Scratching more than the surface…food history

Four months in to blogging and I decided that it was about time I shared my full story…well maybe not the full story because it’s an awfully long one, but not sharing anything other than the surface had somehow begun to make me feel like I was blogging under somewhat false pretenses.

The reason I didn’t share my eating history and relationship with food from day one was because not only did I not feel ready, I also didn’t want the focus of the blog to be my past. Living in the now is something I aspire to achieve every day having read this book; one too many years back to remember! It sounds easy and some of us, including myself profess to have achieved it but working towards it is taking longer than I could have imagined!

I also didn’t want to get too deep and meaningful and if I’m honest it was partially pure avoidance; sometimes it’s easier just to keep things to yourself.

So…Here goes…

On my 21st Birthday above…

I haven’t always had the best relationship with food. I’ve suffered from various eating disorders since the age of 14/15, the beginning of it all has become a bit blurred over the past 8/9 years.

When I say I haven’t had the best relationship with food want I really want to emphasise is that this was only a symptom of underlying issues. Eating disorders, in my opinion, are no different from any other addiction. Alcoholics and drug addicts don’t become addicts out of a love for drugs or alcohol, it’s the feeling it gives them, it’s a means of escape and something which may start out as a bit of a “hobby” or social activity but due to underlying issues overtakes their lives until they loose all sense of control and the drug of choice controls their mind. There are obviously exceptions and this is merely my opinion being shared as a means to illustrate a path of self destruction.

Eating Disorders should feature above…

Eating disorders have the same foundations and follow the same path only it’s a path which is even harder to disembark as you can’t give up eating, thinking about or making food…we need it to survive.

Me and Mum

I have had many ups and many downs. Time’s when I have seen the bright light of full recovery, and equally time’s when I felt like giving up. I’ve gone from not eating, to eating too much, bingeing and purging and then going back to not eating. I reached a plateau in terms of both the recovery of my mind and body. My weight levelled off and although I maintained strict control over what I ate I was eating, though my meals were far from varied and there were certain foods that I still avoided.

Curvier Times

Too much of the same food doesn’t do your mind or body any good. It gets a little boring and my body decided to react by developing a few intolerances. Having not looked after myself properly for quite some time the affects of being underweight also started to become apparent, most notably in the harsh reality of osteopenia in both my hips and spine; I needed to start looking after myself.

The nature of suffering from eating disorders, most notably the anorexia, means you learn quite a lot about food and nutrition along the way. I had become resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to let go of my obsession with food so I decided the best way of dealing with it was to challenge the energy in to something positive and hence, having been introduced to such healthy living blogs as Oh She Glows, PB Fingers, and Carrots and Cake,  I was inspired and enlightened to not only start blogging, but live a healthier balanced life and so Peachy Palate was born.

Over the years there have been times were all I’ve wanted was to wake up a be like everyone else, to eat when and I’m hungry and be able to indulge when I feel like it. Eating the same foods day in and day out was my only means of ensuring I didn’t loose control and the easiest way to avoid thinking about calories and the nutritional balance of my meals as they never varied.

Now I eat different foods every single day. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are a chance for me to create something new and exciting for my taste buds and I no longer avoid foods for the wrong reasons. I know my body can’t tolerate wheat and isn’t a big fan of dairy, so I limit the dairy and avoid wheat at all costs but seeking alternatives and ensuring I eat a balanced diet that includes protein,fat and carbohydrates and not just an array of fruits and vegetables has become something I delight in rather than elude.

Having tried every form of conventional and unconventional treatment under the sun, in patient, out patient, group and even hypnotherapy, my own determination, reading, writing and taking small baby steps one day at a time got me to where I am today.

Oh and these guys…

Mum and Dad…the two most patient and understanding parents in the world!

I don’t want to cast any aspersions, I’m not fully recovered by any means but my mind is in the best place it has ever been and I compare that to even before I had an eating disorder. I have the best relationship with food I ever have had and although I know my body is still not as healthy as it could or should be it’s something I’m working towards and have accepted. I’ve accepted myself, body, mind and spirit.

Me and Naoise my gorgeous niece Naoise…the light of my life!

I’ve learned so much through the ups and downs, not only about myself, but about life, love and people and I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. Our experiences are what make us who we are…perhaps an overused declaration but one which for me is undeniably true.

Each and every day I make every effort to listen to my body, feeding it the nutrients it needs; I’m by no means perfect and I don’t profess to get it right all of the time. It doesn’t go right every day and after a weekend of recipe carnage and an inability to share the disasters I realised I needed to share a little bit more than the recipes that turn out right;  if on the one hand I’m accepting my own flaws than I should be able to shout them from the roof tops without worrying about the judgement they might receive.

And so…that’s my story, or at least a brief overview of it. I’ve lots of different experiences and lots of other learning and lessons that I would like to and will now begin to share and rather than caring about whether anyone cares I will remember the times when I’ve read other people’s stories and found them truly inspiring and a great means of comfort when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

Rather than obsessing about the past and trying to solve the mystery of the “why’s” I’m making the most of the now. The past can’t be changed, I have an understanding, I accept it, I’ve learned my lessons and now it’s time to get on with living.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, or any comments please feel free to share.

More of my story

A sixth sense

A funny time of year

Baby Steps

The Cause

Overcoming the shame

Eating to gain

Vegan food changed my life

Birthday Time

The Comparison Trap

Addictive Nature

My Biggest Challenges

Enlightened

Time to Do a Little Thinking

Letting go of Food Rules

I’ve been holding back

Breaking the mold – Why I started eating eggs