As I navigate the identity shift that comes with freeing up the mental energy that I used to spend on my food and weight, I am becoming aware of my own tendency to rebrand and redirect my obsessions with food. I am learning that for me, recipe creation, cooking, and food blogging has the potential to become a new version of my old food obsessions.
The other day I found myself neglecting some of my other responsibilities and commitments to myself because I was really into food blogging that day. I felt a little bit out of integrity.
Early on in my journey, I remember leaders talking about striking a balance between caring enough about food that it is enjoyable and tastes good, but not so much that you spend all of your time looking at and collecting recipes and spending every waking minute obsessing about mealtime.
For me, food blogging was originally about having a creative outlet, and also about providing a service to my beloved community and finding my own niche and sense of belonging within that community. I believe that for some of us, cooking while eating this way can still be fun, creative, and enjoyable, and I wasn’t ready to fully give that up.
Yet despite these great intentions with my cooking and blogging, I found myself a little off balance. All this exposure to “food porn” while also beginning my maintenance dance caused me to lose some of my peace around food. My saboteur started getting much louder than normal. I noticed I was spending more bandwidth on searching for recipes and food blogging than I had originally meant to.
I found myself wondering: am I continuing to use food to avoid asking myself the hard questions about who I want to be, what I want to do with my time, and what my purpose is in this life?
As with everything in this journey, simply noticing my own behavior and my lack of peace around it provided an opportunity for self-awareness and growth.
Noticing this tendency in myself doesn’t mean I have to stop cooking, creating recipes, blogging, or enjoying my food, it just means I need to set some boundaries for myself around it.
The fact of the matter is: I really enjoy making new things in the kitchen, blogging about it, and sharing that enthusiasm with others. It is a super fun hobby. AND it is simultaneously true that I can get sucked into it and lose the other parts of myself in the process.
This awareness has helped me arrive at these insights and new commitments to myself:
- I will cook new things when I am inspired to do so, not because I feel like I should to please others.
- I will be mindful of how much time I’m spending on this hobby. I will limit new recipes and food experiments to 2 or 3 per week.
- I will track whether or not this hobby feels enriching and fun, and is not getting in the way of other things I want to be doing or personal growth in other areas.
- I will let my food be simple, automatic, and even a little boring the rest of the time. There is freedom and peace in that for me.
- If I’m doing a risky food experiment I will have an easy backup plan for that meal in case it flops. (There have been some tricky situations I’ve found myself in when something goes majorly wrong in the kitchen)
- I will continue to evaluate the amount of time I am spending and my degree of peace around this hobby.
What are your experiences around cooking interesting and complicated meals as a food addict? Is it worth the time and energy? Or do you prefer simpler meals?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses in the comments section of this post!