The Past I Bear

I surrender. I give up. I resign. I cannot hide from my past. My past defines me; it has shaped me; and it has built the road ahead of me. And now, I have realized that I need to embrace it, or I’ll never have peace with myself.

When I first arrived in USC, I wanted to escape from my past. All 7 years in Virginia—from the moment I started to toy with the idea of dieting, to the slow decline down the slipping slopes of Anorexia, to the horrid hospitalizations, to the pitiful stares of my neighbors and stranger—I wanted to obliterate them all.

I wanted a brand new start. I wanted to create a new image of me, a Sophia Lee that has not the slightest trace of that sickening ED-stigma on my forehead. I envisioned a fresh, blank canvas, where I would create a clean person, someone who is known for her personality, her talents, her opinions and thoughts—and not Sophia the Anorexic. I was tired of having my name on the prayer list under the “mental disorder” category. I was sick of having strangers tell me they were “praying for the ED-devil to depart” from me. I just simply…didn’t want any single soul to ever, ever find out about my ED past.

But…God had a different plan for me.

Somehow, someway, I find myself meeting people who went through similar experiences as me, amazing, beautiful people who tug at my heartstrings. 

Somehow, someway, my friends find out about my blog and discover my past, but don’t judge me in the least.

Somehow, someway, I just cannot ignore the fact that wherever I go, my ED-radar senses evidences of eating disordered people all over my school campus. 

Somehow, someway, I get numbers of emails from fellow ED-sufferers, emails that cut me to the heart and make my eyes tear up with empathy and compassion.

So, I yield. I’m going to throw away my pride, and I’m not going to be ashamed and hide my past. If anyone asks, I will flat-out admit that yes, I am—had—an eating disorder. That doesn’t make me less of a person. Whether I like it or not, my eating disorder is a huge, significant part of my life, and without it, I would not be the person I am now. In fact, I think without my eating disorder, I would have been one insensitive, arrogant, self-righteous, self-glorifying jerk.

Not that I’m such a great person now. No freaking way! I still have much left to work on. I am still riddled with flaws and weaknesses— but heck, at least now I know and acknowledge it, and that’s a critical step towards self-improvement.

And because of my weaknesses, I am able to understand other people’s own struggles, and sympathize with them. I know all too well that real and gripping fear of eating a simple plate of spaghetti, or stepping out of a rigid routine. I understand all too much that terrible, perpetual obsession with food, the never-ending cycle of starvation, self-hatred, self-absorption, and control.

Eating disorder…is an incomprehensible, exasperating disease. Who can understand us? We cheat, we lie, we manipulate, we care about nobody and nothing except ourselves and our disordered habits and thoughts. Who can love us? Who can care for us, and bear our outrageous tirades, our irrational fears, our anger, our bitterness?

Even our parents have a limit as to how much they can understand. It takes someone who has walked down the same path, someone who has experienced the same hell-hole, to be able to truly understand.

I don’t know exactly what God has in store for me, but I do know that I will forever be surrounded by people like me. And I don’t believe it is a coincidence that I have a burning desire within me to reach out to these people and help. God, I’m here…will you heal me? Will you…use me?

Wow. Heavy words. For those of you who are just here for the food, it’s okay if you scrolled all the way down all that rambles straight to the pictures. What I said up there, is just a jumble of mixed emotions and thoughts that I just had to express in real words. But I promise there is food. And good food, too!

Now, you all know how much I adore sandwiches. Especially if it’s got good bread, as I delightfully showcased here. Well, the world has come to an end, because I am all out of bread. Tres horror!

Well, what to do? Time to get creative. I stared at an eggplant and an eggplant stared back at me. Hmm…

Stuffed and Grilled French Toast, Eggplant-Style
(Help me think of a better name for this!!)

