Sometimes Food is Hard

Sometimes food is hard.

I was thinking this the other day, sitting in my little cubicle at work while munching on my baby spinach salad. I was so proud of eating my salad for lunch: salad and a pear, greek yogurt and a handful (maybe 5?) tortilla chips that I allowed myself. And a cookie … of the whole grain oatmeal variety.

I felt pride, but also fear.

My pastor the other night asked us, “what rules do you live by? What are the numbers that you assign to those rules? Dollars? Friends? Promotions? Pounds?”

I live by rules … lots of arbitrary rules that I set for myself. (I’m a perfectionist, remember? I’m foreseeing a good number of posts that have to do with food and perfectionism … They weave together in so much of my story!)

These are my rules:

0/2

<125

3 x 3 x 7 (3 miles/3 times/ 7 days)

So sometimes food is hard. Some days, I can barely bring myself to eat. Or when I do, I can barely stomach the fact that I did.

I like to say “I’m too smart for an eating disorder,” because, quite frankly, I am. I know I have to eat, and I do. If I don’t, I get very very grumpy. But eating doesn’t stop the beating that I give myself sometimes.

This is where I live, honestly and truly. Food is my best friend and my worst enemy. Freshman year of college, I ate almost nothing but bagels and cereal because I thought it would make me skinny. (This was before I understood the evils of processed food.) Senior year of college, I stopped eating processed food and lost more than 10 pounds. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, and nothing makes me happier than a big plate of homemade, organic, veggie goodness (and a homemade cupcake!), but look at me trying to justify my obsession with food …

I love food, but like anything else it is good and bad for me. My desire to eat well has brought me so much joy, but my desire to live by the rules I set has caused me to oftentimes hate food as much as I love it.

So I’m trying to break my rules … Well, that’s not true. I still want my rules, but I don’t want them to rule me. But to invite you into my journey with food requires transparency about my relationship with it. It’s a love-hate thing. Mostly love of food and hate of myself. Thankfully, I don’t have to live by my arbitrary, worldly rules. And I’m learning that … slowly, painfully … I have a Savior and a family that love me regardless of my rules. Now, I’m trying to learn to love myself in spite of them. Trying. But I have faith that I can confront all things through Him that gives me strength!

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2 thoughts on “Sometimes Food is Hard

  1. Food used to be hard for me. I was always too smart for an eating disorder, too … but that didn’t make me any less obsessive about the numbers/distorted body image/”fat” (that was non-existant…)

    Mark helped. He told me I was beautiful, every day. (And still does.) After a while, I started to believe it.

    But the distorted body image never went away. And then I got fed up. I was tired of seeing things that weren’t there. I was tired of looking at myself differently than the rest of the world saw me. And I was tired of seeing myself through Satan’s eyes, rather than God’s.

    And I decided I was done. In church one Sunday morning, I literally gave it away. I gave it to God, basically yelling in my head “TAKE it – I don’t WANT it anymore…” And He did. He took it away.

    I still get glimpses of that distorted body image from time to time, but as soon as I do, I cast them off, fully realizing that they are lies. They are not true. When I look in a mirror, I see what’s there now. It’s a nice feeling.

    I’m hoping and praying that God takes your food demons away, too. It’s really nice to eat and love the food and not thing anything of it – not count anything, not worry. I hope you can feel that soon.

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