• Food and Mental Health

    Posted by bailey-anne-vincent on November 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I was thinking about “little things” this week- tiny sources of comfort- and my mind immediately went to food. I Love Food. I have had many instances of not being able to eat it (after fundoplication surgery… during obstructions or pancreas attacks… and onward) or having a low appetite, but I still emotionally love it, always.

    What is your current relationship with food and how has that changed over the years?

    Even though I love it, I have had so many instances of not being able to eat or needing my feeding tubes more than I’d like that I can sometimes have a really complicated dynamic with food, feelings of fullness, and self effacing thoughts.

    I also am so prone to billiard issues and obstructions, that there is always a sense of nervousness when truly enjoying a meal.

    What about you?

    paul-met-debbie replied 3 years, 5 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • jenny-livingston

    November 18, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Like you, I have always loved food. Like, LOVE love it. My relationship with and feelings toward food have changed most in recent years. I never thought about what I ate – I just ate what sounded good. I’ve always listened to my body and never restricted certain foods or food groups (which I now know is called intuitive eating).

    As my body began to change in recent years, largely thanks to CFTR modulators (hey there, Trikafta bum!) I began wondering if I needed to restrict my diet in some ways. I’ve struggled with body image at times and discovered that I don’t always love what I see in the mirror anymore (which could be an entire discussion of it’s own). I’ve talked with my therapist and my CF dieticians about this. I’ve cried to my partner. I’ve done some soul searching and deconstruction the societal conditioning we’re all subject to.

    Ultimately, I’ve chosen to stick with my diet choices. I believe that the body knows best what it wants and needs. I can’t imagine restricting something that I love so much, which brings me genuine joy. A few extra pounds and some jiggling as I walk is totally worth the contentment I have with my food choices.

  • paul-met-debbie

    November 20, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Intuitive eating sounds great!
    I never dieted. I could always eat what I wanted. I mostly grew up eating healthy, self prepared food. That is, my mother prepared it herself. By standards of today, there was probably too much meat and fat in it, and in those days (still?) they taught people with cf need a lot of extra calories. For me this doesn’t work well. My body will adapt to larger amounts of calories and just burn faster. I can only gain max 12 pounds if I want to by eating roughly twice as much as I do now. That would require eating 2 hot meals a day. But I would feel very unhappy with that, I don’t like filling my stomach to the brim every meal. It impedes my breathing too.

    I learned to cook when I left the house at 18 for study and took care of myself. By then, I knew some basic stuff but still, there was a learning curve. Preparing good food, especially for each other, is a joy, as well as it eating it together. It serves the body and the mind.

    I was never too heavy, nor did I think of my body to be too thick or too thin. The only bad habit I had from my youth, was eating too much sugar. Sweets, cookies etc. I guess when I was young I found out it was a very fast and easily digestible source of energy for my body and I didn’t get fat from it. My dentist was always happy to see me. Later, after my 40th year, this sugar intake was gradually reduced by itself to normal or even low levels now. I could gain 5 or 6 pounds by eating more sugar and sweets if I wanted, but I am happy to be on the skinny side and not do that.

    Somewhere on the way we both lost the conditioning to eat meat. Lately, also eggs don’t work anymore. Milk products still okay. This is fully intuitive. No logic, but there you go. If possible, we eat “biological/ecological” food. We used to have a glas of wine every now and then, but the last couple of years we don’t seem to want that anymore. I think we prefer to keep the mind clear and natural.

    I love to eat well and healthy. I really need my food and my energy drops quickly when I don’t eat in time or enough. When I am working or playing the piano, I tend to forget to eat. Fortunately, Debbie keeps an eye on that.

    And by the way, the mirrors they make these days are not what they used to be 😉

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