For the “french toast”:

  • eggplant, sliced vertically into two thick slabs
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • salt and pepper

For the filling:

  • sweet potato, sliced vertically into one thick slab
  • cottage cheese
  • 2 thick slices of ham
  • tomato, sliced


  • 2 tablespoons salsa (from Leianna)
  • 2 tablespoons feta

For the “french toast”, first blend the cottage cheese, eggs, and seasonings together in a blender until smooth:
IMG_0934 Next, dip the two eggplant slabs into the egg-cottage cheese mixture:
IMG_0935 Let soak and set aside. Start roasting the sweet potato in the oven. About 20 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Twiddle your thumb, or you can start assembling the filling ingredients.

Once the sweet potato is roasted, let it cool for a bit. Meanwhile, grill up both eggplants in your George Foreman, until cooked through. Once cooked, start stacking up!

First, your grilled eggplant “french toast”:
IMG_0936 Then layer some cottage cheese, sprinkle on garlic salt, pepper, whatever seasoning you wish…
IMG_0937 And then the huge slab of sweet potato:
IMG_0938 And then on goes the ham and tomatoes:
IMG_0939 Finally, stack the second eggplant “french toast” on top, and top with salsa and feta cheese!
This was like whoa!! (Tee hee, Nicole!)
IMG_0941 Have you seen anything like this? I think not! ;-p
IMG_0944 Look at that cheese oozing out…
IMG_0945 Hefty, big, and tasted glorious! I loved how the eggplant sort of tasted like pancakes, the meatiness of it, and all the chewy and soft textures in there!
IMG_0949 Of course I still needed more carbs than that, so I used the remainder of the sweet potato for fries:
IMG_0947 There is no better accompaniment than baked sweet potato fries! Sweet and savory, chewy little goodness!
IMG_0950 I have to admit, this is quite labor-intensive though. And the eggplant “french toast” was definitely extraordinary, but…there is a reason why french toast is made with bread, because when it boils down to taste…there is nothing like bread!

Sigh. I really need to look for bread, but there is no good bread in the USC vicinity. They are all limpy, fluffy, bread-imitators. This is one instance when I actually miss my past…living walking distance to Great Harvest! T___T;;;
But at least it was quite an experience! I did have some of the cottage-cheese/egg batter left, so I made it into a fluffy sort of omelete/pancake:
IMG_0951 I was a bit distracted and let it burn, but otherwise it was delicious! But nothing compared to this:
IMG_0948 Welcome to Sophia’s Kitchen! Mimi and Kathryn, aren’t you guys glad you go to the same school as me? ;-)

Question of the day: What is your secret past? Haha, kidding! Nope, in light of today’s…rather heavy topic, today’s question is gonna be light, but not trivial…Do you freaking love carbs (That’s a rhetorical question)?!!


113 responses to “The Past I Bear

  1. Sophia, I assure you I read every word without scrolling down to the beautiful photos I knew awaited… :-) Such, strong, powerful, beautiful words! How thrilled and awed for you I am!

    (I am also in awe of your gorgeous eggplant grilled cheese… A different sort of awe, of course, but definitely awe… :-)

  2. littlemissminny

    The things that happened in past. Well, it is the past. But everything we did makes us who we are, whether it’s good or bad. There is no point in trying to erase it, we have to embrace it and let it make us a better, stronger person. Excellent post.
    And eggplant french toast looks glorious, where do you get this ideas :D

  3. Sophia, your words moved me! I dunno you in person, but I feel so proud of you! It’s one big step that you have moved on, and I believe that God has assigned this big mission to you to help the others who are suffering the same as what/how you did. Try your best!!

    And you make wonderful and delectable looking food at all time!

  4. Wow! The first part of this post is real and true! I too am in recovery from an eating disorder. Although I don’t really discuss it on my blog but I won’t deny it. I’ve gotten e-mails too and I’m so grateful for them. Because reaching out is such a huge step and it’s so freaking hard! And the last thing I want is to have anyone be worse off. It’s such a hurtful thing to go through, and I agree that it changes who you are and how you see other people and their problems. You become accepting of them. Gosh.. there’s so much to respond to in this post. But I really admire you. Not just because of this post, but you are genuinely an incredibly strong woman.

    p.s. I’m almost out of bread and I’m going to find ways to improvise as well! Cooking challenge commence!

