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Why I stopped listening to my body – part one

Written by Rose Archer | April 15, 2019

In this video, I say that I stopped listening to my body and what it really wanted. I thought I would take the time today to share what I meant when I said that. I won’t sugarcoat the fact that my childhood was rough. I have 5 siblings from various men, and we were mostly raised by our single mom. Abuse and neglect were regular inhabitants of our homes. I lived in over 15 houses by the time I was 18 and had experienced homelessness as well.

This start on life gave me grit and determination to succeed that has served me well as an adult in many ways. It also developed an unending well of empathy for anyone suffering, especially children and survivors of abuse. I consider these tremendous assets that I feel blessed to have gained because of my childhood.

I regularly say that the gift of my trauma was the path to healing that led me to the awareness of the best parts of myself. The parts that cannot be taken away no matter what anyone says or does to me. I will lay on my deathbed with these gifts in my heart. And these gifts give me the courage to show up as an adult in my life now. They guide my ability to know my worth and attract people and situations to me that support my best life. Without these gifts, I would still be lost.

However, when I was in my 20’s, I was still lost. I didn’t know my gifts yet. I didn’t think I was lovable and worthy of belonging just for being me, just as I am. I believed I needed to DO something to get you to like me. To love me. To see me as valuable. And in my career, to see me as an asset worth employing. This last part was especially intoxicating to me. Because I grew up in poverty, I had (and if I’m being sincere still have) an insatiable need to be financially stable and then after that wealthy.

This need was two-fold for me. First I needed it to feel safe. I needed to know that I always had a safe, clean home and food to eat. These were not guaranteed when I was a child. Second I needed it to show you I was successful and therefore worthy of your admiration, envy, attention, and love because without success I was not worthy of these things.

So armed with these two deeply held beliefs, I went to work. Early. I went to culinary school at 18 and didn’t take any time off and got a 2-year degree in 1.5 years. I was 19 when I graduated from culinary school in Portland Oregon, top 5% of my class. Perfect attendance award. After graduation, I had a lot to prove.

I was very young, very inexperienced and very motivated to prove myself. I moved to LA first, weaseled my way into entry-level positions in the top two restaurants at the time, Spago’s in Beverly Hills with Wolfgang Puck and Sherry Yard and Campanile with Nancy Silverton. If you Google those names, you will see what a big deal they are and how fortunate I was to get to work for them.

I began working like my life depended on it. 16 hours a day, always 2 jobs. A day shift at one restaurant and a night shift at another. And I stopped eating regular meals and drinking water. I didn’t have time. If I was going to prove myself I couldn’t stop for that.

All the messages my body gave me about how to take care of it went ignored until it stopped talking to me.

I drank huge cups of coffee for breakfast. I shoved bites of food in my mouth whenever I could throughout the day while standing at my work station. Often I went all day without eating a thing. At 23 I began getting debilitating migraines.

You would think this would have slowed me down or changed my habits. But no, I found a medication that took them away so I could keep working. I followed this pattern for 14 years.

When did I change? Well, when I hit bottom. When I felt like I had lost everything.

And that will be part two of this story………Next week!

Love, Rose 💜

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