Cooking Heals My Addiction to Food
It sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? How could cooking food heal my addiction to it?
It took a family tragedy and many years of stress and shame for me to discover that the tools I needed to heal myself were there all along.
As I Watched my Mother in that Hospital Room, I Learned Something Important …
In 1992, my mother and I learned that my brother needed a bone marrow transplant. As we drove several hours to the University of Iowa, where he would have surgery, I wondered how I’d manage with a brother who was desperately ill and a mother who was so anxious she was close to hysterics. I compulsively stocked up on candy bars and pretzels. By the time we arrived, I felt the familiar shame that food addiction can bring.
I thought seeing my brother in a germ-free room where he could not be touched would break my mother, but instead, the opposite happened. As she walked into the hospital room, she transformed. Shifting from distraught to calm in what seemed like an instant, my mother was suddenly at peace. What changed?
She started to crochet.
Watching the Movement of Her Hands Awakened Something in Me
To my astonishment, I realized that the activity had brought my mother out of her despair. The moment needle met yarn, my mother became a vision of centered control. As my stomach ached and I continued to crunch on snack foods, I wondered, “could crochet really do so much?”
Thankfully, my brother survived the transplant and lived for several more years. But I was fortunate that my mother’s lesson stuck with me.
When I Had to Face my Food Addiction, I Realized I Already Had the Tools
Sixteen years later, I found myself at the brink of my own mortality. I had a choice to make. I could no longer fight my addiction to food. I had to begin to live again or die.
Once I began to see my addiction as a disease, my mindset shifted from one of shame to one of healing. I knew I needed to use food to heal my body, not harm it; I had to learn to cook! So, remembering my mother’s transformation, I put my hands to work.
Before I knew it, what had previously been a chore became an honor.
As I began to stir, sauté, and simmer foods, I unleashed my spirit. The result of this process not only allowed me to lose 70 pounds, it also brought true healing into my life.
My mother had her needle and yarn; I have my knife and cutting board.
Now, I Share What I’ve Learned to Make a Difference in the Lives of Others
I’ve learned there’s meditative power in using your hands. Today, I lead others who have food addictions through the process of cooking. All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, and processed sugar-free. I feel that the ingredients, however, are secondary to the process of creating the food. Healing happens within the act of cooking.
While I’m still far from perfect, I’ve come to understand that the weapon I once used for self-destruction has become the tool I now use for healing. This is the legacy I try to pass on to others: You can heal your addiction by taking the reins in your own kitchen.
When you turn your back on processed food and create time and space to honor your body with food that soothes your soul, the true you will be revealed in …
- A body with smaller clothes
- A mind that no longer hungers for SSFF (sugar, salt, fake fat)
- A soul with a deeper connection to your Higher Power
Today, I Honor my Family’s Legacy as I Help Others
Although my brother and mother are now gone, their legacy is in everything I do. With each onion I slice and each healthy meal I prepare, I remember my mother’s yarn and the gentle lesson that saved my life.
Maureen Wielansky is the leader of Cooking Healthy Academy, an online community dedicated to using the act of cooking to jump off the DIEt bandwagon. Cooking healthy warriors rebel against restrictions and rules so they can create their own unique recipe for healing and health. Through Cooking Healthy Academy, Maureen virtually brings people together from all over to world to batch-cook food that is simple, healthy and delicious. Maureen also mentors people privately, guiding them through her unique LEAN (Light, Energize and Aligned Nourishment) programs where they co-create their healing plans with food and their bodies. As result, the weight that has been weighing them down leaves them LEAN.