Tuesday, May 24, 2011

disorderly conduct

Pst, I have a little secret to tell you...

I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I don't believe I've ever had a disorder, and these days, I approach most meals just fine, but food will probably never be "just be food" again. At one time it was. I remember forgetting to eat lunch a few times. I recall cravings being the only the thing to keep me from or direct me to a particular dish. I ate when I was hungry, (healthy foods mostly, because that's what I liked), I stopped when I was full, and sometimes I ate a brownie just because I wanted to, without a second thought. 
Until one day I didn't. I was 18 when I realized I could no longer eat anything I wanted without gaining weight. It was then that food became calories, dangerous, something that needed to be controlled. I'm not without emotions either, so these sudden changes brought about guilt, anxiety, and compulsion. Mix it all together and... disordered eating was born.
It was minimal when I was happy, when I felt loved, when I looked good. Yet as soon as life overwhelmed me--a messy breakup, falling in love, homesickness, reverse culture shock--it began again. It was during that last period that I met Gena; The same friend who's departing dinner party I attended last night.
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed our fabulous meal (courtesy of Vérité), I have since not gone raw nor vegan. What I've found, on the other hand, is an appreciation for food, both healthful and not, as nourishment and as pleasure. And equally as important, a group of friends who have inspired such discoveries.
Amidst five amazing courses (of gazpacho, sweet potato-mushroom soup, spinach salad with jicama and sunflower seeds, brown rice risotto cake with coulis, and, my favorite part, a mini coconut cupcake and fresh mango ice cream) we exchanged stories, opinions and laughter. I was honored to be surrounded by such personality, intelligence, passion and fun, to be included in our quirky little corner of this New York blogging community. It was quite the Sunday evening.
Thank you to (left to right, top to bottom) Diana, Leslie, Sofia, Kathleen, Katie, Melissa, Dori, and Ada for being your wonderful selves, and a special thank you to Miss Gena for bringing us together at such a beautiful meal. The dinner, I might add, was not just thrown by her, but it was also in her honor. Gena is embarking on her next adventure in Washington, D.C. It couldn't be more exciting or right for her, but boy are we going to miss her here. I believe travel is necessary and beneficial for all, that living elsewhere is even more so, and yet, as a new Manhattanite, I'm already looking forward to her next trip "home" :).


  1. This is a beautiful post. I didn't know you struggled so much. I'm so glad we were able to enjoy this delicious meal together and say goodbye to our friend Gena!

  2. Amen to appreciating food. You've come far, dear Danielle!

    I know 5 people in that group - cool :D

  3. oh danielle, how bold of you to share this. of course this is healthy living land and i expect a bit of this from each and every one of us! kidding... but not. ;) anyway, i do think that blogging through these stages in our lives can be extremely beneficial. and i'm glad that you've come to a much happier place in this process. :)

  4. we've talked about some of this before, but i give you a lot of credit for putting it all out there on the blog. i agree that blogging can help with all this - just having an outlet to express your thoughts on food/body image and receive positive feedback is a huge help. i'm proud of the progress we've both made over the past couple years. :)

  5. what a great group of ladies! thanks for sharing you story with food. You are truly amazing!!

  6. i love love love this :) and i can credit blogs like yours for helping me get to this happy place as well, deary. :) this is truly lovely, amazing lady!

  7. Such a wonderful post- I feel very much the same way. I so badly wish I could completely go back to thinking about food the way I did when I was naive about calories/nutrition/etc where eating was such a natural thing not littered with shoulds/guilt/compensation. While I have come a long way and developed an appreciation and fascination of food, cuisine, and cooking- I still have that crap buried in the back of my mind

  8. What a great post. It was so nice to see you Sunday!

  9. That's amazing for you to have found your happy place. Me? Still working, but I know it'll come :)

  10. Dori: Thank you, dear. As was I!

    VeggieGirl: So cool I miss you, friend.

    sofia: Thanks, lovely. Me too :)

    leslie: Thank you, sweetheart, so am I.

    Pure2raw twins: Aw, thanks so much, ladies!

    Mackenzie: Wow, I am so touched. Thank you. So are you!

    saltwatercoffee: Thanks, love. It's tough but I think we just have to always move forward and appreciate every little positive improvement.

    Ada: Thank you! Same :).

    Shannon Blogs: It will definitely come. Thanks for your support.

  11. <3 so much! what an amazing group of women - i only wish i could have been there myself!!

  12. Holly: I'm sure all of us can agree that we wish you could've been there too :).


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