I love food!
I have dreamed about swimming in a bath of spaghetti, owning my own chocolate factory and skinny dipping in mint-choc chip ice-cream.
Food is my heroin (I imagine – calm down mum, I haven’t done heroin) – the high’s are euphoric; the lows take you to the lowest pit of guilt for over-indulging and being a glutinous-gluts! My relationship with food has always been a complicated one.
I think the first time I realised I had an unhealthy eating pattern was when my high school boyfriend broke up with me. I thought I was in love and going to spend the rest of my life with this person – despite the fact the relationship was totally shit I was devastated. I turned to food and spent a solid year emotionally eating my way through the Cadbury’s catalogue. Multiple times. It was glorious.
Not only did I start to look like a sumo wrestler, I started to treat food like a challenger. How many of these M&M’s can I eat before my body starts to reject the sugary poison and fight back? Apparently it was ALOT!
I guzzled coke like a cheap hooker, ate with the determination of a Russian gymnast and planned meals with precision likened to a heart surgeon.
And one day I found myself stuck in a size 40 pair of jeans. Men’s jeans. Women’s jeans hadn’t touched my thunder thighs in years and here I was standing in a change room; hot, sweaty and quite literally STUCK in the jeans. Those fuckers weren’t coming off. The zipper was stuck, my heart rate was through the roof and I was having an actual anxiety attack. How the fuck was I going to get out of them? I contorted my body in ways an obese person shouldn’t, I heaved with all my mite, threw my back into it, pulled a muscle in my arm and finally RIPPED them off… I actually ripped them.
I was panicked and wasn’t sure what to do with the destroyed denim. Eventually I decided to be like any other normal, sane person. I stashed the jeans under a pile of clothes on the change room floor, sat down on the seat and cried. Like a total girl.
That was the moment my life changed. I went home, ate a heap of crap that night, got up the next morning and joined a gym.
I didn’t look back.
For 10 years I have committed myself to eating well and exercising. I cherished the feeling of waking up without a sore stomach, my skin cleared up and I generally felt better.
So how fitting is it, that all these years later I would be diagnosed with a disease where food plays such an integral part in how things will go from one day to the next.
Simple things like cucumber can send me hurling towards the floor so I can assume the fetal position, clutching my stomach and breathing through the pain.
Seeds feel like sandpaper. I think I can actually feel them moving through my insides until the time they shoot out of me like little tiny bullets. Those bastards deserve their own machine gun sound affect when being expelled from my body.
I have to avoid cauliflower, lettuce is testy and tomatoes are something I don’t like, but because I can’t eat them I of course, want them. How the actual fuck am I allowed to eat tomato sauce but not tomatoes? Are these people for real?
Alanis Morissette sang her hippy heart out about irony. That bitch is so spot on it’s like she knew something I wasn’t aware of. The irony, that again I am faced with a challenge that involves food.
The new challenge is finding food that doesn’t send me sprinting to the bathroom like I am trying to beat Usain Bolt in the 100m sprint at the Olympics. Food that my body will accept, wrap in it’s warmth and push through the inflamed small intestines that is closed tighter than Tom’s wallet at a shoe sale (sorry hunni, you know you hate spending money!).
I will, as always, embrace the cheeky fucker that is my Crohn’s and show it who’s boss. I will give it everything it needs to work and if need be say good-bye to what doesn’t.
I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that once upon a time there was a woman stuck in a pair of jeans in a change room and she felt despair that couldn’t be measured.
She made it through that.
She came out the other side and she is tough as nails.
She will make it through this too.