Food is therapy for me.
That’s true now, but I have for much of my life abused food to extremes that have damaged my body and my mind.
I battle anxiety, depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and touches of other illnesses. For many years, I used food as a vice to deal with those challenges. Now, food helps me handle them more healthily.
My wife Molly and I publish #FoodieScore because we love sharing food together. Cooking and eating are more than just processes that are necessary to stay alive. We savor the experiences of recipes and restaurants, and we photograph and write about them to encourage you to do the same.
For many years, most people knew about my love of food but had no idea about my struggles with mental illness. I tried to suppress the battles as much as possible. But I’m not hiding them anymore.
I just published a memoir, “Eating Me Alive,” which details the role food, family and faith play in helping me fight my fears. Though my name has appeared alongside thousands of newspaper, magazine and Internet stories over the past 15 years, this is my first work of such length. And it is the story that is nearest and dearest to my heart because it is the story of my life.
You can purchase a copy of “Eating Me Alive” here at Amazon.com. Yes, I hope you will buy the book, but more so I hope you will read the book, gently process the very vulnerable truths I share and then use them to make your own life journey better.
“Eating Me Alive” includes a baker’s dozen of my favorite recipes, some of which have never and will not appear here on #FoodieScore because I want them to be a special and exclusive part of telling my story specifically in the book. Each one relates to a close member of my family who has, like the food, helped make me who I am. The recipes, and the stories about the relationships of my life, connect with my deep roots in western North Carolina.
I have always enjoyed eating, and I’ve cooked since I was a teenager. But these past couple years I have taken time to redirect my life from an unhealthy path, and a major part of that has been eating healthier, exercising more and discovering the incredible joy I get from cooking and sharing food with my family and with others. I’m still figuring out exactly where I’m going with it, so I hope to have more to share in the future.
Thank you for sharing #FoodieScore with Molly and me, and thank you for reading my story.
I hope you will be inspired by both this blog and my book to be kind to yourself and to each other.
God bless you, Matthew, for sharing a part of your “journey” through your audio about your book, “Eating Me Alive”. I plan to order the book because I can identify with your same issues about our addictions with food, as I believe many others may also suffer from, but perhaps don’t even realize it. Thank you for your honesty and courage to admit it, and with the Lord’s help, actively “tackle” this lifelong mission! Please know that I’m in that very same pursuit alongside you! Blessings to you in Christ!
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Sharon, thank you so much for your very kind comments, and blessings to you in Christ as well! Understanding my own issues with stress eating was definitely step one. Addressing them became step two. And now sharing my struggles with others to help remind others they aren’t alone and can work on such challenges is step three. It’s taken some bravery on my part to admit all of my issues, but I know it’s important to be vulnerable in order to encourage others. 🙂 It is a journey that doesn’t end, and I know my story doesn’t end with the book, but it’s a big step! 🙂
Reblogged this on Matthew Tessnear Books.
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Was listening to a podcast earlier this week regarding mental health and food. Very intriguing. The send off message was Depression is not a disease, rather, it is a symptom. Very deep topic. You’ve probably heard the old adage (Gut feeling)…it simply magnifies the direct correlation between gut health and our brain. Here’s the link to the podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-functional-medicine-radio-show-with-dr-carri/id913420638?i=1000460222980
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Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂 I look forward to listening! I believe strongly in the connection!
You are welcome…Have family members who most likely suffer from this. One in particular..she lives off Sundrops and fast food non stop. She is a hard person to be around. I started reading your book last night…
Food has always been a major part of my life, both as a good influence and a bad influence. Thank you so much for reading my book and learning my story. It’s very near and dear to my heart as it’s been quite a journey of ups and downs.