I’m eating the most delicious roasted poblano soup as I write this, feeling extremely grateful for the fact that a) I did not have to make it, and b) that’s totally okay with me.
See, I used to have a really complicated relationship with food and exercise involving strict rules about what I did/didn’t, would/wouldn’t eat. I was so rigid about (and emotionally bound by) these limitations that if food was offered to me but I didn’t know what was in it, I felt like I couldn’t eat it, and consequently wouldn’t.
I was committed to eating as healthfully and as “cleanly” as possible, and so if I didn’t have control over what was in the food, I refused to put it in my body. I was also “that person” at restaurants, who insisted upon a thousand and one modifications to my order…without medical necessity. I think I drove the waiters and my dinner mates absolutely nuts.
At the time, I didn’t realize how rude my food rules often came across (so I apologize to everyone I offended on account of my obsessiveness.) But I did become painfully aware of how isolating they were. Avoiding food sometimes meant I also was avoiding gifts, parties, restaurants, and social engagements because most of those things involve food. It took a lot of work to break free from all of those rules and become a normal eater, but I’m so glad I did.
Embracing flexible eating habits has made it possible for so many other good things to come into my life, one of which being relationships. Most of my time spent with girlfriends revolves around meals and warm beverages, and one of my favorite activities to share with my fiancé is cooking. Being flexible also allows me to receive love from others in the form of gifts and meals. That soup I mentioned at the beginning of the post? I’m eating it during one of my busiest seasons in school when I just don’t have time to cook for myself. My wonderful, sweet, husband-to-be kindly provided me with a bowl of it to bring for lunch. I have no clue what’s in it, but I did hear him mention something about cheese and cream (which are ingredients I would have scoffed at in my eating disorder days!) Albeit mysterious, the soup is delicious, satisfying, and nourishing.
Today I’m 100% confident that I don’t have to be afraid of the ‘unknown’ in my food because it won’t make or break my body image, my health, or my joy in life. That, friends, is the sweet taste of freedom!