In an effort to be honest– this is a tough one.
I hate food. I am deeply ashamed. In a world where many who have very little would do anything for even just a piece of bread, food is the bane of my existence. Literally. Even typing this I am so disgusted with myself I feel sick… the tears roll down in heavy shame that this is a fact in my story.
I pray for a change of heart and shift in mindset, telling myself that food is a nourishing gift I’m lucky to have filling my pantry and refrigerator. I should enjoy it, honor it, eat it.
The truth is, food scares me… and it makes me angry. I’ve confessed recently that I struggle with anorexia. I am currently working to get my weight back up to a healthy place; thing is, I was also diagnosed with celiac disease a few weeks ago. My food choices have been significantly narrowed now that I must consume a 100% gluten-free diet.
Yes. I know it is much easier to eat gluten free now. I have been inundated with articles, books, recipes, websites, brands, advice, and warnings all from loving people who care about my health and well-being. I am appreciative and so grateful for all the knowledge and love given to me.
Here’s where I struggle. I am terrified and overwhelmed when I see even too much food on my plate. Now I have heavy, mental armload of information and instruction, “you should…,” “watch out for…,” “don’t eat this…,” “make sure you…” “definitely try…,” “remember that…,” “you can find…,” “don’t eat here…” “careful with cross-contamination…”
As I try to bring my weight back up to a safe and healthy place, I am scared to eat… anything. My armload of information contains an overwhelming swirl of facts, opinions, and perspectives… much of which contradict each other and are filled with more warnings than hope. While my body slowly becomes detoxed from gluten through the consumption of clean, organic, process-free foods, it seems to have become more sensitive to any ingredients that are not natural. So I’ve had many random days of illness, not knowing exactly what I ate that made me sick.
As a “celiac person,” I am trying to sort the differences between Celiac and “gluten sensitive,” and learn the ins-and-outs of what I can and cannot eat, how I need to prepare it, the best ingredients to use, what to look for on labels, what assumptions to make, and what to do when gluten sneaks into my system.
As an “anorexic person,” I am trying to rebuild my list of “safe,” healthy, nourishing foods, meals, and beverages that I feel comfortable consuming (mentally), that will allow me to thrive (physically and mentally).
As a busy mom, I am trying to streamline meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking in a way that satisfies my dietary needs without turning my family’s world completely inside out… and scaring my kids. I need to teach them healthy habits. (My five-year old daughter is beginning to pepper me with questions about whether or not she can eat gluten, if she has to be gluten-free when she is a mom, and the worst, why I am not eating.)
As Leanne, I am trying to not be a burden when I go out to eat with my husband and friends or when I go to someone’s house for dinner. Not only do I have celiac disease, but my body rejects garlic, avocado, corn, and (possibly) chocolate (not ready to give this one up yet).
Food is frustrating.
When I thought our family had finally settled nicely into a healthy lifestyle in both food and activity (I had successfully maintained a healthy weight for three years), my body sort of flipped out. After several months of testing and research, turns out food is the culprit.
When I thought I was on a road of recovery away from my eating disorder, when I thought food wasn’t an issue anymore… turns out food is still a big deal, and more complicated than it ever has been.
This has been hard to write, dear readers. I am a positive, encouraging person. Right now, though, I feel pretty discouraged, ashamed… and hungry, quite honestly. I know that in time, I am going to get this all figured out, and eating will become a joyous, appreciative action of gratitude. It’s going to be a process, though.
Have you ever seen someone who is too skinny and thought, “Jeez, that chick should eat a cheeseburger?” Friends I tell you, I wish it were that easy. 😉