  5. Oh goodness what is that amazing creation that you dare make me drool at? It looks fab!

    About your pre-food “jumbles” – its so hard to escape the past. And honestly, our past is part of what makes us who we are today. It’s okay to hang out to it and learn from it.

    Um duh I love carbs!

  6. this recipe sounds so good :D

  7. OMG! This eggplant french toast looks incredible. *Mouth watering* I LOVE french toast…but french toast with eggplant? Divine!

  8. wow…now I know what to do with my leftover eggplant :)

    gave you an award btw!

  9. You said that you would know my answer and your right: I love bread! A lot! And that eggplant toast sounds too good to be true, all my favorite things in it!:)

    And that first part of this post is so touching. I recognize a lot. And I also think we can use our ‘experiences’ with this terrible disease in such a positive way and I’m glad you do that and make a difference in the lives of others:)

    Take care my bread loving love;)

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

  10. sophia i dotn even know what to say to the first part of the post. i had a really rough day today and the past few days i have often come to ask myself what good is in all this recovery. there are so many girls out there just livng with the ED and that’s it. why dont you just be like them.
    but then i read your post. how much better, stronger, greater, smater and wiser will i become when i recover from this. i always want to run away from my fast two. those 6 years seem to be only 1 in my mind. but they are 6 years that i wasted on this illness. but these 6 years are part of my life and these years have a purpose! to remind me that an ED is not the answer to life’s problems. it is the most disleading and manipulaive illness there is.
    i loved this post with all my heart. thank you for this inspiration!
    oh and for the food porn here i have no words! so freaking good!

  11. You know what, the past is like ratty underwear… nobody likes to admit they have them, but we all do and they stink. The key isnt to deny, deny, deny… you were right when you need to embrace and learn. This is how we grow and learn to help others, and it looks like your already on that train.

    I would say next time you do the Eggplant thing you could just call it an “Eggplant Napoleon, toasted ‘french style'”, that sounds WAY more culinary.

    I think i am addicited to sweet potatoes and pita.

  12. wow I have never seen eggplant done that way, looks so good! I will have to try that! Hope you have a great day!!! I do love my carbs, icecream to be exact!!!!

  13. love the omelet. yeah, i know, i’m like such a creeper/lurker in the pictures. still learning on the picture front! HOW ARE YOU!? when’s your first break? studying hard?

  14. I really do believe that things happen for a reason. A lot of it doesn’t appear to make much sense- whether it’s an illness or something else, it’s part of a plan for us…maybe to help us grow, maybe to give us a deeper understanding of the world around us or maybe just so we can then use our experiences to reach out to others. An eating disorder, like any illness, is nothing to be ashamed of or hide from people. Sure, time and a place to make it known to people, but those that ask or discover your past? They have come to that conclusion for their own reasons, as part of their own journey. Embrace it and share your story, share your strength and share your hope.

    I freaking love carbs. BOO ATKINS. Rice, pasta, gnicchi (!), sweet potatoes, oats, cereal…ah… :D

  15. You are such an awesome person.

    I am loving the sandwich.

  16. I’m proud of you for recognizing that the past cannot simply be thrown away. even though EDs are negative and not-so-great parts of our past, they are still a part of us.

    your eats looks amazing. and yes, I freaking LOVE CARBS!

  17. Way to stay true to yourself and never be ashamed of the experiences you have encounted. No matter if they were good/bad, regardless, they make you a stronger and better person for it!

    Okay, oh my, oh my oh my. How does that brilliant little mind of yours work? This eggplant FT is phenominal!!! You are a foodie genious my dear. :)

  18. Hey thanks for commenting on my blog!

    Yeah, I used to suffer from anorexia in high school, and though I’m healthy now, I don’t really like to hide the fact from people that I actually had an eating disorder. Its IS a huge part of who I am. So props to you for recognizing that fact in this post :)

    And to answer your question, ALL I eat is carbs pretty much, so carbs rockk :)

  19. Great post! I can really relate to this.

    My secret past, anorexia, over exercising(still doing this), bulimia(what was I thinking?), and drunkorexia. That’s a term I just learned on Trya! Where you don’t eat because the alcohol you’re consuming has too many calories…whoa! I so did that when I was younger.

