This relationship has been hard work over the years. We’ve had ups and downs and there was a time when I was 17 when I walked away from it and didn’t want to know any more. It left me very ill and weak. But I remained strong in character and I fought with all my inner strength and soon we were reunited. But that break from each other scarred me in many ways and our relationship has never been the same.
I’m talking about food and my love-hate affair with it that led me to anorexia when I was younger. I’m pleased to say that by the grace of God I recovered from that but it left its mark and over the years I found myself a victim of the yo yo dieting cycle.
I find these days I have gone full circle. From total abstinence and imposed self denial I embrace food totally and love it. From sticky toffee pudding, to cheese fondue, from salmon en croute to Christmas cake, I just love food. The textures, the taste, the feeling of joy eating something that tickles the taste bud and makes me happy… I love it all. I have tried over the years not to over indulge my sweet tooth… sometimes I’m successful, other times not.
A few weeks ago the medics decided that I had to try a period of time without sugar, gluten and alcohol to see if it helped my immune system etc. I set a date in mind to start my month long experiment and had dinner the night before with a friend and enjoyed my brownie sundae as if my life depended upon it. I was going to be entering the healthy zone and was looking forward to the challenge ahead.
Now I have been doing this for almost a week and I can feel the benefits already. It’s extraordinary. I’m sleeping soundly and for much longer than before. I have much more energy and I’m never hungry. I’m thinking about cooking and my meals are far more creative than before. I’m putting far more effort into this relationship as I realise that it needs me to. It needs me to think carefully and sensibly. It needs risk taking and time to think about the end result. It needs planning and preparation and it needs care and love.
Then the thought struck me that I should apply the same strategy with all my relationships going forward… who knows what might happen?
Perhaps they all might benefit (especially the tricky ones) from being based on a recipe of effort, care, love, time, thought, creativity, fun, risk and planning.
It could be a great way forward!