You know I can’t say what started this thought tumbling through my mind, but it’s become one I’d like to share. As always I’m only talking from and of my own experiences. I don’t have the answers, if anything I just have different questions. So for this post I’d like to talk about the foods we give up, the time we invest and how it’s more simple than some people would like to believe. As always I’ll try to keep this as coherent as possible, while simultaneously getting it all down before it falls out of my ear.
You know one of the most common things I’m asked when I say I bake free-from foods? Will you bake for me? Now I understand that this is a compliment, but it makes two assumptions that don’t sit well with me, the first is that I somehow have more time, probably because most people wouldn’t know how much planning all this takes to do all this, the second, the one that rankles, is that you should have someone to do this for you. I’m not going to be harsh or mean-spirited here, really that’s not my intent. Five years ago I started a journey on my own, scared and terrified, but determined I clawed my way to where I am out of a personal hell, through more than I’ll ever share. I did all that and yet whenever people hear about it they somehow think I should be there to help them, which I can understand. If you can get all the help and support you need all the better for you. The part that bothers me is that the recipes are here, recipes I’ve had to craft and perfect, as perfect as they can be made at least, over the years and yet that’s not enough for some people. They somehow need more. Maybe feel they deserve more because it’s harder for them, at least in their own estimations. What makes me feel so passionate about this is that the moment they look for an easy way out I know they won’t follow through with their diet or lifestyle choices. A lot of amazing people do, it’s thanks to them that I owe a lot of my success, without them making their own paths, where would I and others be? Now, in a way, I’ve become one of them. I hope I can live up to the responsibility.
I guess what I want to say here is to look at yourself and ask if this is you. Do you look for the easy way and give up when no-one will point it out? More and more of us are going to be in this situation and if we keep fooling ourselves into thinking that it’s not that easy to get better than that’s all anyone will believe. The effort it takes to eat right will depend on us and our inner strength. For me it’s hard. I could slip back any time if I wasn’t mindful every minute of every day. But the eating, the food, that’s all pretty simple, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, good fats, all the foods we’re told to eat I eat and it works. Sure I had to figure out how much and how little and a multitude of other problems, but if I started this journey looking for an easy way out I’d, well, I might not even be here to type out all this. And that’s terrifying to realise. So I won’t help someone who thinks I’m here to coddle them, but those willing to work, well there are recipes here, there may be advice from time to time. Quite simply it boils down to understanding that what you need to live is quite simple good food and what you want, so many wants we believe are needs, may have to be abandoned before you start. Food is fuel and pleasure in food can take many healthy forms if you’re willing to look for them. You start this journey with the understanding that you alone will be making it, you will have to do what’s needed, if you can get help then use it, but never depend wholly on it. I just want people to stay out of that dark place I went to, maybe I don’t always phrase it right. Maybe I’d be better keeping my mouth shut. All I can say is that I’m proof it can be done, but you’ll never start if your first instinct is to look for someone to help before you’ve even started.
It’d be easier if I didn’t care, if I could just wash my hands of it all and forget it whenever I see people making mistakes. I don’t ever preach or become sententious, I just share what I did, but when their response is to ask me to do it for them it makes you feel that it’s hopeless. It’s really not, hope is never gone. If you are reading this then know it can be done if you’re willing. There’s no shame in making mistakes, of being scared, or even wanting to stop, just keep going. Let the shell of the person that was crumble away and spread the wings of your new life and soar. Even if you fall again and again then rise up again and again. If you want me to carry you then you’re asking the wrong person, but I’ll keep at this and become a beacon, how ever dim, I’ll stay on this path. I’m a celiac, nightshade intolerant, histamine intolerant, everyday I cook and bake to keep myself healthy. I’ve lost ten stone and kept it off for two and a half years and every day I’ll make choices, no matter how much I want to stop, that keep me that way. That’s just part of me, I’m many more things good and bad, but I know that I’m not giving up and neither should you, especially before you even really start.
As I say often I’m not attacking anyone, I’m not here to hurt anyone, lord knows there’s enough pain in the world, but I have to tell the truth when it comes to this. I know this inside-out because I live it every day. I don’t even know if there’s a word that can encompass all the miscellaneous multitude of problems that food can bring. There’s just one word we all need, and that’s hope. It’s up to us to keep it alive and never to abandon it. Thank you for reading, I hope this made some semblance of sense. I know I at least feel better after getting it off my chest. I’m still searching out those recipes, hopefully I’ll find something new soon. Until then, take care.