Liven Your Space - A Resource for Healing from Mental Illness
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On Health, Image and Eating - cont'd from last week

In my blog from last week, I mentioned my doctor had given me a choice:  eat or die.  At age 32, I thought living might be the better option. 
 
But being fat felt almost as bad.  Food, primarily addictive foods like those laced with fat, sugar and white flour, had done their number on me but I didn't understand how or why back then.  I only knew the foods I typically ate included such things, and so, when I started to eat them on a regular basis - after the doctor's ultimatum, I began to gain weight at a rapid pace.  Six months later, I was twenty five pounds heavier, smoked to keep my weight under control, but at least I was alive. When I stopped smoking - finally, I ballooned into "fatness." My self image was shot once again!
 
Being fat is not healthy.  Neither is feeling bad about yourself because you don't look as thin as you think you should. AND neither is pretending you are not fat as you hide under big clothes.
 
But what is healthy eating?  Over the years, it became clear that it was about carefully listening to my body. And my body was telling me that the products I was putting into it - as a result of the food industrial complex - was making me sick. 
 
But how could I avoid this? I seemed to be trapped between what the TV, my friends, the government's food pyramid, and even my doctors, said was good to eat.  Had we all been duped?
 
While food was once what we ate to live and stay healthy, food had now become the revenue source for big companies that don't care about our health but about their bottom lines.  They had learned that there's big business in turning natural foods into entertainment:  things we choose to eat not because they provide nourishment but to relax us or reduce stress or pep us up or accommodate our addictions to sugars, salt, and  unhealthy fats. I began to recognize that many of us - most of us - have become hooked on these things.  This was my first step towards "eating to live".
 
"But what is "eating to live?"  My need to stop the "food is evil" mantra made myself tackle this question. And after research and study, I learned that our true health is dependent on natural foods with naturally occuring vitamins and poly-nutrients that not only keep us from being fat but decrease our chances of cancer, diabetes, heart disease,  etc.  These natural, unprocessed foods not only nourish us, they repair us as we age.   Today, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, is one of the most active and informed advocates of this smart way of thinking. "Eat to Live" is a mantra that makes such sense.
 
So I began to gravitate towards greens, beans, whole grains, raw fruits, all kinds of vegetables, nuts and seeds - things that were and are as close to their natural state as possible and without salt and refined sugars and oils.  I also began avoiding all processed foods, like pastas, cereals, items in pretty boxes on grocery shelves. And ... what relief! 
 
After years of experimenting, I discovered I was free of the food cravings that forced me into constantly thinking about food and eating.  I was also free from the disease of not eating because I didn't want to be fat. I was now alive and well!
 
Gratefully, I have learned to enjoy good food. I've also learned how to keep my weight under control without smoking and am glad to be healthy and fit.  At five foot three, I'm obviously not the tall and lanky model I wanted to be but, more importantly,  I'm happy with myself and don't care to look like anyone but me  ... at least most of the time!
 
In the darker period of my eating disorder, I wrote this poem:
 
On Fat
 
Oh! To be skinny
Oh! To be thin!
Obese is not in!
 
Rolls of fat
Cascading down
Evoke discuss
Provoke a frown!
Most displeasing
To the eye
Loose them!
Try!
 
To be a stick
Is my desire!
To be flat
Not fat!
 
Cellulite --- a memory!
To be flat
Not fat.
 
Many people take
Disgusting drugs ...
Doctors dispense them
With shrugs ...
 
Will your heart stop
As on the ground
You drop?
As on the ground
You plop?
 
After gorging
At the table
You are sick
And not able
To work the following day ...
Nor can you play.
 
The heart,
The brain coma,
Diabetes, too
All bedevil you
If you are unable ...
If you are unstable
to cut back on food
To stabilize your mood.
 
Dear God!
From the depths
Of my heart ...
I pray
Take this disgusting fat away.
I pray,
Take this horrid fat away.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2 Comments to On Health, Image and Eating - cont'd from last week:

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i want to be skinny on Friday, December 20, 2013 7:34 AM
I'm thankful for finding your blog post My Blog On Health, Image and Eating - cont'd from last week. I've bookmarked this site and will return again soon.keep it up................
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Sewage Treatment Plant on Friday, June 13, 2014 2:44 AM
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