• Ibiyemi Balogun

My sorted and sometimes awkward relationship with FOOD.




For some reason, I cant seem to make good food choices!


Mealtime has always been met with a mix of emotions from happy to anxious, to excited to fearful to sadness and even resentful.


Happy - I love to eat, it represents getting together with friends, connecting with them, breaking bread, fellowshipping! It also brings endorphins that give you a high! I also love discovering culture through FOOD, learning about people and their cuisine. It is a source of joy and memories of family, celebrations, laughter, and a FULL life.


Anxious - I have often made bad choices and whenever I’m on the next “diet”, mealtime often means I am under pressure to make a million choices. I immediately get anxious about the thought of making a horrible choice that leaves me tired, exhausted, and with a stomach ache. I also would judge myself because making a bad choice, would mean that I “failed”.


Excited - the anticipation of tasting something truly GREAT and feeling joy in the moment can often be something to look forward to with excited anticipation. Trying that new restaurant out, trying out a new recipe, trying a new flavor, and connecting with people over FOOD is very exciting. I love the moment when you take a friend to one of your favorite restaurants and they try your favorite dish and their face just MELTS…..hands-down best feeling ever.


Fearful - As someone that has a multitude of digestive issues, eating the wrong thing can put a damper on my day, it can quite literarily change my mood. It can have you looking for the nearest bathroom in EVERY PLACE you go to. I had to get over any issues with using public washrooms because I recognize that, I don’t have the normal digestive experience that most people have. The fear comes in in the “not -knowing” if something is going to make you sick and take you out for the day or whether it’s just going to be my normal brand of discomfort.


Sadness - There was a period in my life where I experienced chronic stress over the pace of my life. It simply was too fast and I had “locked-in” to most of these commitments so therefore had to see them through. On many occasions, I would eat for comfort because I couldn’t control anything else. I have my go-to “sad” or “hard” day comfort foods and those foods are FOREVER linked and associated in my mind.


Resentful - I am less resentful of food and more resentful of my body…..because it doesn’t physically process food well. There are SO many things I can’t eat and I hate that I even have to think about my food choices from a place of comfort or discomfort rather than just taste and experience. True story, I remember 15-year-old Ibiyemi praying to God at Christmas and my birthday for a new “digestive system”😂…... When others were “wishing” for cool trips, or the next phone, etc, I was legit praying for a new small intestine. I resent that I have to be so INTENTIONAL about every choice because the consequence of a bad food choice is not just a “couple of pounds” it can downright be destructive. It sucks because it’s not just physical but also mental. If I make the wrong choice or drop the ball, the consequences can be very frustrating.



In an attempt to document this journey of learning to take care of myself, I would be the first person to admit that I really don’t know how to listen to my body. Although I have learned many tactics on how to do this from nutritionists, therapists and, personal trainers more often than not, I forget (I’m pretty sure I have ADHD). Sometimes, I just have to learn the same thing OVER and OVER and OVER again which is why I write EVERYTHING DOWN, hence the blog.


All that to say…… I struggle with my relationship with food because it’s more than just a source of sustenance, it is woven into almost every aspect of who I am and it is a CONSTANT reminder because, unlike any other issue, human beings have to eat EVERDAY.


As always, I legit don’t have the answers…….if you have any, please help.


Yours,

Ibiyemi



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