Sometimes other people come out with things and I just have to nod my head and smile. That sounds condescending and that’s far from what I want to sound like. I’m in a state of admiration. These things they say are gold. And they just say them. Perfectly. At the perfect time. And it’s as though a whole new way of looking at things has opened up before me, debunking some of the ideas I previously had.
This one appeals to me because I have, I’m embarrassed to say, spent a long time fixated on my body shape. I do find it slightly hilarious that I’m a food writer these days, given my adolescent and early twenties’ relationship with anorexia. Perhaps it’s not so hilarious. I’m fairly certain that my family and friends found nothing hilarious about the skeletal version of myself I clung to for those years.
And perhaps it’s not such a stretch to be constantly thinking and writing about food as a food writer. Those with eating disorders expend a large amount of energy and time thinking about food; how to avoid it, how to get rid of it and what it says about them as a person if they give in to any sort of desire to eat what they perceive as bad food.
The difference for me now is that I enjoy food. It’s not the enemy. Well, for the most part. There are always days where that ugly creature guilt creeps up behind me unexpectedly and shames me. But mostly I love cooking and eating and sharing food-related experiences with friends and family. It’s good and it’s soul filling.
On one of those days where I was slightly wavering, I mentioned to a friend that I often wished I was thinner. It’s a stupid thing to say and an unfair thought to share. Really. What good can come from these statements? What I loved though, was, quick as a flash, he replied that, “the only reason you need to get thinner is if you are in a tight spot you need to get out of.”
And there it was. Brilliance.