An Unhealthy Relationship With Food

I have had a rocky relationship with food starting at an early age.

To catch you up quickly: picky eater as a child worried about becoming fat as a preteen, struggling through eating disorders as a teenager. When college began, the stress added up again, and my body began to respond as I used to to stress, though I wasn’t asking it. I involuntarily through up food all first semester. Thank goodness for a sweet nutrition teacher that I needed that semester, who talked to me before Thanksgiving, asking if I was going home to Alaska to see my family. When the tears started to fall, and the stress showed, we were able to talk and I had someone to confide in with my dilemma. With her I saw that I wasn’t alone; she had gone down this journey with a daughter of her own.

As I allowed God to enter more abundantly in my life that second semester, I made amazing friends and my stress levals were zero to none. Even still I stressed about labels and counting calories, the best I knew how.

There have been parts in my life where I have just hated food. The food channel, thanksgiving, buffets, people chewing, the sound of ice knocking around in a cup as I walk … it all gave me anxiety. I’ve wished so many times I could just be hooked up to an IV, get the nutrients I needed, then moved on with my day.

But we are that we might have joy, and sometimes food makes me happy darnit. A typical night at our place — Landon comes home, big bear hugs happen, he’s hungry and I am usually down for a bite or two of something. He changes, heads to the kitchen, opens the fridge and pantry, does fancy mathematical calculations in his head at warped speed and then he’s chopping, boiling and flipping something on one of our two pans. Ten minutes later he’s kindly made enough for two, and we sit down to eat together.

I don’t feel like I’ve avoided the act of cooking dinner because of an unhealthy relationship with food. But I have definitely avoided looking at pictures or recipes of food. That alone has given me anxiety in the past. But a switch in the air happened this week, or something, because I found myself suddenly interested in cooking dinner. I seriously don’t know where it came from, but I’m going with it! I spent Monday morning looking at ideas on blogs, then went grocery shopping with Landon that night for the week. Shrimp + Chicken are officially being added back into our diet, along with a better variety of fruits + vegetables.

I have come so so far with my relationship with food, this year especially. Knowing that I am in control is the secret. Starting the day off with prayer and exercise helps keep my life balanced, while helping me remember to eat for nutrition, while enjoying flavors and textures but never to fill a void. Learning about nutrition has really helped me to not feel helpless, but really empowered. Not having everything figured out is part of the fun. It helps me tune in and learn what works for me and what doesn’t and maybe, just maybe, a dinner will go down tonight.

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