This is a copy of a post that I published at the beginning of February 2014 which received so many lovely responses and seemed to resonate so much with people that I decided to turn it into a page to keep it available on my blog always. I hope that you enjoy reading it and if you think that it might inspire someone else, please do pass it on, I wrote it in the hope that it might save someone else going through the heartache and years of mental self attack that I did..
“I’ve wasted literally half of my life having a dysfunctional relationship with food. I’ve viewed it as the enemy for so many years. I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, I’ve let it completely control my life and take over my mind. And how crazy is that?? This is food I’m talking about, the stuff that nurtures us and gives us energy and keeps us alive, and I let it rule my life for years and years.
Like a badly behaved lover, food has brought the extremes of joy and happiness and fulfilment, swiftly followed by guilt, regret and recrimination. And just like having a badly behaved lover, everyone around me has watched me put myself through this and not been able to understand why I kept doing it to myself. I was happily married with a beautiful child and happy home, but still filling my mind with erosive thoughts, attacking myself for what I ate. I’ve been on every diet, I’ve starved, I’ve binged, I’ve done it all and what I have got for it? A history of digestives issues, that’s what I’ve got!
And so as with any damaged relationship, hindsight is a wonderful thing…who oh why did I let it go on for so long? Why did I put myself through that? Why did I let food have so much control over me? And thank goodness it’s now over.
Now, 42, nearly 43, years old, I can finally enjoy food without any negative aspects whatsoever. What a joy! What a revelation!!
Food is now my joy and a huge positive part of my life, I even write a food blog now!! So what changed? I think it has been an amalgamation of experiences, the main ones being discovering yoga, and losing my best friend.
Yoga has been a revelation, I thought it was just slow exercise!! I had no idea at all about the teachings of yoga and that it would exercise and fix my mind. Through breathing mindfully and listening to the wonderful teachers at Whitespace yoga studio in Stony Stratford, I silenced the negative, self attacking voices in my head, and learnt to be kind to myself and found a wonderful peace in my life.
During this time, my best friend died from a vicious, rare, very fast acting cancer. I could not live through that, watching her suffer and then die, without it having a long term effect. It brought great perspective and literally defined how I now live my life, every day.
Now, food is about fun and health and happiness. The list of food and drink that I DON’T consume is far far longer than the the list of those that I DO consume, because this is how is choose to live and eat. I only eat food that I like, and that I know will nurture my mind and body.
I don’t drink alcohol or coffee or black tea or fruit juices; I only drink green tea or water. I am vegetarian. I don’t eat chocolate, cakes, biscuits, crisps, sweets or any kind of processed or junk food; I don’t eat anything with sugar in, unless it’s natural sugars, as in fruit. I don’t eat pasta or rice or bread; I do eat grains such as quinoa and oats and freekeh. I eat LOADS of salad and vegetables, and nuts and seeds and lots of tahini and olive oil. This is how I eat because I love it, not for any moral reasons, not to follow any plan or regime, this is me, this is what I love.
I eat for my health. I eat for my happiness.
Finally. Thank goodness.”