I have been in a slump for quite a while now, and I don’t mean just a cooking slump, I mean a full out, perhaps mostly pregnancy induced, slump. I haven’t felt inspired to cook much of anything when days of unexplainable depression assail me and often feeling overwhelmed about everything and nothing leaves me paralyzed. I know that these dark days are numbered, however I hate the thought of not enjoying the pregnancy to the fullest up to the end feels defeating. I should be bouncing off the walls with excitement for what is happening inside of me (and given how fortunate I do feel), but instead I feel hopeless and lost at times. Not to make this pity party sound like a downpour on my parade of happiness or quest for inner peace, but it is daunting and indeed frustrating to feel so out of control of one’s emotions. This is not to say that I have no good days, on the contrary, I certainly do. I am just yearning for a bit of stability, rather than bumbling along on a rocky path, I hope to find a steady smooth one, with the sunshine and the clear-headedness to see the light and love that is all around me.
I have delved deeper into my meditation and prayer practice, and this has honestly helped. However, before light there is often darkness and I reckon that I am facing this bit because I am digging at painful past memories in an attempt to work past them and leave them where they belong – in the past. I have been working on Marianne Williamson’s ‘A Course In Weight Loss’ – and I know what you are thinking, I am pregnant I don’t need to be loosing weight and of course I am with you on that. Instead my goal with this book is to work past body image issues that I have held with me for a long time and have only worsened over time. I gained a lot of weight in my first pregnancy, and everyone let me know that fact, in fact they would make jokes and make me feel horrible about it – complete strangers. This has been brought up numerous times in the second pregnancy, which has made it all the more difficult to deal with. However, I cannot say that it al started with the first pregnancy nor is the pregnancy to blame, rather it was a saving grace of sorts – it is what led me to get informed, read, watch and change my eating habits, all of which have led to my spiritual practice and connecting more with God. So all in all, I am thankful for that experience. What I am not thankful for though, is the way people reacted to me when I first gained a bit of weight when I moved to Italy. I was not fat, but I had no voice to say ‘no’, it was always yes, yes and yes, please. It was the polite thing to do. It was also the easiest thing to do at the time, I was comforting my so-called losses with food. But it was not just people’s reaction to my weight gain that changed my perspective on how I saw myself, it was and is the all and out socially accepted way in which everyone is free to criticize and talk about other people’s weight and eating habits from dusk to dawn, with them right there. If that doesn’t do damage to most anyone, and especially women, then I would say good for you, I wish I had such thick skin!
I feel that the lessons are helping me move past so many of these issues and find my connection to God, through food as well, and in a healthy way, finally. I do see on the horizon a diminished if not abolished love-hate relationship as well as finally having the strength to let go and let God’s plan come into play and stop obsessing over food, exercise, health, and everything in between. So as I am learning to release and surrender I am also learning something very new about food and cooking for others – no matter what I do, do it with love. Although I may not have so many recipes to share with you, at least for now, I have a renewed love for cooking.