Our relationship with food

Everything in life is a relationship - you have a relationship with your bed, with your friends, with nature, God if that's your thing... and food.

Food is a relationship alot of people struggle with - I know I did for a long time.

At 32 I finally recognized that I could control my part in relationships... and started to sort through relationships I had with people and things around me. I started organizing my things, getting rid of clutter, keeping my house clean etc. And one relationship I knew needed some serious attention is my relationship with food!

I have a very complicated history with food. I suffered from child obesity - I used food as a comfortor when I was feeling sad and simultaneously a punishment for being so weak to feel such negative feelings in the 1ST place. I used food like a familiar friend to celebrate with, to fight with , to look at with disgust, lust, wonder etc. Food and I had a full on drama. More drama that I ever had with any other relationship in my life. I hated food for making me fat, I hated how much I loved it. I couldn't get enough of it - it filled a hole in side of me temporarily while simultaneously creating hurt with the shame I felt for needing it so bad.

At 23 I felt I had lost the battle with food and the only way I could think to find control over this problem with food was to get a gastric bypass.

This did help me learn to change my relationship with food. Now instead of stuffing myself and feeling comforted by food - I felt horribly sick. Food became a whole new kind of enemy. Now it could withhold the comfort it once gave as my body rejected it's offering of vitamins or hole filling. Food became only punishment and a symbol of my lack of control over my body - my tax for being human. 8 years after the bypass surgery I developed some sort of weird anorexia - trying to prove I had mastered food and it didn't have any control over me. I loathed eating - seeing food as a defeated enemy that I no longer wanted to let into the kingdom that is my body. I thought I had defeated food. But by body fought back on behalf of ... I became malnourished - my body started eating my muscles but the fat I always wanted to lose on my legs only became heavier and heavier - a little know disease now known as Lipedema. My torso became bony and frail while my legs looked like they belonged to a wholly different person. I developed arthritis and a number of other very painful side effects of being so under nourished. By the time I realized that food was a key component to undoing the damage I had accidentally inflicted upon myself (sort of like a bloody battlefield or casualties that weren't meant to be caught in a warzone) it was too late... food no longer wanted me and my body no longer wanted it - despite needing it desperately.

I couldn't muster an appetite - I spent most days too nauseous to even consider trying to eat. I started to have to force feed myself. Completely defeated - I didn't feel like I had any control over the relationship food and I shared. I didn't understand that we had a relationship at all. It wasn't until I started looking at food as an Ally (something I could have a mutually beneficial relationship with) that I was able to take some control if my body - starting to heal not just the relationship I have with food... but my relationship with everything.

As soon as I identified that I can control me in the relationship equation and started looking at everything in life as a form of relationship - I was able to start taking real control over my life and heal old wounds(both physical and emotional).

Think of food like a rich friend - it is happy to give you whatever you need - all sorts of vitamins, minerals, colours, flavors... all you have to do is be a good host - invite it over for dinner, offer it somewhere warm to sit, offer it a haircut and a nice dress- maybe compliment it before asking it for the favor of nourishing your body.

Food can be a very good friend and you get to control when you invite them over and what the party is going to look like - even what the dress code will be! Food is also great servant... offering up delicacies of all sort - emotions, feelings, evoking memories and always being there for you however you need it. All you have e to do is find the right dish that will evoke the emotion you're looking for.

Now I love food in a totally new way. Food brings me what I decide it's going to bring me - and never again will I allow it to bring me shame or punishment for loving it. Food is no longer a taboo word. It is no longer a punishment. Food is now not only a tool but a partner that I can't live without.

What relationships in your life need work? Do you have things that you fight with needlessly... when the other member of the relationship isn't fighting back?

Let's try to get along with the people and thibgs around us - especially food - because we can't live without each other.

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