Loaf you to bits

Loaf you to bits

The ups, downs and inside outs of life, love and dining for a hopeless romantic Coeliac.

My relationship with food is the most sordid, complicated and at-times downright tempestuous love affair I’ve ever had. As the saying goes, the things we love the most can often cause us the greatest hurt.

It’s the pathetic, infatuated, unrequited teenage crush that I just can’t seem to move on from. I sigh and sulk and moon over it from afar, knowing it’ll always be just out of my reach but refusing to accept it. “Let it go already. You know you’ll only get hurt…” Well, I never have been good at moving on but such is the life of a serial romantic Coeliac.

For almost as long as I can remember, food has been a kind of seductive enemy. While most food writers will rave about the happiness and emotional fulfilment they get from a good meal, I can’t relate. Sorry. Most of my early food moments involve a vague nauseous feeling and the very clear knowledge that, although I knew it would taste great, I did not want to eat what was in front of me. Eating was something I did out of necessity and often reluctantly.

We tried all kinds of compromises, even ending up in the counsellor’s office, but it just wasn’t working out. Clearly we weren’t right for each other. Eventually, someone figured out that this was my immune system’s way of telling me, “It’s not you; it’s me.” And I went cold turkey on gluten. Forcing things never ends well anyway.

This should’ve been the end of my issues with food but, like so many, I scampered from one bad relationship and slid straight into another. This time, food was clingy, jealous and overprotective; determined to ruin my fun and keep me in constant fear. All in my best interests of course: “How can I keep you safe out there in the big wide world? You have no idea what’s out there. You’ll get sick for sure.”

Unsurprisingly, this has been the hardest to shake. It follows me to parties and camps, it whispers in my ear every time I try something new or that someone else has made for me. It often convinces me that going out is just too risky. More than anything, I wish I was the kind of girl who could throw caution to the wind and just not give a fig but I am not, so until recently food has kept most of my social life under its thumb. I’ve become some kind of bizarre victim of Stockholm syndrome and, at the ripe old age of 20, I’m kind of sick of it. I mean it’s just too high maintenance.

There comes a point in every unhealthy relationship that you have to put your foot down and say “enough is enough”. So here’s a giant “screw you” to the controlling ways of food and my brain. It’s time I took some control. I will continue to love you from a safe distance but I really I need a life. Can we still be friends though? – Ariana Norton

Photo from e.r.w.i.n. Flickr

Ariana Norton

Ariana Norton

Feature writer, wearer of stripes and serial optimist

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