  20. first of all *huge hugs*, running and hiding from your past is never a good idea, I am glad you are accepting it. Where is trader’s joes in new york? I’ve never found one, I guess I was not looking hard enough…
    The food you make yourself always looks so bloody delicious!

  21. Of course, I completely relate to this whole post. I don’t tell people about my blog or my past because I feel like it’s something I want to be done with, that I should be “strong enough” to just move on. However, you can tell by looking at me that “I Have Issues,” so to speak. Even though I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of and I know I don’t judge others on their past, I have a hard time letting people in on mine.

    And I totally agree that I have some sort of ED-radar with other people and vice versa. I also thing that through treatment and hospitalizations, I have gained such a compassionate perspective towards others that I wish everyone could experience ( I think people who have been in treatment are so much more self-aware than “average” people, as they take the time to really figure out their issues and have compassion for others also dealing with it.)

    Damn, I’m rambling, but this is probably one of my favorite posts of yours. I’ll zip it and go reread, hoping it helps me through today :)

  22. P.S. Carbs = love. Seriously.

  23. That was absolutely beautiful…and 100% true. We are NOT our eating disorder, but we HAVE been molded by it and that is something that will never change.

    You are so strong-willed and beautiful and such an amazing role model. <3

  24. I think carbs are my savior :)

  25. you are amazing sophia.. we always tell ourselves that our past should not define who we are, but it has to sometimes.. what we experienced in our past MUST have an influence on our future and it looks like YOU are taking that task on fully and completely!!
    people tell me that i have an amazing sense of compassion, yea you know why?? because ive been to hell and back in almost every situation you can imagine, so i know what its like to be abused, i know what its like to be suffering from a mental disorder, ive been in those desperate shoes where i had to pick between buying diapers and food for my baby, no matter where you have been.. ive been there too.. so i listen to you.. and i GET IT. my hubby says thats his favorite thing about me- that i have the ability to feel what they are feeling…. and to help them get through the tuff stuff..
    so sophia, let God USE YOU.. and be grateful he gave you the gift of compassion and understanding.. i know some days its hard to deal with.. but you are awesome!!!!

    sorry.. i just wrote a book.. lol

  26. Unfortunately we cannot escape the past much as I try to. But it’s the past that shapes who we are today and makes us a stronger person. I’m hoping to take the lessons I’ve learned from my ED and help others like you have.

  27. So true… unless you’ve walked down that path, you can’t understand the suffering, pain, and shame. But you are so brave to not only acknowledge your past, but embrace it. You’re a wonderful person, Sophia. And you make such yummy food too!

  28. Oh honey, I read every word and loved it. You are astonishingly beautiful and thank you for sharing this.

    I am a firm believer that our pasts shape us, and take us where we are today. With purpose. With reason. I’d email you my secret past, not type it here, lol.

    I love carbs so much that I wish people would stop calling them “carbs.” That word is riddled with negativity by “healthy” eaters everywhere, and I can’t stand it. They aren’t carbs, they are delicious, good mood-inducing FOOD! It’s not carbo-loading, it’s EATING. I’m sure you feel me on this!

  29. balancejoyanddelicias

    yes, I have a secret past too, when I told people that I used to be a heavy girl nobody believe me. I’m not ashamed being that way… as you say, it’s just part of us, being heavy doesn’t mean I’m not a good person.
    I love you girl… you’re always so reflective… makes me think and appreciate life.
    and great chef too! :)

  30. Secret past? What’s that? :/

    Um… yeah I am a carbivore! :D
    <3 <3

  31. Hi Sophia,

    I read every word of your post and loved it! You are doing such a good thing here! It’s like your posts continue to tell a story and with each post/story, you continue to heal… I love it!

