I spent the first 30 years of my life having an uncomfortable relationship with food. An uncomfortable relationship with my body. An uncomfortable relationship with me- every part about me. Food was something that I loved but hated all the same. Food made me happy, excited me, and then turned on me when I couldn’t control myself. It changed me. Food made me look different, feel different, be different. Food represented something that I couldn’t have, wasn’t supposed to have, or God forbid, enjoy. Food had rules. Food had restrictions and it had boundaries. It wasn’t a fair Love. Everything in my life revolved around food. Food was my center, food was my guide, food controlled every part of me.
Then I began to Love myself. I no longer looked to food, or anything else for that matter, to provide me with something I wasn’t able to give myself. And I began to feel the way I had always imagined being felt like. The way living felt like. All of those years wasted being so sad and broken! What truly lied beneath my bed with all of the hidden morsels that kept me awake at night? What was I searching for in all those uneccesary bites of food? I was searching for what we are all searching for- Love. All you need is Love. And Love is all you need. Loving something that doesn’t Love you back is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking things one can go through. I loved my food and my food didn’t Love me back. And my heart was living in a state of broken for all of my life.
But I discovered that becoming a mother changed all of that for me. My body, the body that I hated for all of my life, the body that let me down and couldn’t be what I wanted it to be for all those years, finally did something magnificent, something that not everyone can do. My body made something. It created. It loved. And it was loved back. My body became mine for the first time in my life. And I began to treat it with respect. And it began to respect me back. Then my mind, soul, and spirit followed. I began to Love all of me. And then I began to Love food. What once broke me down, now provides me with such happiness and joy. I Love food now for all the right reasons. I Love the way it makes me feel when I create it, I Love feeding it to people and then watching them Love me for it. But I no longer need it the way I once did. I no longer need food to Love me, because I have found other things that Love me back- better and stronger.
Has food been a metaphor for something in my life? Perhaps. Maybe. Who knows. Everything has meaning. Everything happens for a reason. Every thing we go through, no matter how good or bad or happy or sad, is meant to have happened. You can’t search for the reason, the thing that is supposed to happen to you. You must wait for it. And when it arrives, you will know. Like true Love. Your body will know when it comes, there will be no question, there will be no doubt. The body will know.
If you have something that you Love, something that you feel in your gut is meant to be yours, something that is kind and true, something that loves you back the way you are at your most you, you must go get it. No matter what. You must climb and swim and reach so far for it that your body becomes weak. You must not give up until happiness overcomes you. Until Love fills the cracks in the heart that once was broken.
Loving something that doesn’t Love you back is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking things one can go through. But once you overcome that difficulty, mend the broken pieces of your heart, you can see that maybe you have been loving the wrong thing all this time. The heart wants what the heart wants. And you owe it to yourself to find out what that may be.
The thing I love to make when I’m feeling Love and loved is bread. (And lucky for me I get to make it every week.) Bread is something many of us feel we can’t have- something we aren’t supposed to have. But we can, you can. You can have anything you want, as long as it’s for the right reasons.
Here’s a recycled link to my recipe for Sourdough Bread, the thing that I look forward to every single morning when I wake up. If you’re lucky enough to have a living potato starter, this is the best recipe you will find. I’ve been making it for as long as I’ve been a happy mother. But…if you’re not as lucky, come over to my house and I will be more than happy to share the Love.