re: what do you eat?

Today I would like to share with the honeyhands audience what my journey with food has consisted of, so take this as a response to Hikari’s article ‘What do you eat?’.

Hikariが以前シェアした『What do you eat? (食べるものの決め方は?)』にレスポンスを書く形で、今日は私の食べ物との関係を話すね。

My relationship with food has always been complicated, and it can still be in some moments. The starting point of my journey has been my cultural environment. Being Italian, food is not just nutrition for the body so it can work, but rather nutrition for the soul. Eating becomes then an experience that transcends the basic material need of survival. It’s almost mystical.


Eating ‘good food’ is one of the most important not written rules of my country. I grew up with an abundance of dishes and a variety of flavours. My favourite meals were associated with the most important moments of my life, being surrounded by people who loved me and whom I love. I have always been a foodie, I’ve eaten pigeons and rabbits and I have never been a picky kid when it came to vegetables. Anything edible, I’ve probably tasted it.


I didn’t ask myself questions until my body started to change. Around 13 years old, my body started to hit puberty, and more fat got stored. This is a very normal process, as the body needs lots of energy to boost the growth process, but I started judging myself and my body a lot. I wanted to lose weight. So, from the moment I started associating my image in the mirror (which I couldn’t stand) with the food I was eating, the food itself started to be my enemy.


Following what “the internet said”, I started following a super high protein self made restrictive diet for years and years, pairing it with an unhealthy workout regime. I was absolutely terrified of carbs, which created a huge conflict with myself as carbs has always, always been my favourite category of food and it’s the only way to make me feel truly satisfied after a meal. I am a pasta girl, you know?! I guess many girls have been through this and it breaks my heart because it’s very easy to lose control and fall into disordered eating patterns.


In 2013 I watched an Italian documentary about the meat industry and I became horrified with the conditions of animals. I remember crying and not even finishing the whole documentary. My heart was broken. I immediately stopped eating meat and fish. My parents were first sceptical about it, as they were fearing a lack of proteins but I promised them I would have handled it well through the planning of an eating regime that could give me as much nutrition as possible, so that I wouldn't have had any deficiency. So even if I was totally underweight, I went vegetarian and I started having so much energy, my hair grew so fast, I wasn’t craving meat nor fish, and my skin cleared up instantly. My blood tests were amazing and my parents were very proud of my good decision and actually started supporting me.


*ベジタリアン = 肉・魚を食べない菜食主義

It goes without saying that my mind still wasn’t in a healthy state at all. Calories, the scale, my weight, exercise – this is what my life was revolving around. Still, I was preaching I was vegetarian for the animals – which I was, but at the same time cutting out a category of food that was extremely common, especially in traditional Italian cuisine, had been a very exciting opportunity for my ill mind in various social situations.

身体は健康的になったとしても、私の精神面が健康だったわけではない。カロリー、量、体重、エクササイズ... これらが常に私の頭の中にあって、私は動物たちのためにベジタリアンになったと言っていたけど、(本当のことだけど)それと同時に、とても一般的だった食べ物のカテゴリー(肉や魚)を切り捨てることは、(特に伝統的なイタリア料理では)様々な社会的状況でメンタル面で病んでいた私にとって、とてもわくわくすることだった。