I grew up with the toxic belief that food was the enemy. Shame and guilt were frequent feelings, and mixed messages around eating were often heard. From the time I was a young girl, illness was all around me. My baby sister was born with a genetic mutation, and mom had breast cancer. Dad drowned his sorrows in Scotch. And all through this “children were starving in China.” I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I watched the way my mom ate. She grazed almost as if she were starving herself and felt guilty of the pleasures of eating. She punished herself with strenuous exercise and negative self-talk.
Although I didn’t have that language back then, I knew something was off.
Mom was on the journey as a young girl of becoming a prima ballerina. Unfortunately, her parents died suddenly when she was 13, and her dreams were shattered. However, her body image and desire to stay “skinny” lived on forever. As young girls, my sister and I certainly picked up on her way of being and energy. Words weren’t hidden from us and were often confusing. We heard “don’t eat that; it will make you fat” (even though Dad came home with fresh bakery items every Friday night). On the other hand, we also were reminded of all those starving children in China; and we best better “clean our plates.” I recall asking my mom to send my leftover food to those starving overseas…( I mean, doesn’t that make better sense?) Deprivation was all around me. Those forbidden boxes of bakery cookies called my name in the middle of the night.
I’d sneak into the kitchen and carefully scoop out several delicacies, trying not to disturb the bakery string or tear the box.
Once accomplished, my evening ritual of eating slowly and enjoying every last bite on a napkin in my bed began. In the morning, mom would see the crumbs and shame me. She had to rescue me from getting fat, so freezing the stash came next. Each Friday night, when dad came home with these boxes, she’d wrap cookies and cakes in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer. No more boxes on the kitchen counter, packets screamed louder for me. Going into the freezer to rescue these little packets became a secret mission. I’d warm them on my heater and again, enjoy them in private. Crumbs told my truth and the big guns came out….a Spenser Gifts refrigerator gag gift that yelled at me every time the door opened calling me out about my eating again and getting fat. I quickly learned how to silence the alarm and get what I wanted. Until morning. I still don’t know, to this day, why we couldn’t just eat the cookies…after all, who were they for? When I look back at pictures of myself from when I was younger, I cannot believe the struggles I went through.
With all the body shame and feeling of unworthiness, I truly believed in every fiber of my being, that I was fat and ugly and never good enough.
It’s no accident that I studied Mental Health and Nutrition in undergrad and grad school. Later in life, I found a beautiful heartfelt certification program that married my degrees called Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that sealed the deal for me in terms of learning to love my body for the very first time in my life.
Today, I support women and men to learn a new way of eating and natural healing. A way that serves them in the most loving way.
A way to learn new habits, detox old nutritional beliefs.