Let me rephrase; I hate what food does to me. Food is not my friend. Food hurts me. Food causes me pain. Food stresses me out. Food, because of IBS, has become my enemy. Subconsciously of course, but an enemy none the less. If food were my boyfriend, I would dump it on it's behind.
Without me even being aware of it, my mind and my thoughts have centred around the negatives of IBS and the low FODMAP diet. What I cannot eat. Which food is more likely to hurt me. What will bloat me. By restricting the content of my everyday diet, in the name of digestive comfort, I have slowly begun to categorise foods into 'good' and 'bad'. Over time, I have started to think of wheat as bad. I blame a harmless little onion for hurting me. Apples... Don't even get me started on apples. Foods I used to love and enjoy eating, I struggle to even consider consuming again. Food, in my mind, has become a nuisance. Something I need to eat to stay alive. That's not to say I don't enjoy food. I mean, hello, I have a food blog. But sometimes I just can't be bothered eating because I don't want to deal with the aftermath.
Those kinds of thoughts scare me. When did food become good or bad? Why does the thought of accidentally consuming onions cause a flare up of anxiety? Why has eating become a chore and not enjoyable? Even watching others eat the foods that I can't eat affects me. I get jealous of people who are able to eat an entire caramelised onion pizza without bloating like a whale. If you can eat it and I can't, you bet I am green with envy. What is it that causes me to feel this way about food?
I think my problem is the associations I have made with food. Certain foods cause me pain, therefore I associate all food with pain, discomfort and embarrassment. But that is not what food was created for! Food was created to nourish, sustain and keep your body functioning properly. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals responsible for healthy liver, heart and kidney function. Meat provides iron and zinc for healthy blood and skin. Eggs are a high source of protein, an essential part of muscle and tissue development. Food keeps you alive and moving. Ergo, food is good. End of story.
So basically, food is not the problem. The problem lies in the space between my ears. Keeping this in mind, I am setting out to change my way of dealing with and thinking about food. No more thoughts of pain, hurt and discomfort. From now on, I will think of food as the nourishing, life-sustaining creation that it is. I'm not gonna lie, it's going to be tough. New-York-Marathon tough. Bear-Grylls-in-the-wild-eating-camel-liver tough. Losing-the-remote-and-having-to-stand-up-to-change-the-channel tough. Changing the thought patterns that have ingrained themselves in my every waking moment, is going to be a challenge. But just as I have created this negative attitude towards food, I will turn it around. How? By reminding myself that every time I eat, I am nourishing myself. By stopping any negative thoughts about food before they can form. By literally changing my mind. Because I want to be excited for the day when I can eat an apple again and feel fine. I want to be ready to explore the world of food in a positive and unbiased light. I want to love food, enthusiastically and unconditionally. I want to love food. Period.
Okay, so now you've heard my opinion, I ask you this: Is there anyone else out there who has similar issues with food? If so, how are you dealing with them? Let's talk, chums.