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  • My love affair with food started unknowingly and gradually. In fact, in my teens, it was the opposite of a love affair. It was pure hatred. Revulsion.

    I could stare at tables of carefully plated “favorite” dishes, without stimulating my salivary glands. I had no desire to take a perfectly delectable bite of food and lift it to my mouth. I cringed at the thought of food passing through my esophagus, churning through the tube-like structure and breaking apart into pieces. And, if by chance, I was forced to eat, I hated knowing what I was going to do to my body after swallowing the food.

    I did not want any of it inside me. My body’s involuntary reaction was to spew whatever I consumed right back out—or so I convinced myself.

    The lingering question for years has been why did I do that. Attention—maybe. Weight loss—partially. Insecurity—definitely. I was so focused on the image I wanted to be that I did not see the image that I had become—gaunt, sickly and scared. Very scared.

    It took time, self-image building and a lot of support to shed the past and move on. And it took wisdom and having the right women in my life to learn and love my body--not because of a man nor because of society.

    Ironically, the one thing that I was repulsed by in the past is what makes my soul happy today. I constantly think about food—about what to make, what to taste, what to mix, what to experiment with and what to celebrate with. I crave my favorite dishes and thoroughly savor each bite daily. Our best conversations and life milestones center on food in my house. It has done wonders for my self-image, but not for my waistline! And, I know that’s OK.

    I sometimes look back at photos from the hate affair time in my life and pause at the scrawny, ghostly reflection that was once me.
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