This morning on Facebook, my friend Mary Anne Radmacher asked, “Do you think the front of your fridge makes any kind of statement?” She went on to say, “I have often thought that the fridge captures the essence of the home. What is inside feeds our body and what is on the outside feeds our soul (laughter, memories, reminders).” I took the above picture of the inside and outside of my fridge, posted it, and said, “Mine, inside and out, is just like me: a passionate mess sharing her busy, full life with three boys, trying to figure herself out. (Note the three different calendar magnets on the outside and the light inside is burnt out).”
I think some of what my fridge says is that I’m busy, disordered, and overwhelmed. I’m trying to be two people, live two lives, as well as love and care for three others, and it’s too much. I’ve held on to some things for too long, things that no longer serve me — if they ever did. I’m moving so fast and taking on so much that I’m distracted, sometimes don’t even see what I have, what’s right in front of me. When I’m hungry, I don’t always allow myself access to what I need, what would be satisfying and filling. I love how Mary Anne’s perspective, her question, the picture I took captures where I’m at, moving from a year where my guiding word was “home” in which I came back to myself and my space, to one where my word is “nourish,” in which my intention is to feed and to cherish. I can see when I slow down and look closely how I’ve changed, as well as the places where I still struggle.
I’d already spent the morning thinking about how I feed myself. I read a few chapters from Heath at Every Size, and one section seemed especially important, relevant to where I’m at right now.
While it is clear that our food choices are a matter of personal responsibility, it is important to recognize that we do not make our choices in a vacuum. We select our foods in an environment toxic with government policies that encourage cheap prices for foods with low nutrient value, and in which billions of dollars have been spent to convince us to distrust ourselves, to overeat, and to eat foods laced with ingredients that raise our setpoints and damage our health.
I find myself turning away more and more from external pressures and expectations, beliefs that I at one time had internalized as my own. For so long I attempted to live in line with what was expected of me. I really wanted to be a good girl, pretty and fit and nice — agreeable and acceptable. Things about me that didn’t fit with the norms, I hid, rejected, hated. I felt ashamed and uncomfortable and awkward. I can see it now for what it was, so much self-hatred and self-aggression.
I’m learning to trust myself, my own innate wisdom, my own hungers. I’m practicing self-compassion. I work towards every thought, every action being something that says “I love you.” Some of the transformation is visible, but so much of it is still hidden, internal, secret. I’m not sure you’d see it if you looked at my refrigerator.