DIctionary.com states that food is “any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc”. Without food, we would not be able to live, so I guess one could say that Food=Life. For those of us that have struggled with eating disorders, this is a hard concept to accept. Food is the enemy in an eating disorder. It dictates what can and can’t be done in a certain day or week. You believe that you are not worthy of food or don’t deserve to eat when wrapped up in anorexia, just one type of eating disorder. (Disclaimer-I struggled with anorexia and can only talk about my experiences with that, but know there are many different types of eating disorders) I know in my experience, my mood would depend on my food intake as well. The less I ate, the more irritable I would become.
Food holds the power, not the person, making it become the enemy in eating disorder treatment.
Before treatment, I never thought I would enjoy food again. I really believed that I would go the rest of my life only eating “safe foods”. I really struggled with enjoying the taste of certain foods again when I started recovery. I thought I was weak or not good enough to enjoy food. Almost like I didn’t deserve it. Over time, as I reintroduced fear foods, I began to accept the fact that certain food taste really good and others not so much. I began to gain preferences for food again, rather then saying I didn’t like something because I was scared of it.
Overtime, I started enjoying eating more and more. The power food held over me, was diminishing as my taste preferences came back. I figured out what I liked and didn’t like. I began picking out foods I wanted to eat, no matter what type of food it was. If I wanted it, then I would eat it. No questions asked.
Now, to me, food is nourishment. Its part of taking care of myself, making sure that my body gets proper nourishment. I get excited about my favorite foods, and trying new things. I wish I could say that I get excited about experimenting in the kitchen, but I hate cooking. With that being said, I do like combining different vegetables and beans to roast in the oven to go over quinoa or pasta. I try to mix it up each week to keep things interesting (check out my recipes under the Healthy Lifestyle section).
Food is the sustenance to life. Without it we would be dead or just very miserable. Find foods to enjoy eating, share them with others, and experiment with flavors. I believe that this will help give you back the power food once used to hold.
Comment below about your experience with reintroducing food and having it become something to enjoy, not fear?