    That eggplant sandwich is awesome by the way ;)

  32. I wish I had 1/4 of the creativity in the kitchen you have.
    I don’t necessarily have a secret past, but I have changed with time, and know I wouldn’t be the person I am now without those changes. It’s part of who I am, and that will never change, just like your ED. It has made you the person you are now, and from I can tell from reading your blog, that’s quite an extraordinary person! It doesn’t define you, it shapes you

  33. Loove the fun take on French toast!! Looks so fun to eat :-)

  34. you are such an incredible writer. You have a way of really connecting with your audience. It is just aamazing.

    the past certainly shapes us, it may not be a pretty one but we cannot get rid of it. You have come such a long way and are such a strong, beautiful person, not to mention a creative chef!

    have a wonderful day xxoo :)

  35. Thank you for this post. It’s so moving and I’m speechless. Everything you said resonates with me as I’m struggling with how to deal with my past as well. I need to find a way to embrace it, accept it, and learn from it.

    Thank you.

  36. Good for you on seeing your past as being so important on making you who you are today. :-) The things we go through definitely allow us to be more empathetic to others’ situations.

  37. Wow. That is quite a meal!

  38. Hi Sophia,

    I read every word of your post, and I want to thank-you for your honesty. I am proud of you for you for knowing and acknowledging. This must have been liberating and freeing to write.

    Your meal looks insanely delicious and creative.

    Keep writing girl – I love it!


  39. omg, sophia, this eggplant creation is genius. please come cook for me someday? :)

    more importantly though, your words at the beginning of this post are gorgeous. as much as i would love to completely shed parts of my past (some not even food-related), they are a part of who i am. they’ve made me who i am, and that’s not something to shy away from.

    i agree so much with your words – “an eating disorder is an incomprehensible, exasperating disease.” i think that’s why i have the same “radar” – i agree that no one can understand except those of us who have gone through it, and we need to reach out to each other for that reason.

    also, carbs = love. :)

  40. carbs are like my other boyfriend. besides, you know, the boyfriend i’m marrying.

    and at some point your past does become your past, and less a part of your today, but it takes awhile… it’s the same way if you break up with someone, you spend a while thinking about them-even if you’re glad you broke up… as time goes by you don’t watch for them when you’re going to class, you stop facebooking their new girlfriend (not that i’ve done that of course :-) ) and eventually they’re vaguely there, in the past. not forgotten, just not an everyday thing

  41. Sophia, this post gave me great comfort at a time when I needed it so badly – right now. I’m struggling with feeling like I am the most selfish person on the planet, and that no one – NO ONE – understands me.

    To think that perhaps I could have been more selfish w/o my ed – well, that’s up for consideration. But it doesn’t stop me from berating myself and beating myself up for not being the most generous person on the planet.

    Thanks for saying what I couldn’t.

  42. Ooh, after seeing your tweet about your grilled cheese woes, I was wondering if we’d be treated to some creative alternative! This definitely does not dissapoint – amazing!! Although you are right, sometimes a fluffy piece of quality bread (not that diet bread junk, I’m proud to say i ditched that a long time ago) can’t be beat!

    I would never scroll through the beginning part of your posts! You’re always full of wonderful and thoughtful words. Today’s particularly hit home for me. I debated for a long time about opening up about my past with drugs, alcohol and anxiety on my blog. But I realized that all those things have made me the person I am today. And I don’t want to be ashamed of that person!!

  43. I think it’s great that you realize that your past has made you who you are today and how wonderful that your experiences can help others!

    Love your eggplant “french toast” sandwich, yum!

  44. The eggplant sandwich looks SO good Sophia! You have to copyright it and name it the Burp N Slurp! :D

  45. Good on you for owning your past and your struggles. As much as we all love to leave all the bad behind us, our struggles are what make us who we are! In other news, I am fully convinced you need to open a restaurant and I will fly up every weekend to eat your delicious food!

  46. French toast ala eggplant? Boy, one can’t accuse ya of being boring! lol.

    Indeed, our past made us what we are by adding, say, layers of characters in our persona?
    shaping our personality and moulding our minds?

    Even better if the past somewhat made us a better person. then again, it depends on that individual, who can choose either to triumph against all odds or give in in the fight.

