Do you ever want to forget yourself, or just step outside of yourself sometimes?
Sometimes I get so trapped in my own mind, so engrossed in my own thoughts and insecurities that I close myself off from some of the joys that life can bring. Generally, this tends to happen when I’ve been unwell or inactive or have too much time to myself. Today is one of those days. I get so caught up in how bad I’m feeling, blaming myself for not being more careful and sensible that I get trapped in an almost imperishable bubble of stress. So, an evening meal that I was once looking forward to planning, shopping for and cooking disappears and with it the pleasure that this brings. Instead, I end up trawling the internet trying to find ways to forget myself or to sort my head out, looking for answers to the same old questions; answers that I already know if only I could escape from myself and reply. Every time I read the same webpages, type in the same search terms, and am controlled by the same insecurities- all weight and self-worth related. You see, whilst I love food, often I have a greater fear of gaining too much weight and of people judging me for gaining weight (I imagine people whispering to each other, making comments like “hasn’t she let herself go” or “she’s gained a few pounds hasn’t she”). To my detriment, I’ve come to define myself as petite, blonde, and young-looking; I have created my own box that I am trapped in. Obviously, the reality of all these fears is a different matter. I’m probably not getting fat, I will gain and lose weight- we all do, and I may eat and drink too much sometimes. However, I have to tell myself that I am more than the narrowly defined space I have put myself in. I am making only myself miserable. I and life is greater than how we look, the clothes we fit into, what others may or may not say and think of us.
If you have read this far in the post then forgive me for its melancholy (bear with me for a few more sentences). Yes, I love everything to do with food that is gluten free. And, I wish I owned that love without the fear. But I do not. This battle exists. Therefore, in sharing who I am on this blog, I should share this part of myself. Life is a journey, of which this blog is a part. With it comes vulnerability and exploration. So, here it is, here I am.
One of my favourite blog posts that provides constant consolation at these times is by one of my favourite and ever-inspiring bloggers, Shanua Ahern, of Gluten Free Girl. Here’s one of my favourite snippets (for the whole post and other great pieces of writing click here and here):
“And now, I only want to fill myself with goodness.
I love great food, food I’ve prepared myself with the best ingredients. Food I can feed to my friends and they will love it, and somehow the laughter ringing in our ears is part of the taste of it. Food I can photograph and write about, and share it with you.
When food is an elixir, a joyfulness, a sensory pleasure—and especially when it’s the path to health—I don’t eat too much of it. I taste it, fully. And then I’m full, quickly.
Befriend your food. Accept it. And watch it change your life.“
So this is what I shall endeavour to do. This is one of my daily challenges and joys. Maybe it should be yours too?