What I Learned From My Complicated Relationship With Food

To start, I should explain that I am Southern and have grown up around delectable food my whole life. However, I do not partake in everything put in front of me. I am a picky eater. I don't like most condiments or sauces. And this can make things sort of awkward when other people are making fun of me. When I hit a real low point with my anxiety, food was one thing I strayed away from. There was no in between for me: no food or all the food. I could go an unhealthy amount of time without eating and my body paid the price, as did my mind. What I found was that sometimes I would need to force myself to eat so that I could have a good day. What I mean when I say "force" is that I would have to pick a food that I knew, on a normal day, would make me happy and just eat it.

"Self-care doesn't always feel good. Sometimes giving yourself what you need is actual work."

It was a slow process and I didn't really want to do it, but my body felt better with some food in my stomach. What the whole experience taught me was that self-care doesn't always feel good. Sometimes giving yourself what you need is actual work. But you have to take care of yourself. Your body needs food and water. Your mind thrives best when the body isn't under attack. I found that I could kill two birds with one stone.

You are the most valuable person in your life. You have to take care of yourself. It may not always feel the best or be pretty, but sometimes you have to do it. Love yourself. Make decisions that make you feel good. Whether you are a picky eater or just have trouble with an appetite, have a fail-safe meal and slowly talk yourself into eating it. You will feel better and do better.

I will not try and say that it will always feel good or that you have to do this each time. But what I will say is that you have to take care of yourself. It's that simple. It's a must. When your brain and heart aren't at 100%, your belly can either be part of the problem or the solution. I found that it is easy to sink into the mindset where you believe that everything is bad, so why not continue to just feel bad? But everything is not bad. Your lungs are expanding, your blood is pumping, and your belly is ready for food.

It's easy to get in a funk. It happens to everyone. And trying to get out of it is not always the most fun practice. However, if you just decide to focus on tomorrow, on the possibility of a better day, you can set a goal to work towards. And when that better day comes, you want to be ready for it, right?