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  • Writer's pictureAllie Moroney

My Fear of Milk Part 1

On my Instagram account, I opened up about my struggles with fear foods and disordered eating. Originally my idea was to share this content on my blog first and then take it to social media. However, when I sat down to write, creating captions for posts was easier. Sometimes, I find the limited character/time element of social media helps me be more concise with my words.

Over a series of 8 reels, I shared in the captions details of my journey in confronting fear foods and disordered thoughts about diet/exercise. I'm going to attempt to do the same thing here on this blog, over the course of 4 parts, including a few more details and reflections. I hope you'll stick around and that these entries will be a source of blessing. Here we go....!

Growing up, when I would go over to a friend's house and their parents would ask me what I wanted to drink, I'd always ask for milk.

My parents didn't allow soda in our house (Praise God!), so our options were milk or water. Our back fridge was stocked with gallons of milk and I have countless memories of late-night stops at Braum's on the way home from soccer practice to get the best quality hormone-free milk.

I don't remember when I started being afraid of milk and other foods, but somewhere around early high school, I started getting food anxiety. This coincided with the demonization of milk in the media. Remember when milk was Oreo's favorite cookie? Remember when everyone "Got Milk?" I'm not sure what milk did, but somehow she was completely bumped off the food pyramid and now we're living in a world of alternative milks.

The combination of teenage insecurities, eating disorder tendencies, marketing schemes, and diet fads, eventually led me to stop drinking milk to avoid panic attacks.

The thing about food fears is that they don't logically make sense. I was afraid of milk, but I would eat cheese. I couldn't give you an explanation for this contradiction, or a good one at least... because at the end of the day, my fears were not rooted in reason.

Like all fears, my fear of milk was rooted in a deeper lie about my identity. It wasn't so much about the dairy. It was more about what drinking milk provoked in my heart, or rather, what not drinking milk did to keep my heart safe.

The fear is not the whole story, but rather a symptom of a larger story. Disordered eating habits in my life ultimately came with being a competitive athlete. Though I could in theory "eat whatever I wanted," the reality of that did not come without criticism or comments about my body from the time I was under the age of 10.

Working out and watching what you eat is good–but when those things are linked to your inherent value and dignity.... Houston, we have a problem.

I am almost 28 and I can still hear the voice of my coach calling me a "fat ass" when I was 8 years old. As much as I didn't think that affected me, I realized every time I resisted drinking milk or begrudgingly chose almond milk at Kroger, I was subconsciously doing so to prove to that coach he was wrong. Though I was no longer on the soccer field, competing for a spot, my choices in regard to food were false attempts to prove to myself that I belonged. I was fit enough, I was skinny enough, I was good enough. I was enough.

After college, God made these food fears and other contradictions in my life more present to me. I found myself bound up in all my coping mechanisms and maladaptive ways of showing up.

I didn't want to make changes for me. I couldn't make changes just for me. Deciding to make changes in my life was fruit of seeing my Beloved suffer. For me at least, I can suffer a lot. Seeing someone that I love suffer, that's another story.

I remember one day in prayer, beholding all these broken places in my heart and finally making the connection between my wounds and those of Christ. Contemplating the crucifix, fixating upon the wounds of Jesus, it was almost as if I could see each of my wounds on the body of the Lord.

This connection moved in my heart a desire to tend to those wounds. Seeing Jesus suffer, made me want to care for Him in His suffering. When I asked Him how I could care for Him, the response was "care for yourself."

In this moment, Christ gave me a grace to realize that in tending to myself and my wounds, I was caring for Him. Ministering to the body of Christ isn't only reserved for caring for others, but also for caring for ourselves. Making sure our house is in order before we go out to serve others, ensures that our services is rightly rooted in relationship with God.

Recognizing the suffering servant in my own soul gave me the courage to embark on a deeper journey of self awareness, healing, honesty, wholeness and integration.

More later....

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