When I was a teenager, I had an eating disorder. In some ways, I never really got over it. I’ve replaced restricting food by its caloric value with judging food by its nutritional worth. I’ve tried cleanse after cleanse, much of which has been documented here, and most of which has ended up in a colossal disaster – an unhappy, unhealthy Maya.
Every few months, I end up in the doctor’s office after another round of invasive tests to hear the same news: there is nothing wrong with my innards (thank heavens!). My problems all stem from my head and my heart. The stress I carry manifests itself as gnarly digestive problems.
When you’ve heard this same “diagnosis” a few times, you start to get very, very frustrated. Why? Because sometimes it’s easier to just deal with a tangible – i.e. you have Celiac, ban gluten and you’ll be all better. Tangible problem, tangible solution. My predicament is more complicated – I have to rework my relationship with food. It may be a life-long journey.
I’ve been a lot better recently. A lot. But we all backslide sometimes, and so have I. I found myself once again stressing over my plate and latching onto various ideas of how to “fix” my diet (a.k.a. fix my life). Then, last night, I went out for dinner with my lovely, lovely girlfriend.
We serendipitously ended up at Playa Cabana in the Junction and had a blast. Four hours, three margaritas (each!) and several fish tacos later, we had exchanged our various food-related woes. She shared with me what her wise doctor told her. It’s quite possibly the best advice I’ve heard in a while.
“Just eat.” That’s it. No rules, no stress. Here goes.