My Grandma Bessie could cook her little hind parts off. She cooked at the hospital, at the church and for every family event and holiday. There was so much love in my grandparents home and the kitchen became a symbol of it. It makes sense that my spirit responds to food as love. I attribute my highly developed taste buds to all of that Louisiana goodness that I grew up eating. Part of me hates that I can taste and identify every seasoning, know when there’s too much baking soda and I can tell just how much mustard was added. I’m finally accepting it. It is what it is.
I came out of the womb with a slow digestive system and with allergies and sensitivities. Then I grew up in the era of fast food and junk food innovations, new preservative discoveries and ate it all alongside soul food from the deepest parts of Louisiana. Since I was raised in California’s Bay Area I also grew up eating soul food from Mexico, China, Italy and the Philippines. International before I went international, my palette is almost always doing the most. Now, my body is in recovery. It demands healing foods and when I slip, it talks back to me. Shoot, sometimes it shouts! The shout manifests itself as pain and inflammation, mucus and coughing, skin eruptions and tummy discomfort.
It has taken a few decades but I finally figured out what I need to eat and drink to feel good. Well, I was told years ago, but wavered back and forth until the pain has now become too great to bear. I would do what I needed to do for six months and then go back to the old way of living and eating. With friends and family serving as my co-signers, I would throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I wanted to eat. The phrase, you can eat anything in moderation, is one of the biggest bullshit myths if there ever was one on earth. For some of us there is no thing called moderation. One bite is a slippery slope toward downhill hell. We would never tell a coke head to have one line of coke, would we?
As we enter this week of love, I’m exploring what love means to me. Love feels good. I want to feel good. I choose to feel good. In the past food has represented love and I’m now at a point where I want to shift that perception. I want my entire life to be a symbol of love – my life’s work, my relationships with others and myself. If I want my personal relationship to be special then I have to treat myself accordingly so I am mirroring how I want to be treated. It begins with me and with my self-care.
And I’m done with the conversations that loved ones want to have about it being in my head. Believe me, I love to eat but I am choosing life. I love breathing, so I am on this path. I give thanks for those who support me and I am opening the door for those who would like to join me. Change can be hard. Community makes it easier and provides the support that we need to make those important changes. I am shifting to a new definition of love. Now, let me go make my morning smoothie.
My thought for the day – #IFeelGood #IChooseToFeelGood