My relationship with food is…complicated. It’s muddy and unfocused and completely dysfunctional. Sometimes, I laugh because I literally think the reason I work with food is because I am trying to figure out my life. Sort of like the person that becomes a therapist because they want to diagnose themselves, my love/hate with food needs some diagnosing.
I’ve been seeking help for it quietly and privately. I see a therapist regularly and a dietitian that specializes in eating disorders even more regularly. I thought this was something I wanted to tackle without bringing other people into my horrible mess. And then I read this, cried a little and thought fuck yes. This. This exactly.
“This thing I have with eating, with food, with hating my body, and being unable to appropriately deal with stress: This thing has led me to more out-of-body experiences than I can count. And there I am again, watching myself from the outside as I stand in my kitchen, surrounded by opened boxes of crackers and cereals, bags of frozen vegetables and veggie patties, pans filled with pasta and cheese and nuts and cookies and teriyaki sauce. I will eat it all.
I once ate four bagels while taking a shower. I knew I wanted—compulsively needed—to eat, to drown my emotions, to stuff everything down inside of myself. But I also knew I needed to take a shower, to get myself ready, to make myself presentable. I multi-tasked. There were seeds from the bagels in my shower drain for weeks.”
I’ve done this, I do this. I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and while I was getting “ready” I ate an entire box of cookies and two bags of chips and then threw all of the wrappers out of the window. It’s sick and it’s complicated and it really has nothing to do with food and everything to do with not wanting to feel anything and stuffing myself with food as a way to just not have to fucking deal. I’m really good at not dealing.
So couple this with working with food, day in and day out. Add a gluten intolerance into the mix. Realize that I’m also highly sensitive to sugar. Get stabbing pain every time I eat anything that has either of those ingredients. Swell up when I eat grains – any grains. Break out when I eat dairy. So, now I’m a closet binge eater with annoying food allergies. They don’t kill me – but they sure do make me uncomfortable. Shockingly realize that I don’t recognize myself under the fat I have put on – I walk past mirrors and I don’t see me anymore – photos are painful.
I can’t count calories anymore – it makes me crazy. Like an actual crazy lunatic person that nobody wants to be around. I can’t keep eating the way I have been because I will keep getting sicker and fatter. I can’t keep binging because it’s absurd behavior. I have to change it all.
After extensive research (I mean, extensive. I have charts and graphs and index cards), I know that paleo is the way to go for me. I know it’s a controversial diet – but it includes all of the things that I can eat without getting sick. It will hopefully just help me feel a whole heck of a lot better. So, I’m back to tackling no more gluten, sugar, legumes, grains, alcohol (boo)….and severely limiting dairy. It’s going to be a challenge and for my health, it needs to be a lifestyle change – for good. Daily, boring food posts ahead.