Another day filled with my least favorite 4 letter "F Word...." Food.
Frozen dinners, Little Debbie's, poptarts, processed cheese, and more chocolate than any person should ever consume in 24 hours. We have a Taco Bell challenge this week for goodness sakes. Gross.
How did I get here?! It's hard to believe that exactly one year ago I was working in a fine dining environment in Northern Michigan. Each ingredient was carefully picked from the garden & bursting with flavor. It wasn't uncommon to wonder out to the garden and create a dish with whatever crops looked ready to be harvested. No artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or food dyes.
How is it possible to go from one extreme to another in a measly 365 days? It seems a little (okay... a lot) ironic that a culinary school grad would end up in an eating disorder clinic. No matter how I try to rationalize my situation, I still find it overwhelmingly shameful to finally come clean. I'm finally facing all of the dirty little secrets I tried so desperately to keep hidden.
In my rational mind, it makes perfect sense why I chose to study food. I was OBSESSED with food. My entire life revolved around ever morsel and crumb that I put in my mouth. I thought about food at work, school, in my free time, dreamed about it... You get the idea. Food began to control my life. Studying food, however, made perfect sense. I never got bored with the classes and had no problem dedicating every second of my life to it. For the first time in my life I looked forward to going to school and even made the Dean's list.
While it initially made sense, it also created an overwhelming sense of shame. I hated that I didn't allow myself to indulge. If I ever did gain enough courage to take a bite of something, I would find a way to spit it out. I can't believe I'm actually finding the courage to admit these things...
When I think about all of the hard times I have put my family and friends through is when I feel the most ashamed. I couldn't have asked for a better upbringing, so how can I possibly be sick?! My biggest fear is never coming to terms with that thought.
As I continue to progress in treatment, I'm learning that it is crucial for me to address the things cause the most discomfort. Facing my guilt, shame, and fear head on has been my biggest struggle by far. Just thinking about these things breaks my heart. Although I have lost job opportunities and ruined my internship, I have officially made the decision to stop avoiding it.
Once I allow myself to let go of this shame and guilt, I will have the opportunity to focus on what brings me joy instead of the dreaded "F-word." Sure, I will always have an appretiation for fine dining and be grateful for the skills I have attained, but I have (slowly) learned that even frozen meals can nourish the soul. And even though it makes me cringe to admit this, sometimes they actually taste pretty darn good.
It's been miserable at times, but also incredibly freeing. I am thrilled to think I can eat whatever I want for the rest of my life. Chocolate pudding and animal crackers for breakfast? Hell yes. I have actually found it goes quite well with my morning coffee. :)