Pizza is Not Poisonous

Last week, on the last day of one of my counseling courses, my teacher brought pizza for the entire class. Now, a few years ago, I probably would have found myself trying to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I couldn’t grab a plate and join the rest of my class in eating–I would have just said I had already eaten, or that I’d had so much pizza over the past few days I was tired of it, or something like that. Pizza is just one of those foods that strikes fear in the hearts of those who are struggling with eating disorders.

Pizza still isn’t exactly my favorite food; there are just other things I’d rather eat if given the choice. But last week, I grabbed a plate and got in the pizza line just like everyone else. Why? Our last class was a way for us all to share something tangible–the pizza–as we shared the memories we had made in that course. We enjoyed one another’s company while enjoying the shared taste of hot, steaming sauce and melted cheese.

It wasn’t about the food–it was about the experience. For a long time, I missed out on some really great experiences because I was so worried about what I was eating and how other people might perceive me. These days, I know that that isn’t what life is about. Life is better when you know that the people who matter care a whole lot more about how much you make them smile than whether or not your jeans from three years ago still fit. The people who matter would much rather share a pizza with you than eat alone because you’re at the gym trying to work off that extra something-or-other you ate at lunch earlier.

Pizza tastes so much better when you have good friends to enhance the flavor–and when your mind isn’t too distracted by negative thoughts to really enjoy it!

Love, Hope, and Prayers,

Justine Duppong

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