    You, my dear, has shown what’s it should be, triumphing against the ghost of your past and going forward to tell and inspire everyone that knows u!

    We can only say: thank u!

    Oh..sorry, whats yr Q again ? ;p

    Oh man.. what can I say.. potatoes, bananas, yams, BREAD, rice, noodles.. if its made frm flour, its got my name on it.

  47. Your ED is not a stigma. You’ve triumphed over it. To me you’re a hero…you came out victorious and I pray you continue on your path and feel cozy in your skin. I hope life gives you all the peace, joy and happiness you so richly deserve.

  48. Carbs should be my middle name. I can’t get enough bread! You really need to go find some ASAP – although the eggplant french toast does look delish :) Once again, your creativity amazes me!

  49. Love the eggplant sandwich idea! I’ve NEVER heard of anything like it! You are so frickin creative!

  50. I always come here for your insightful words. Of course the pictures are always pretty and make my mouth water, but your words are what matter most!

  51. Missss Sophia–this post, more than usual, showcases your incredibly eloquent, humble and insightful gift for writing. Your struggles will inform, inspire, guide and play into everything you do in your life–from your writing to your friendships to your everyday activities… And this is a blessing. You are so wise to recognize and embrace your past for what it is–as well as what you can make of it for your future.

    All the love en el mundo for you!

    And aaaaaaaaah that MONSTER sandwich. I think it’s pretty brilliant

  52. One of the most important — and hardest!! — lessons to learn is that your past shapes your current character and that which will not kill you DOES make you stronger (it sucks, haha). You ever heard that line, “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much”? Yeah. That’s life. You’re a very strong person to get past everything you’ve been through.

    And yes I love carbs. Haha. In all shapes and sizes and forms. No question.

  53. Girlie, if anyone is going to finally make me believe in God, you are that person, seriously.
    That is the weirdest food thing I think I have ever seen, LOL!

  54. Sophia, I’m pretty sure your blog post was God’s answer for me. I’ve been struggling with some demons in my past too… completely unrelated to the trials you face… nevertheless, it’s made me very ashamed of myself.
    But like you, I’ll learn to live and bear with it as well since it’s gotten me to where I am now. And I’ll make sure to never repeat the same mistakes again, ever.
    Thank you so much for letting God speak to me through you <3
    The sandwich looks fantasically orgasmic by the way. I'm going to try it one day :D You and your cheese!

  55. Amazing post! I totally agree with you. I don’t want to be ashamed of myself and what I went through when I struggled with disordered eating. I want to talk to people about it. I want to know what they dealt with. I want to share how I coped at the time, and how I’m succeeding now.

    It’s so hard being misunderstood. I felt so alone. No one could really know what I was going through.

    Your post was written from the heart, and I want to thank you for sharing it on your blog!

  56. God is totally using you in an amazing way, in my life as well because of my horrid past that I still hold onto. I pray everynight that I can let go and give it over to God to be in control, but wake up still lying and cheating myself all over again, but God knows my future and hope it ends sooner than later.
    On a brighter note, great sandwich, like the eggplant instead of bread and salsa:)

  57. Girl, you are wise beyond your years!

    And seriously you have changed my life with that recipe! I am gluten free and had never thought to use eggplant instead of bread that way, you’re a genius!

  58. I’ve very much on the same boat as you. It’s what has been done in the past that defines who we are today. Things that we learn along the way. Be yourself and don’t hide who you are. If people don’t like it, sucks for them.

    Awesome sammie, too. You know I love eggplant right? ;-D

  59. I freaking LOVE carbs – any form, any shape, any time. :)

  60. laurasworthlesswords

    Your past is a huge part of you and isnt something to be ashamed of either, your recovery from it is something to be very proud of and so is all the help and support you lend to other sufferers.
    I agree with what you say about how your ed shaped and changed you, mine definitely changed me and in some ways for the better, it also has made me realise what is really important in life.
    It really does take someone to have suffered from it to understand fully what its like and I think those of us who have suffered from an ed are a bit more sensitive to tuning into people we think also have them.

