Food Is My Physician and Not My Forbidden Love and Certainly NOT My Enemy

I had a disturbing conversation with my daughter today.  She said she hates food.  She is 28 and she has been through some serious stuff in her short life and she has battled with food.  Right now she is pencil thin and so I did my best to encourage her to find a new relationship with food but I understand her hatred of food.  We have a family legacy of hating food and before I open the closet door and skeletons come clamoring out, I will stop there.  It is not my place to tell other peoples' stories or "out" them in social media. But it made me think.  What is my relationship with food? 

At one time, like my daughter, I hated food, except of course my favorites and I loved them but I loved being thin and boney more.  I could turn down any food back then I never craved food as much as I did approval and that came in the form of thinness for me.

Fast forward and at about 180 or 170 lbs I decided to lose weight via some weight loss doctor that described an antidepressant and phentermine, the devil weight loss drug that is supposed to be safe but is related to Phin Phin - the drug with the bad reputation.  I got down to 140 and looked great. Sort Of. My face showed my rapid weight loss and the ravages of the drug. Plus the drug makes you a little nuts, especially combined with the antidepressant.  It has taken me about 10 years to admit all this more readily.  I don't like drugs, and I knew the doctor was a quack, but I was so hungry to be young and thin and accepted I went against my better judgment, my sense of self, and my health and did it anyway.  I do regret it, I truly believe it damaged my body, but I have moved on. 

Unfortunately at the next phase of life I hit hard times. Personal crisis after personal crisis came flooding in and I was so used to not having an appetite that when I quit using the phentermine, I went crazy, eating everything in sight.  Food became my solace, my comfort, my entertainment, my escape.  It became a crutch and I was really depressed. Plus, the bonus, it was also a punishment for people and things they did - all the while knowing I was really punishing me because I felt I was lacking. I was a mess! 

At my highest weight I was almost 260 pounds.  I have lost a good chunk off of that but still have a ways to go! So, where am I today and what is my relationship with this substance we call food?

I have spent a lot of time and effort untangling myself from food as a lover. It is no longer my confidant, my shoulder, my bff, my entertainment or my mood changer.  After breaking up with food several times it finally stuck and it is no longer my go to when times are hard.  I can still pack in a few too many calories now and then but it is not a daily need to feed some monster inside me that refuses to be satisfied.  It is no longer the relationship that everyone tells you is bad for you and therefor you want it even more.

And food is not my enemy of old either.  I didn't go back to just eating as little as I could to get by.  I can remember as a young girl getting headaches because I hungry and getting all shaky because I hadn't eaten but I would not, could not eat and gain weight.  I knew if I did I would lose the approval I soooooo craved.  No - I will not return there. 

Today, food is my gentle physician.  I am still working on my plan to eat for nutrients, getting as close to my daily requirements of each essential vitamin and mineral as I can.  I still plan to write about that when I get it all lined out.  But that is my goal. I eat to fuel my body with what it needs.  What that looks like in my world right now is this;  there is some leftover pizza in the fridge from last night that my husband picked up because I wasn't feeling well.  I had two slices.  I could have eaten it for lunch too.  Instead I ate two small sweet potatoes tossed with coconut oil and spices.  Because I would just rather not eat pizza two days in a row. It's balance.  If I want a steak I will have a steak.  If I want bacon I will have bacon.  But I will also eat a bag of spinach this week and whatever veggies I decide to add. And I will shop and cook with my health in mind not just my cravings. 

I can tell I'm healing.  From the brain to the body and back to the brain again.  I crave wisdom and balance, peace and health more than anything else in my life.  I don't need a forbidden love to feel alive, and I don't need an enemy to boost my ego off of.  I need a physician.  Food is the great healer if used in the correct way. I thank God and myself for figuring this out.  I have worked very hard to get back to a healthy attitude about life, food and triggers.  It is not a mystery, good input equals good output - Bad input, equals miserable, I can't live like this output.  So when times get tough again what will I do?

 I'll take two Brussels sprouts and call you in the morning.

That's all ~ Thanks Y'all!


  1. I like to think of food now, as an inanimate object...you can utilize it or abuse it....but really, it does nothing on it's own. It has only the attributes we ascribe. A friend is a good descriptor, and a good deal less damaging than the enemy. I admire you as well..you have been with me on this journey since the beginning. I appreciate that.

    1. Thank you Christine! That means a lot to me! I like that - an inanimate object to utilize or abuse and a friend as well. I thought more about this post after I wrote it and if I wrote it again I would change a few things but I think you said it really well and we can look at food many different ways, as long as they are healthy views.

  2. Such an important topic. An emotional relationship with food just doesn't work. And food IS the best physician (along with exercise). Thank you for writing this!

    1. Yes! I think that is a very good point! Exercise is the antidote for many things! That's the next topic!

  3. Great post!

    I feel like I have sort of a stormy romantic relationship with food--at times flirtatious, at times passionate, sometimes sensible and reasonable and sometimes totally dysfunctional. But for better or for worse, I'm actually kind of glad I don't feel totally neutral about it!

  4. I love your title. So much like "let food be your medicine and medicine be your food" of Hippocrates. :)

    Perfect topic as this is a great idea to start the year right.


I want to know what you have to say....comments, constructive criticism, advice and/or anything else - except trash - I delete that stuff!

(If you want to leave a comment but are not a "blogger" just set up a FREE gmail account with google)