My name is Eva, and I like food.
I like food so much that while I’m eating food, I’m thinking about other food. I often plan my free time around what meals I’m looking forward to eating, or what restaurants I’ve always wanted to go to. When traveling, my favorite tourist destination is the grocery store. I guess you could call me a “foodie.” Don’t let my size, or the fact that I’m a dancer, fool you: I can throw down. I will eat my meal, my dessert, and, if you’re not careful, your dessert as well.
My relationship with food hasn’t always been a good one. Quite the opposite, in fact. When I was a teenager, I developed stomach ulcers, which took an extended period of time to diagnose, and took quite a toll on me mentally. Along with the constant state of nausea, there was the anxiety: social events that revolved around restaurants or food became a nightmare. While everyone chatted and enjoyed their meals, I would get pale and clammy, struggling to keep my food down and hoping no one would notice. I lived in fear of being sick in public. I spent extended periods of time in the bathroom and lost weight, which led to people inevitably concluding that I had an eating disorder. I talked to doctors, who never really listened, instead insisting I had a temporary bug or just prescribing antacids. I finally got fed up enough that I stopped eating altogether, angry that I couldn’t enjoy life the way everyone else could. Once properly diagnosed, I spent weeks taking rounds of antibiotics, sometimes up to 12 pills a day. The truth is, even doctors don’t fully understand how most ulcers are caused. (It’s often a little bacteria called H. Pylori- If you’re interested, there’s always light reading to be found on Google.) Years later, I sat down to an amazing lunch with some of my college roommates and reflected on how I once was afraid of eating in public. I think I have to credit all those negative experiences when I look at how much I appreciate food today. It hasn’t been the easiest thing, but I love how the right meal can make things feel right again. Food can be physically and emotionally nourishing, and being healthy and eating well is something I enjoy integrating into my daily routine. I think there’s a lot to be said for listening to your body- for treating yourself when you deserve it, taking care of yourself, and sometimes changing habits when things don’t feel quite right. There’s no shame in asking for a little help, if you need it.
Oh, and for those of you wondering, the above meal pictured is from dinner at Fish in Sausalito. It’s fresh, sustainable seafood right on the water. I went this last weekend and sat right at the counter where I could see the food being prepared. It’s unpretentious, delicious, and entertaining; I’ve spent afternoons on the dock there with a good book and a bowl of their ceviche. If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth checking out. Call me first, though.