Migraine

Getting Honest About Food

Image Description: Black felt board spelling out “let’s talk food @ mylifemymigraine.com” with decorate mini food items and bottles to the right of board.

Trigger warning: This post may be sensitive to individuals with eating disorders of disordered eating.

Let’s put something out in the open, I have a very complex relationship with food and weight.

Since graduating high school, the constant ups and downs of migraine that leave me fighting bouts of nausea and appetite changes have completely changed my overall relationship with food.

I’ve gone through phases where my body simply rejects anything I try to feed it. I’ve gone through phases where peanut butter toast is my saving grace. Phases where instead of my body telling me it’s hungry, it sends a signal that I’m nauseous. Phases where eating just about anything makes my abdomen hurt and swell up. And phases where food is simply food and I’m able to eat like a normal person.

There is no predictability from month to month as to what phase my body will be in.

Gone is the foodie who used to venture into crazy restaurants and cafes trying all sorts of new things.

I simply cannot go through the process of eating without having to think about the eating and feelings associated.

I do not have an eating disorder, but many of my sentiments could be understood quite well from that perspective.

Many accusations thrown at me from doctors also contributes to the eating disorder connection. In April, I was essentially refused timely treatment because the nurse just really needed me to be honest about my binging and purging habits. Nothing else was viable to her because of my weight.

Since April, I’ve been working really hard to maintain a healthy weight, eat a regularly substantial diet, and slowly increase my exercise regime. Last week, I discovered I’d lost three more pounds.

I stood in the office a bit shocked at the news, but this nurse actually addressed a different facet of my weight: my parents. Both of them are lean and have been their whole lives, to which the nurse said was the reason I most likely am and always will be thin.

It was her support, rather than criticism that is allowing me to be more open with my thoughts around food.

Food is my friend, and I’m done playing a game of “well is this part of the problem” because in a less than shocking turn of events, it is not.

Over the course of the last few months I have dramatically increased the healthy foods I consume. I eat much more raw and organic foods. However, I’ve stopped eating things like bread, pasta, and eggs on a regular basis. This is not viable for me as I have been totally unable to make up the calories elsewhere.

And these foods are not hurting me.

That has been the largest confirmation for me through this lifestyle program. My migraines are not impacted by the foods I am consuming.

And with that realization, I now have to completely let that thought go.

I will hold onto the vast wealth of knowledge I’ve acquired showing me the incredibly nutrient dense foods I can incorporate in my diet and how to acquire foods/ingredients that haven’t been processed with harmful ingredients. I will be mindful of the specific food groups that can contribute to inflammation. I will be attentive to feeding my body cooling foods in the hot summer months compared to foods that my body has to work harder to digest.

But, I’m releasing the strong hold food has had over me for the past few years.

I love food. Food is my friend and food is an extension of my creativity. I have never, and I mean NEVER had success following a recipe. I always turn it into something my own, and it pretty much always turns out better.

This week was meant to be a week full of better understanding how to meal plan and never ending up in the space where I’ve got to cook everything all at once without any pre-prepared meals on hand.

This week ended up having other plans for me, but I’ve still gotten part way to this goal.

I ordered HelloFresh and have been having an incredible experience. I got three, two-person meals that have proven to last for three generous helpings each. For the cost, it’s within reason to incorporate this service about twice a month.

Each meal takes about 45 minutes to prepare – I’m not a seasoned cook so multitasking isn’t something I’ve gotten good at yet. This prep time isn’t great, but since everything is already portioned correctly it isn’t strenuous.

It also allows me to cook dinner every three days which is very manageable for me, and during this time period I’ve had other food prepared for lunch so if cooking on every third day was disturbed by severe pain, I’d have other food.

Aside from dinner, my breakfast is homemade granola and by making that in large batches I only have to worry about it roughly twice a month.

This leaves lunch as my final dilemma. This week I’ve had a pasta salad and I think having a no fuss lunch, rather than something that creates dishes and has cook time is the best option for me.

I’m slowly getting there.

But, as I write this I want it to be one of the last major “thoughts” I have in regards to food.

I’m sick of talking about it. I’m sick of thinking about it. I’m sick of people thinking a migraine or anti-inflammation diet is the best thing out there and weight loss that may come with it is beneficial.

Weight loss is not a benefit when you teeter on the edge of your organs slowing down and not functioning because you’re too frail.

And so, I’ll leave you with some food positive affirmations:

My nutrients are balanced and I am receiving an abundance of healthy benefits from the fresh foods I consume.

I am capable of finding health without restricting my body.

Food brings me joy and abundance.

I am the creator of my story and I know my body best, therefore I will not allow outside perceptions to change how I nourish my body.

Migraine is not a food disorder, it is a neurological disorder.

A.


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