“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
I love food. I don’t only love to eat but I love to cook. I love the preparation and the presentation. I don’t really know exactly when this began. I guess, growing up, my family has always been into food. Whenever there was a gathering, whether it was happy, sad or indifferent, there was food. If we were angry, confused, mad or proud….there was always something to eat. Food was a central theme. When I was 15, my love affair with food took a complete turn around. Newly diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, food quickly became my enemy. In the next few years, I would spend many days, weeks, sometimes months without food or on a liquid diet. IV poles were my dance partners. When I was allowed to eat, it could only be bland and tasteless. For awhile, it seemed, the color went out of my life. My wonderful family kept me company on this awful diet as much as they could and were always careful to pick restaurants that had the obligatory mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and bread. A special day might add rice pudding! Yippie! So….after much deliberation, 2 major surgeries* and 10 years later, I was a new woman! Not only was my gut rewired but….I could eat again! Interestingly, when you are undernourished and severely underweight, it is very difficult to gain weight. So began the daily ice cream trips, the addition of red meat and other high protein, high calorie, fattening foods. It was necessary and a long time coming. I was now 25, just beginning to enjoy a quality of life I never
dreamt thought possible. I dreamt it, just didn’t believe it!
“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
As we all know, sometimes good things have to come to an end. It is now 6 years later and I am (finally) pregnant with my first child. Yay! By week 20, I was flat on my back and the percentages weren’t too high that I would carry this pregnancy much longer. This is where I adopted a new kind of love affair with food. Emotional dependency! I lay in bed all day and all night for 10 weeks. Nothing to do but watch tv, talk to whoever I could engage in conversation and needlepoint. Yes, needlepoint, my one and only time I’ve ever done it! But the one thing that I had control over, that I could do throughout all this was eat. And eat I did! Anything and everything. At the end, I had gained 50 pounds and the baby weighed just over 2 and a half pounds. Oops! As Steve Urkel put it “Did I do that?”
Thus began a new period in my life, not needing the amounts of food I was eating, but loving eating it. Finishing the food the kids didn’t finish. You shouldn’t waste food! I went back and forth through the years and now I am here. I still love food. I still want my cake and eat it, too. Literally! But… I am learning to love my body more….
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
– Virginia Woolf
To learn more about Crohn’s Disease, click here
*In order to live a more complete and healthy life, I elected to have surgery that would change my life in so many ways. Actually, pretty much in every way. To learn more about that, you can visit this website