Some food for thought

Once upon a time I was scared of food.

Not all food, but most kinds.

Anything that I did eat had to be rationalized and picked apart, and most often times, thrown up.

Food was stressful.

Food was guilt.

Food was not fun.

These days, food is (for the most part) none of these things.

Food is a friend, not a foe. It is a tool that helps me lead a healthy, happy life – one that allows me to run like the wind, and tell funny jokes, and make mad-cap films with my map-cap husband.

And not those kind of films, you dirty jerks.

But the busier my life gets, the harder it can be to keep a level head (let alone any semblance of a regular eating schedule) so it’s imperative that I remain extra vigilant, lest I find myself (inadvertently) slipping into oh-so destructive, and oh-so familiar eating habits.

Of late I have had to really catch myself, and take a step back (or ten) just to make sure that I take better care of my health.

So this is why, I present to you the following photos, which I will title – FOOD I HAVE EATEN – as a reminder of why I need to continue to focus on this part of my life, and the brilliance and joy it has, and will continue to bring me.

Veggie burger.

I made this last Wednesday evening. I had just arrived home from work, rain-soaked, and wind-swept, shivering, and starving.


Everything in my being was telling me to flop down on the couch with a box of wheat thins and a giant mug of hot chocolate and just call it an evening.

Instead, I took a long, hot shower (the kind that sufficiently fogs up the entire top floor of our place), and crawled into my pajamas, before setting up shop in the kitchen.

With my favourite radio program playing in the background (As it Happens), I chopped onions, and fried mushrooms, sliced cheese, and grilled a patty.

I even roasted some yam fries.

M was working late so I turned on the fireplace, curled up on the couch with little miss Nymeria, and watched some Portlandia, while chomping down on this delicious piece of soy heaven.

I posted this photo, because in the past, I would never have taken the time to make myself something, let alone a meal that was both nutritious and delicious. Plus, sometimes putting something together – even as simple as a burger, makes me feel like a four Michelin star chef.

Or Ratatouille.

Brunch it.

My brilliant and beautiful friend Emily of the fabulous Well Fed, Flat Broke, invited me over to her house last Saturday for a “reunion” brunch of sorts.


Myself and all her guests went through UBC’s undergraduate Creative Writing program (nearly five years ago!!!) and it was so lovely to have the chance to catch-up and find out what has been going on in everybody’s lives since our last seminar together.

As we chatted, we munched on all the mouthwatering dishes Emily had prepared (truth be told, there was less chatting the more we munched) including a caramelized onion torte, tandoori cauliflower (my two favourites), roasted squash, and potato salad. Not to mention homemade kiwi sorbet.

IMG_20130223_133423 (1)

In truth, it was a perfectly decadent and divine way to start a weekend (and laid back, thank goodness, as I had been out until 1:30am after my stand-up gig the night before.)

I posted this photo because for many years eating in front of others gave me tremendous anxiety. Everything was calculated, down to the very smallest bite. I wanted to cultivate an image of myself as “a skinny girl” who still “ate a lot”. Now, I can interact with all the smart, sweet people in my life, and still enjoy their exquisite food. I am able to let what I am eating take a back seat to what’s really important – spending time with these wonderful friends.

Birthday cupcake.

My sister in-law’s fiancée’s daughter recently turned six. Being the utterly incredible soon-to-be step mum that she is, V took it upon herself to not only make pretty much the most amazing birthday cake I have ever seen, but also a batch of outrageously delicious cupcakes.

Hanging out with them last weekend, I was lucky enough to sample some of these wares.


Believe me when I say it was a dessert experience and a half.

(Seriously, V should think about moonlighting as a baker. I WOULD BE HER #1 PATRON.)

I posted this photo because just eating a cupcake and not letting it tear me apart is not yet something I take for granted. I used to drive myself crazy rationalizing desserts (all food really, but sweets were the worst.)

