This post took a lot of thought and although some people may not like the topic this post surrounds, but I thought I’d be a bit personal for this one.
I write about food a lot (as well as craft and some other things I love to write about on this blog), and I love food, but when I was younger my relationship with food was somewhat different.
Dear 17-year-old me,
I would ask you how you are, but I know that you probably wouldn’t be happy with that. I’d know how you would be. So I won’t ask.
I’m writing to tell you that things get better. Life gets better, and your relationship with food will improve. Right now I know that you dislike eating out right now. Your anxiety makes things difficult. This makes things difficult to socialise – you often turn down going to birthday meals because of it, and if you do go out, you usually stick with garlic bread and drinks whilst everyone else tucks into their food. It makes you sad and actually makes your anxiety worse because you think that everyone is watching you eat.
I want to tell you that most of them would not have been watching you eat, and to enjoy the food and the moments surrounding the food. Of course, I cannot force you to do this, and this behaviour will continue for years. But let me tell you – even though it does continue, things get better. You actually start to be able to eat in front of people. And yes, I mean a proper meal. It’s great. You get to write about the food you eat and share the delight in what you love. Because for whoever else is reading this – she doesn’t have an eating disorder, she just cannot eat well in front of others.
Younger self; there are other people who are reading this who would be astonished at how your relationship with food was well over a decade ago. They know of a woman who enjoys her food (a little too much sometimes, but we’ll ignore that – she’s working on it!), eats out with friends and even strangers would you believe?!
There are other things I could tell you about, what I could cover in this letter, but I won’t. I don’t want to spoil things.
But like I said, it gets better. And you are loved.
NB: This post was written in conjunction with Legal and General, who are asking what you would say to your younger self?