Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Talk About Food

Yes, I'm that girl.  I take pictures of my food.
But look at this thing (I forget what it is, some tartlet with figs):
are you kidding me with how beautiful it is?

I’d like to take a second to talk about food. 

Who am I kidding, I’d really like to take about 3 years to talk about food, but in the interest of moving on with my life, I’ll try to keep this brief.

Ahhh food.  So many emotions pop up when I think about you.  

Happy memories of baking candy cane-shaped sugar cookies every Christmas with my mom and sisters.  I’d crush actual candy canes and sprinkle them on top.  I realize now that lots of people do this, but as a kid, I thought I was a freaking genius.

Proud memories of making my first completely-from-scratch Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Deep Dish Pie.   Why yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.  In fact, it won our family pie contest, for which I was the totally unbiased judge.

Anxious memories of being so stressed out at my job in New York that on my way home one day, I ran into Momofuku Milk Bar (my mouth is salivating just thinking about this heavenly place) and ordered 3 giant cookies and 6 birthday cake truffles, telling the lady at the counter (who could care less) that they weren’t for me –oh no, ma’am—they were for a friend’s birthday.  I scarfed down the entire bag in the 3 blocks it took me to walk home.  

Sad memories of sitting on my couch and stuffing my face with Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream when I realized my marriage was over.

Stuffing is such a fitting word.  Stuffing my face, stuffing my feelings.  I would eat so I didn’t have to feel anything.  I would eat when I was happy, sad, bored, stressed, depressed.  And occasionally, when I was hungry.

Food was my drug.  My Good Girl drug of choice.  I didn’t smoke, I didn’t sleep around, I didn’t have any weird piercings (Confession: I may have gotten a tattoo when I was 19 that I now hate.  My mom was absolutely right). 

But I did like food a whole lot.  It was a totally legal secret that I struggled with for almost 20 years.

A friend asked me recently if I was on the other side.  I replied, Yes and No.

Yes, that food is no longer an all-consuming, overpowering, fanatical obsession that occupies my every waking thought.

No, that it’s still a daily struggle.  One that I am totally dependent on God to help me through.

My favorite devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, reminded me today:

“Thank me when things do not go your way, because spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials.  Rejoice in the face of hardship.” 

And this:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” – James 1:2

 I have always had a problem with that verse.  Wait, you want me to do what?  Rejoice in my sufferings?  Uh, no thanks.

While this is not an easy thing to do (in fact, sometimes it’s so difficult I get downright pissed trying to do it), I understand it more now.

I used to think of this issue as a curse (Why God, why would you do this to me?), but now I’m seeing it as a blessing, as odd as that may sound. 

Two reasons:
1. I can’t do this by myself (I tried; that didn’t work out so well). It requires my daily surrender to God for help.
2. Being open and honest about my little secret has opened the door for so many others to share with me that they struggle with it too!

If you identify with this in any way, at the very least, I hope one thing is clear: you are not alone.  

Ok that came out a little creepy.  Here’s what I mean:  I get it.  And trust me, a LOT of other people get it.  And God--he gets it, too. 

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