My food journey from health obsessed to full acceptance
Dinner was our only healthy meal, growing up.
Breakfast was toaster strudels with sugar frosting, or raisin bran with spoonfuls of white sugar, or cinnamon rolls with sugar frosting.
Lunch was "wheat" "bread" with a slice of bologna and mayonnaise, a bag of Doritos, and a Little Debbie brownie.
After school snack was another Little Debbie treat…
(I loved microwaving oatmeal creme pies and eating them with a fork; so good. So gooey).
Dinner, when my dad was home to cook, was simple Lebanese inspired food. Vegetables, rice and sometimes meat, with a salad.
When I was younger, I was hypoglycemic and would get low blood sugar very often. I had diarrhea every morning before school, during school I literally took BEANO (like... gas medicine...) because my stomach was so bloated. And every afternoon around 2-3pm, my headaches would come. They'd last at least an hour and it was excruciatingly painful.
But in my house, you didn't complain. So I silently suffered and thought that existing just meant feeling like shit all the time.
When I was about 13, the movie Supersize Me came out and I was obsessed. I stopped eating fast food and that was when my fascination with food really took off. Around the same time, the show Chopped was created. Watching that show REALLY fueled my passion for cooking and I started learning how to make the Lebanese meals that my father cooked for us every night.
But t wasn't until I left home at 17 and started cooking for myself every day, that I began to heal my relationship with food.
When I was 19 and diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I didn't make the connection between taking care of myself and feeling less anxious.
So I simply took a little white pill every day, for years.
When I was 22, I began practicing yoga and started studying Ayurveda. I learned about gut health and how Serotonin (the "happy hormone") is produced in the gut. That fueled my desire to flush my lifetime of toxic foods out of my body.
So for many years (ages 22-28) I made sure to only put things in my body that were organic or natural or whole.
I was so obsessed with health and having a "clean system"- I thought I was “dirty” if I didn’t do very specific things.
I went from the extreme of having zero awareness of what I was putting in my body, to the other extreme of obsession with clean eating.
Except when I would "cheat"; usually in the evenings. I'd make brownies and would justify eating almost all of them because I used almond flour and cacoa and honey.
I stopped drinking alcohol during this time, too and went a year without a drink so I could release the habit of "going out". But over the years, I'd be in a situation with alcohol and would have one drink and not be able to say to the second or the third or the fourth.
I didn’t have control with sugar or alcohol and instead of getting to the root of my cravings, I just simply tried to avoid them.
But just like western medicine; if we don’t address the underlying CAUSE of the symptom, it never really heals.
My health journey has been one of controlling then exploding. Keeping myself on such tight reins until my soul had no choice but to bust out- to experience some joy.
But finally, just a couple of years ago, I pushed through and got to the place I was always seeking:
I was able to identify a few things that helped me change the way I nourished myself (I’m sharing the system I used in an upcoming webinar, if you’d like to learn it!)
I found nourishment in acceptance.
Acceptance of ALL parts of myself. In acceptance, I surrender, and in surrender, I am relaxed and in relaxed, I feel comfort and in comfort, I do not have many desires or cravings.
It was the feeling of comfort that I was chasing through sugar and alcohol…
But I never found the deep down comfort I needed, in that. I found it in myself. Now that I know where the feeling is, I can access it anytime.
I finally feel safe in my body.