Food is what I'm obsessed with. Repelled by. Drawn to. Annoyed at. Food was scarce when I was little, and plentiful when I was a teenager and lived in Germany, and scarce again when I returned to Russia and ran away from home and lived on my own, and then crazy, unbelievably abundant when I moved to US. Food was my weapon at times to control those who hurt me by not eating, and it was a source of comfort and fear when it was there, fear that someone would take it before I could eat it.
I was never deprived of food on purpose. It was more of an eat-while-it's-there kind of game. You snooze, you loose. From my mom's account I spit out her tit when I was 6 months old. From the facts, I had to be given a blood transfusion in a hospital when I was about 9 months old (or something) because I have developed dystrophia due to malnutrition. Did nobody feed me? I don't know. The arguing parties blame each other and in the end blame me for not eating.
My grandma told me stories how my great grandma danced in front of me to make me eat while I silently cried into soup. I don't remember that, but I do remember mom overturning a plate of soup on my head one time and laughing. My other grandma told me a story of how I ate a whole roast chicken alone in the park. She brought it for me to take it home and I told her if I took it home, it'd be all eaten and I wouldn't get anything. She must've been exaggerating, because how could I fit a whole chicken in my skinny body??
When I was in Germany I couldn't stop wolfing down sausages and sauerkraut and head cheese while in Moscow people had limited food on coupons. When I left to live on my own at 17, I could afford only macaroni with butter and ketchup, and that's pretty much all I ate.
It was with food that my healing started.
My naturopath asked me what I eat, and for the first time I have looked at my eating habits, starving next to binging next to starving again, but never in the extremes and mostly always in my own head and always with the fear that there would be nothing to eat, buying too much, cooking too much. When I walked into a grocery store in US for the first time I was shocked. There was everything. EVERYTHING. When I tried making chicken soup I was disgusted. It stunk. It didn't taste the same. Later I learned that the chicken was bleached, and I became a vegetarian for a year.
And so with food I came back full-circle to what my body was trying to tell me.
I've never been fat, on the contrary, most of my childhood I was dangerously skinny, but with time, and after coming to America I have built a protective layer of extra 10 pounds, and I have chopped off my hair to look more masculine, and I have kept to the whole routine of cooking too much food. Because I could. I could eat it. And eat it I did. And I berated myself for eating it. And for not being able to stop.
It was only after 2 years of therapy that I understood what I was doing, and after testing my blood for tolerance to different food types and researching the whole food thing, I switched to the paleo diet and gradually came to the conclusion that American food is contaminated with sugar and processed junk worse than Russian food ever was.
It's been 5 years since I made the drastic switch, and I'm back to my 18-year-old body that hardly ever gets sick and THAT DOESN'T NEED TO BE PROTECTED ANYMORE. It can be slender and feminine and all mine. I have recently fine-tuned my paleo diet to keto diet, and you can read all about it Keto Clarity, a book I highly recommend (as does my naturopath).
The reason I talk about food is because it's all connected. Your moods and your satiety and your stamina and your sleep and your overall wellbeing affects how you write. If you feel like shit, you can hardly produce anything good. It's a myth that you can run on coffee and no sleep. I moan sometimes about not being able to sleep but it's rare. I sleep like a baby now. I don't have sugar highs and lows, no crashes, no hunger pangs, no jitters. I eat twice a day, or sometimes only once, so I can write uninterrupted for hours without the need to get up and eat. I don't eat breakfast. I wake up and grab coffee and start writing right away. Eating well is freeing. We were not meant evolutionary to consume all this junk we're consuming.
What I'm saying is, take a look at what you eat. Read the book I mentioned above. Do your own research, try it. Why? It's simple. If you feed your brain the right stuff, it will work at its best. Of course, if you're an idiot, there isn't much you can do except stuff yourself with cake and perish from bursting like that guy in the lovely Monty Python sketch. Good riddance. I know you're not an idiot, however, just because you're reading this amazingly enlightening post. So please, for fuck's sake, STOP EATING SUGAR. We want more books out of you, and your healthy body will be very happy for you to eat lots of fat and liver and butter and all those things you thought were bad for you (and turns out they aren't).
Some of you ask me sometimes how I'm so radiant. Or something along those lines. There are many reasons, one of them is that I'm happy, very happy, and another is that I'm eating the right food. If I could, I'd do the whole mom routine here and shout at you, "EAT RIGHT OR I WILL SPANK YOU, DAMMIT." But then of course you will hate me, and I don't want to do that. I simply want to share with you my thrill at how healthy and well I feel since I started eating fat squirrels and raccoons and my neighbors' livers and kidneys and brains (a great source of fat). Seriously, try it. Your body will thank you.
And now that I have shared with you my secret, you owe me cookies, er...cheese. It's a big fat lie about cookies, I don't eat them, well...maybe very rarely...so send cheese, lots of cheese and coffee. And don't let me catch you eat cake, or you know what will happen, right?
(By the way, vodka has no sugar.)