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A Taste of Healing

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This guest post is anonymous because that is the only way I could get this beautiful soul to write it for me. That says a lot about how intimate and personal relationship with food really is. This woman has the most beautiful life in almost every way.

I was that girl. You know the one. I was the cute girl. The one with lots of friends and not so many boyfriends in high school. I had a lot of personality and a few extra pounds, and when I say few extra, I mean fifty.

I told myself it was because I loved food. What I really loved was eating. I loved standing in front of the refrigerator late at night while everyone else was asleep because I was afraid to go to sleep. Nightmares from PTSD haunted my nights. I tried to avoid sleeping at all costs. Eating kept me awake and comfortably numb. As much as I hated the extra pounds, they kept my cushioned and safe from the attention of men.

I met my husband in college. He was everything I thought I didn’t deserve. He was kind, creative, and present. He saw past my broken parts and he inspired me to see past them too. He was healing and liberation all in one heavenly package.

He was my savior in too many ways. On our wedding day, I was the smallest I’d ever been. I looked amazing in my wedding dress.

We married. We moved to Monterey Bay California. I got a job in a pastry bakery. He went to work for a tech company. We would walk the foggy beach in the early mornings almost every day. We would picnic on the cliffs overlooking the ocean nearly every evening. We mused about our future. I toyed with the idea of opening a shop of my own. We were planning on starting a family and all I wanted was to have children that weren’t scarred the way I had been.

Then one day, he didn’t come home. His car slipped off a cliff on the winding drive home and he was gone. Just like that, it was over. For the first month, I don’t remember anything except his funeral and the ever-so-familiar light of the refrigerator in a dark room at night. Five days after the accident on the day of his funeral I was already 12 pounds heavier than I had been before he died.

Six weeks later I was wealthy. I had a lot of money. The insurance company sent me a check. As I sat there alone on a foggy beach holding it I made a decision that I barely had the courage to back up. I decided to go to culinary school as far away from Monterey Bay as I could get. It made perfect sense because I loved food.

Two weeks later I was in Florence Italy. I’d seen Eat, Pray, Love. Italy seemed like the best place to disappear.

Italy. Not what it looks like in the tourist brochures. It’s a hard place to be when you’re depressed. Everything is louder. The colors are louder. The tastes are louder. The people yell a lot for no good reason.

My instructor for the first three months of our training hated Americans. He routinely referred to me as Porcellino, which means Piggy. I quit crying during class, which was often 9 hours a day. I sobbed the rest of my waking hours. Two months after arriving in Italy I was the heaviest I’d ever been. When I stepped on the scale it read 109 kg. That’s about 240 pounds.

Then something happened. I quit eating and I started tasting. I only ate when I was at class. At first, it was a protest, an act of defiant will for being call Piggy. Then it became something else. For the first time in my life, I started tasting and I realized something profound. I had never eaten because I loved food because I’d never really allowed myself to taste anything. I’d been eating to be numb.

And there I was, in Italy, at culinary school, tasting for the first time ever.

Nine months later I graduated. I weighed less than I did on my wedding day. I’d met a man from France I was deeply in love with. He didn’t have to liberate me. I’d liberated myself.

Food saved me, or should I say taste saved me. I learned to honor my desires by only eating what tasted delicious and absolutely nothing else. I have a pretty sophisticated pallet. Not that many things make the cut.

The perfect simplicity of a vine-ripened tomato with sea salt makes me melt. The artistic elegance of a lovingly prepared five-course meal cooked to perfection is better than any therapy.

Two years after my husband died, I traveled back to my hometown in the Mid-West with my fiance to meet my family.

When I walked toward my parents in the airport, they didn’t even recognize me.

On the way home from the airport, my mother did what she always did to celebrate. We drove through Krispie Kreme. I anxiously opened the box in the back seat of the car and picked up the perfectly glazed maple bar and took a long awaited bite.

I gagged. And for a minute, I almost considered eating it anyway. I was nervous being home again. I was uncomfortable with the awkward juxtaposition of having my new life and new me, in a Honda with my old life in the front seat. For just a moment I was tempted to use the drug to go numb.

I didn’t.

That night my fiance and I cooked my entire family the best meal they’d ever eaten. We stayed in a hotel far away from the light of the refrigerator in my parent’s kitchen. We married in France three months later. My parents didn’t come.
I only eat what really pleases me. I don’t eat because it’s there. I don’t eat because I should. I don’t eat because “it’s time”. I don’t eat because I don’t want to feel.

I only eat what pleases me, and learning to do that, has taught me how to live a life that pleases me.

As I write this, I am sitting on a cliff in Monterey Bay overlooking the ocean. We have decided this is home because the fog on the beach in the mornings pleases me very much. It reminds him of France. This is, and always has been the best place to raise children. I am due in six weeks. I weigh 70 pounds less than I did at my largest in Italy.
I am completely satisfied

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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.


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