Suffering and sustainability are mutually exclusive
The good and bad of a person like me with food boundaries moving to a new place is always getting to know a new grocery store. Or a few. Inevitably there will be new things that I haven’t had yet that I am happy to find, and old things I can’t find anymore. And that, my friends, is why I love shopping online. Because if I can’t find it in my new grocery store, I can get my sugar free barbecue sauce delivered to my door.
I am obsessed with food. Eternally. I love to eat. Keeping my meals within my eating boundaries lets me eat without guilt or shame. Loving my meals keeps me within my boundaries because I don’t feel deprived. There is no boneless skinless chicken breast and steamed broccoli for me. There is no chicken breast at all! If it’s chicken it’s wings with the skin on or thighs or drumsticks. And the broccoli is definitely sautéed and seasoned and maybe even has some hot sauce in it.
Every place we have lived I have gotten a new menu of meals within my boundaries. And acquired a new list of foods and flavorings to find online from the things I now need but can’t get locally. But no matter where we are or for how long, I make sure my meals are delicious, satisfying, and a haven for me 3 times a day. They are still a source of joy and contentment for me.
I could never “eat to live.” I could never consider what I put in my body as a tool as opposed to a joyful experience. And I could not do this for over 16 1/2 years if eating were an aside or an afterthought, and not the main event. I could never sustain that kind of relationship with food. And ultimately, if I can’t do something long term, it doesn’t work. If you want to understand how a person like me, an addict, has maintained over a 100 pound weight loss for over a decade, you have to recognize that I am not on a diet. And that I continue to do what I do because I am not doing it “just until I’m thin enough to eat what I want.” I do it because I genuinely love my food.
If I’m going to sustain, I can’t suffer. The two are mutually exclusive.