and evolve simply by going on a diet. But it just doesn’t work that way. All those bristly, uncomfortable, short-tempered, imperfect, orally questionable bits of you are who you are, and they’re swirled through the muddle of goodness and badness at the core of your soul. You are strange, wobbly, angular, lazy, stress. You’re going to spend your whole life trying to pick apart these threads and make sense of this absolute chaos of contradictions – we all are. You’re going to wonder how the hell you get anything done when the heart of who you are is just one big ‘WHY?’. And all of this is OK because life is confusing and strange and often unhappy, and there’s no diet that can gloss over this. No perfectly choreographed parade of little vegetable nibbles or energy balls can cure that feeling inside of you, because you know what? There’s nothing to cure…” Ruby Tandoh, Eat Up
The more I experiment in the kitchen and read cookbooks like novels the more obsessed with food I become. I am working round the clock to approach food from a new place filled with joy and pleasure. And I mean ALL food. Fast food, slow food, frozen food, processed food. I’m used to associating most food with guilt and anxiety. Falling into the traps of labels (vegan) and diets (ANY food plan). You name a diet, I’ve most definitely tried it or googled it.
Two things happened this week that made me stop and say…oh, yeah. That’s a thing I do. One…I have a horrible habit of eating in my room. I noticed this when my roommate/friend was sitting at the table and I didn’t want to eat with her. If I’m eating anything other than something “healthy” I’m ashamed for anyone to see me. I don’t know what life is going to be like not single. I’m gonna have to post up in the bathroom so I can feel safe eating an entire bag of gummy bears. Because god forbid I ever live life again afraid to make noise in the kitchen for fear of hearing, “Are you eating something?”. LET ME EAT MY GD GUMMIES IN PEACE.
The second thing was I was having a conversation with a friend about food, diets, weight loss. Normal girl talk. But she stopped and said something like, “Let me know if this a trigger for you.” Whaaaat? That is some impressive shit. Because it actually is, and for a lot of people. It reminded me of this eating disorder flyer that hit me straight me in the gut thinking about my own experiences.
So when I talk about food, it’s more about sharing experiences and doing my part to end the food and body shaming. Don’t get me wrong though…I still facetime my sister on the reg to complain about my cellulite. But isn’t that what sisters are for!?!?! Also, you can complain about something while still embracing it!
The point is…I love food. But like, more than most people. While all my friends are busy falling in love and making babies I’m over here trying to figure out if I really need this dill seed in my pantry. The answer was no. I threw it all away. But it’s fine! No shame in the fact I get as excited about my herb and spice cabinet as I do the idea of romance. Extra no shame in my recurring fantasy about recreating this movie set when I’m rich, getting high, and eating EVERY LAST BIT.
It was one of my 2018 goals to have a well stocked pantry that I could supplement with seasonal delights. Gold star for me because today I finished up a pantry list I’ve been working on for what seems like forever. You might be thinking…how hard is it to come up with a pantry list? Um, hard. I had to think A LOT about what I not only enjoyed eating but actually use on a regular basis. I’ve found what I cook most are meals focused on the veggies, herbs, and spices along side some animal protein. Add eggs, coffee, bread, fruit, baked goods, yogurt…I’m set for liiiiife.
But my pantry doesn’t help me in the times I want macaroni and cheese. Or pepperoni pizza. Or pepperoni pizza with caesar salad on top. OR PIZZA WITH CAESAR SALAD AND MACARONI AND CHEESE ON TOP. These foods are not bad and it’s a normal human desire to want them. So best believe I’m going to eat them when the mood strikes!
The only thing that has allowed me to continue working through my eating disorder is eating what I want. It’s also embracing that I can LOVE to cook but also LOVE when Dairy Queen cooks me chili cheese dogs. That I don’t have to cook from my amazing pantry every single day of my life to be “healthy”.
Why do we make our heads spin round and round about this topic? Let’s eat and enjoy food and not talk about our bodies so much. That’s NOT why you’re loved and it never will be!
Have the best week, friends!