My food story

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.”

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28 thoughts on “My food story

  1. birgerbird

    I relate! Only now at age 47 am I truly enjoying food and my body with joy, playfulness, and pleasure. I am really enjoying browsing through your blog right now. Thank you for your writing here . . . . I am immersed right now in all 3 of Ottolenghi’s books and I see you feature a lot of his ideas and inspirations. Great work!

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  2. Pingback: What would you feed me…? | foodbod

  3. Ginger

    Good on you for deciding to only eat what is good for you! I have made the conscious decision to eat as little processed food as possible, with the exception of, you can guess it, sausages. Strangely enough I feel a very deep affinity for them because they epitomise German history: wars, the plague, mass migration – only a country that has gone through as many draughts and famines as ours will have had the determination to use every single part of the animals they had to slaughter. Obviously nowadays with international trade and so on I can make much better and more informed food choices, but still … I’m trying, and reading your blog will inspire me to live a healthier life!

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Hi Ginger, thank you so much for reading this and for your comments – I only ever aim to share what I do and what I like and if others like it too, then I’m happy 🙂
      You have to do (and eat) what makes you happy, that’s all I aim to do xx (enjoy your sausages, every mouthful!)

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  4. Pingback: Guest Post- Falafel By Elaine From Foodbod | apuginthekitchen

  5. weebluemixer

    I can relate to having a dysfunctional relationship with food. I used to take no enjoyment from food, only eating because I had too and even then probably not eating enough. However last year I was quite ill for months that even the smell of food made me vomit. Once I started to feel better, my appetite came back and I actually started to take an interest in food and in cooking food. Although I’ve not made any dramatic changes to type of food. I still don’t eat much meat, a lot of my meals are veggie meals. I haven’t cut out any fat or sugar, but i’m just taking more enjoyment from food and cooking.

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    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      I’m sorry you went through such a horrible time, but how great that you are starting to enjoy food and cooking more now.
      Thank you for reading my story, I decided to share it in the hope that it might save someone else from going through the unnecessary years of self abuse that I did x

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  6. sallybr

    I am a bit shocked that I had not read this page until now… better late than never!

    knowing you from perspectives “broader” than the blog, this text was a nice re-affirmation of what I already knew – we are in front of a very special human being, one of amazing willpower, and sensibility, and a beautiful path carved from a life well lived!

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