Did I exercise that day? How much else had I eaten? Could I throw it up if needed?

The fact that I can eat a cupcake and be at peace with this fact, may sound silly, but it means more to me than I can really say.

So that’s it. Food I have eaten.

A series I hope will continue to run, for much time yet.

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

20 thoughts on “Some food for thought”

  1. Wow. This post is spot on and resonates so much with me. It’s also been my experience that even after moving past disordered eating and the horrible mindsets that go along with it, it’s hard not to think those post-cupcake thoughts. I like to think my messed-up-eating mindset is ‘that bad thing that happened some time ago’ but the truth is, a good 13ish years after the worst, I still have to fight sometimes after a generous dessert not to feel like a loser. I’ve been thinking recently about whether these mindsets ever really completely leave. I think they may fade a bit, but the rest remains to be seen. It’s not really always a popular topic to bring up, which can make one (well, me) feel even more isolated and guilty. So, thank you, thank you, thank you for opening up the dialogue and sharing so honestly. You’re definitely not the only one.

    1. It really is crazy how little we talk about these issues when they affect such a large percentage of the population. I figure the less embarrassed I am to write about it, the more it could maybe help those who are also feeling the same way.

      I too often wonder if these mindset ever completely leave – every so often I’ll just be sitting on the couch, or doing some other banal activity and I’ll be besieged by guilt even though I don’t know why. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

      Thank you for sure an awesome comment, truly ! x

  2. You are a strong and beautiful woman. Although the voice in your head may not tell you the same thing, don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise; it’s such a lie. I’m not saying it’s not real because I struggle with the same horrible thoughts and actions, but you are brave to stand against it and speak out when it still seems such a taboo topic. I pray you reach young women far and wide.

    And brilliant video for the Amazing Race! Your talent precedes you, my dear.

    1. Mrs. Foster! This comment actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I really do think it’s important to keep writing and talking about this – that way, others know they are not alone, and that not only is help available, but it truly is possible to get better and healthier. :)

      And thank you! I am so, so happy you enjoyed it! We certainly had a fun time making it!! xx

    1. Thank you so much! It certainly hasn’t been easy to get where I am, but I am so much happier and healthier and that’s all that I care about. :) Food really is a celebration of everything fabulous about life! x

  3. on the other hand (or foot, as i only open my mouth to change those) i’ve rarely, if ever, had a problem w/food.
    or most drink(s).
    it’s useful to eat healthily enough so that the body can then do what “it” truly wants: laziness, shuffling about with a medium-sized cold bourbon and 60-ring-gauge cigar.
    yeah, the dichotomy. i run too, to clear the lungs so as to better appreciate the schmoak layturr awn …
    THAT BRUNCH looks just like what the Dr. ordurd after a long, long running workout!

    1. Haha, well, those photos do well to capture how amazing all of that food truly was!

      I’m like you though – I’m never hungry in the mornings. I truly am a lunch gal through and through. x

  4. You’ve come so far, it’s so awesome! And there really is something about knowing food can still be a trigger issue for you so you have to watch out for that. I had trouble with food for a couple years myself, the eating in public thing really resonates with me. And it ended up giving me a sense of a control when my world felt a little too chaotic. But eating well and healthy is so much better. Thanks for sharing this – I’m sure it strikes a chord with so many others. :)

    1. Most definitely – being self-aware is pretty much the first line of defense when it comes to staying sane with this stuff (and keeping down the straight and narrow!)

      I too am glad that you too are in a happier place food-wise – you do such an amazing job keeping yourself (and others) happy and healthy. :) The more we talk about these issues, the less they will be taboo for others! x

  5. That’s not at all silly. It’s actually really really awesome! To able to make a claim like that proves just how far you’ve come. It’s kind of an awesome moment when you realize how much progress you’ve made and how something that used to be an issue, like eating a cupcake, you’re now ok with. To be able to share this with the internet is also amazeballs. Rock on, dude!

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