Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Choosing to live and not restrict

I came to a realization while talking to my best friend over the weekend.

For weeks, I have struggled with ED and some body image issues. It was a combination of a lot of change in my life and being without insurance and medications.

I realized while talking to her that there has been a shift in my relationship with food and cooking. I have been choosing to eat as priority over other things in my life. In the past everything else came first. If there was a story to write, I would write it and then go find lunch. If someone needed something, I would do it before eating.

Cooking has always been a part of my life. My grandmother taught me to cook when I was 10 years old. Before I was 12, I knew how to bake a whole chicken (and kill it before hand), make dumplings, red beans and rice and buttermilk biscuits. Well, three out of four because my biscuits can double as weapons. 

When my ED developed fully, my love of cooking was the first thing to go. As a child, I have created my own cookbook of recipes. As  ED took over, the cookbook fell to the wayside. It got to the point that I couldn't look at a cookbook without panicking.

In the past year or so, I have noticed the love has been coming back. I am cooking things from scratch a little more. I mean I still buy the Stouffer and Marie Callendar meals but I am cooking more. My latest kick has been making mini chicken pot pies and the perfect pot of chicken and rice.

But the big moment came recently when I had put some money aside to go to a new flea market in RR. I went to it and found nothing interesting. Instead of using the money to buy magazines or a new pen, I used some of it to purchase ingredients to make a nice dinner for myself.
I didn’t realize as I was baking tilapia with garlic butter, having salad and eating cupcakes that I had made a decision without thinking about it. 

I chose to eat. I chose not restrict but to eat. This is huge because there have been days that eating one meal was a big accomplishment for me. And slowly, my appetite is starting to come back. It's not huge but I have a small appetite. I haven't had an appetite since I was teenager.

Recovery has not been easy for me. It has been a process to adjust to seeing my body change. There are still days that I burst into tears when I see myself in the mirror. Thankfully, those days don't happen regularly. 

I no longer cringe when I go to the grocery. In the past, it as frantic 10  minute race to get what I needed and get out. Lately, I have spent and hour in the store picking out ingredients and looking at labels. 

I am starting to experiment with recipes. My favorite is white chicken chili. It started out as just regular chili but one day I decided to add chicken to it. I love it and my co-workers love the leftovers. 

I have done the same with fish. Instead of always just frying it, I have baked it and grilled it. However, I still can't bring myself to make fish tacos or fish stew. There are lines that shouldn't be crossed.

I am happy that my relationship with food has changed. Instead of it being love/hate with emphasis on hate, I am more open minded. I find myself sometimes in the kitchen pretending to be Rachel Ray while cooking.

I still have a long way to go. I will never be fully recovered and I accept that. Just like an alcoholic can't have just one drink, I have to be vigilant about eating. I can't say I'll eat in a few minutes. If it is time for lunch, it is time to eat.

One of my favorite moments in the kitchen is with my son. We baked his cake for his seventh birthday. I taught him how to make sliders. He loves those little burgers. One day, the goal is for us to do a small family dinner. We'll keep working on it.

1. After a lot of rain, the sun is finally out!
2. In the few days, I will be covering the Kellie Pickler!
3. Just happy to healthy! 


  1. You have come a long way! That's great. Food is a necessity to live and yet so often we view it as the enemy. Me Included. I've been making some progress to make my relationship with food better as well.

  2. I am happy you have started to think about things differently and live your life with food. I deal with a lot of body issues as well and have to remind myself it is ok that I ate something bad for me....w/out beating myself up about it.


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