I Ate All the Things This Christmas...
I just have to get this off my chest...I am typically very VERY strict about food. Making sure it's real, whole, and balanced. I am crowned the "Food Nazi" by my husband. It has at points in my life become a vice that has made me feel weighed down and bound instead of free to be, live, and enjoy food. I wish the majority of my motivation for eating was for my health...but it hasn't been. My obsession with eating healthy is mainly for the physical result of maintaining an ideal weight. There it is, the yucky truth. I have even created some unhealthy habits along the way to maintain that result, like eating very little, or "forgetting to eat".
I grew up in a VERY health conscious home. I am grateful in many ways for this...it has caused me to challenge a lot of modern day treatments and low calorie fake food diets. However, there is a down side to not consuming processed sugar until you are 9 years old. How so? Let me tell you...You live under extremes. You live under NEVER. You live under fear.
I am not blaming anyone for what turned into my abnormal food analyzing. I am in control of what I let in and believe. I take full responsibility for many years of distorted thinking. Of sobbing over the fact that I asked for no bread on my sandwich...and guess what. They gave me bread. A true embarrassing story. Thankfully, grace has brought me further away from living in that kind of unnecessary torture.
I still rarely eat gluten or processed food. I avoid grains. I have put on weight easily in the past for eating these items so I avoid them. I eat a lot of saturated fat and food in it's natural state. I believe in this way of eating for me and my family. However, there is still an element attached to eating like this that makes me uncomfortable. The fear of eating different than it and the "never" attitude towards it.
So I am here to share with you something freeing and slightly crazy sounding that my dear friend taught me recently. She has experienced steady, healthy weight loss over the past year. When we chatted in October, I asked her how everything was coming along with her eating and working out routine. She told me she had stopped both of those things and was giving her body the freedom to eat and just be. She said whatever it is I am eating, whether Doritos or an apple, I say "Father, Bless this food to my body". The standard prayer before eating most of us have heard before.
She was maintaining her weight beautifully. Releasing a freedom towards food she had never allowed herself to have. Letting go of shame and all the attachments that food would make her feel. It changed how she felt about herself and in return, how she metabolized her food. Something to truly celebrate. It rocked my world.
I have been processing her experience for months. I ate whatever I wanted this Christmas and the weeks surrounding it. I mean everything. Cookies, and kringle, and pancakes... If any of you know my food preferences, you know this is super out of character. I noticed something amazing. My weight did not change. My clothes didn't become tighter. I didn't feel guilt or shame for eating in this way. I enjoyed my family and our time together. I asked for a blessing on my body, for it to go well with me, for it not to hold me hostage to fear of what it would do to me. To be kind, gentle, and loving towards myself.
This was a gift I don't fully understand, but am trying to continue to practice in more areas of my life. I am back to eating in my normal way and feel more free than ever before. Letting go of the fear and the never attitude.
It's okay if this sounds like crazitown. I just had to share. But I am understanding more and more that how I see myself, the fear and shame I replay in my thought life carry a lot of weight (pun was not intentional, but totally appropriate...right?). Still processing...
Feel free to agree or disagree.
P.S. Have you experienced something like this? What are your initial thoughts?