“Eat the cupcake! It’s your birthday, you can do it!”
I remember watching a documentary about eating disorders and there is one scene where it was the birthday of one of the girls in the recovery program for anorexia. Her therapist is asking her to eat the cupcake they got for here, that’s she’s going to be alright. The girl stares at the cupcake in terror and disgust, like they are asking her to drink acid. But I understand her now, because years later, I became her.
Welcome to day 18 of #31daysofselfcompassion.
The Theme today is “change your food story“
I used to love reading celebrity interviews where they talked about how they just ate whatever they wanted, or discussed how their favorite food was a burger or a chocolate bar. I envied how seemingly, they had such a nonchalant relationship with food, when every meal felt like a moment of anxiety and terror for me.
I wanted that so badly, because I assumed that this is what a healthy relationship with food looks like. so if I get there like the food loving celebrities, then it probably means my eating disorder is under control now. So I would often eat whatever I wanted, which unfortunately resulted in feeling extremely guilty and I would starve myself, spend hours in the gym to burn off the calories and feel guilty and disappointed for much too long.
I then met a woman admire a lot who had an inflammatory disease, and she is very careful about what she eats. She spends hours cooking gluten free foods, doesn’t cook with milk or eggs, has substitutes for many ingredients, and her food is delicious. But what’s more important here is how much she loves her body. For her, the cooking process is a ritual of love, of nurturing a body she knows is doing it’s best to not only survive, but thrive.
It changed everything for me. I understood that overcoming the bad relationship with food is not about eating whatever you want (although you can once in a while), it’s about changing your relationship with food.
Listen your body. What does it need, and what can you do give that as is possible for you?You don’t have to eat cupcakes or donuts to prove to yourself that you love your body now.Decide for yourself what self-love and eating habits look like.
Don’t be afraid to put down the cupcake.
Don’t be afraid to put down your old ideas of what food means to you. Whether it was starving yourself, or obsessing over calories, or binge eating, you don’t have to hold on to that storyline anymore. It’s about deciding that eating will no longer be an anxiety filled experience, but one where you prioritize nurture, compassion and the occasional indulgence. You don’t owe it to anyone, it’s all you. Your body, your healing, your love story.
What’s your food story?
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.