    Your sandwich looks good :-), I love carbs to how could you not! I love my protein as well but toast is a huge weakness of mine :-)

  61. Wow, powerful opener Sophia! I’m very glad you’re coming to terms w/ your past, but I hope you don’t get overwhelmed hearing others’ stories! I’m not sure I could do that, it’s got to be tough!

    That looks sooo creative! The eggplant looks delicious grilled up. I think I probably would have gotten lazy and eaten it all up at that point! hehe

    I’m not a crazy carb addict all the time, but when I’m in the mood — you better watch out!!

  62. The good thing about one’s past: It defines who you are today, but not what you can become tomorrow. I guess that just means there is always the opportunity to change while still building on your past experiences.

    I looooove your eggplant creation! Yay for cottage cheese!

  63. I think acknowledging your past is probably a sign that you’re healing further, so I think you’re doing great :)

    Btw, this might be a silly question… but do you actually think of all those recipes? If the answer is yes, I have this to say: you’re a friggin’ genius!!! Seriously!!! It’s hilarious because I bookmark almost all of your posts because I want to remember to make the recipes :P

  64. Menden @ Skinny Menny

    Sophia, your strength and insight is such an inspiration :)

    And yes, I do love carbs, and I mean any carbs!!

  65. your eggplant french toast is genius. simply genius.

  66. I think our past is what God uses to shape us into who we are…who we’re meant to be. It sounds like your touching so many peoples’ lives just by opening up and being your sweet self!

    I have never in my life seen anything like your eggplant french toast…you’re brilliant! And yes, I LOVE carbs! ;)

  67. It’s good to trying to overcome your past, and it looks you have already done it.

    I love to learn new recipes with eggplant and this one looks fantastic!

  68. You are so right, we cannot hide from our past. It does shape us. It doesn’t mean that we cannot move on, but I do think our past is always part of us, and when we pretend it is not, we get so easily into trouble…

    I also think it’s true that often only those who have gone through the same or similar experiences can truly understand us. I think that doesn’t mean that those who haven’t gone through something similar can’t be helpful, but there just isn’t the same level of understanding and “knowing.”

    As far as the food goes, I’m very jealous of Mimi and Kathryn! :)

  69. Loved your writing in this one – true, you can never run away from your past, because it is what made you who you are today – a strong woman – and by having this blog, you’ve shown others that there is a way out, and you can enjoy food again.

    And that fricken sandwich – I can’t wait for the cheese to get to you!!!!!

    “Dreams come a size too big so that you can grow into them!”

  70. I don’t like eggplant (it’s really just about my only veggie dislike), but this sandwich looks yummy! I’ll bet portabella mushroom caps would make a good eggplant sub. It makes me think of a less-artery clogging version of a Monte Cristo sandwich!

  71. as painful as our pasts are and as difficult it is to come to terms with who we were and what we did — our pasts do mold our personas and make us who we are today. Thank you for inspiring my to embrace my past struggles and be grateful for them – as they have made me in to a stronger and healthier individual :) Love to you, angel!

  72. Sophia, I love your blog because of your honesty. You write from the heart and you can see that immediately. Our past shapes who we are and I agree that no one can really understand us except for someone that has walked in our shoes. I suffered for years from panic attacks and only people that have had them understand what they are like. On a lighter note, your food looks delicious as always. You are one creative girl, and just keep cooking and writing. Your posts are NEVER dull!

  73. That is soo creative! I am so impressed!

  74. Eating disorders are difficult, and they never leave you. You’re very strong, so even if things get shaky, you’ll stand!

  75. This whole piece is beautiful, I read every word! Growing pains of life we all endure…food is just the cherry on top of that great big pie!

  76. I love that twist on a sammie.

    And never be ashamed or embarrassed about your past. What happened before is what makes you the person you are today. Be proud of that.

  77. I think alot of times secrets keep EDs going. Your openess reflects your wellness. Im eating ‘Jet Puffed Marshmallow creme’ right out of the jar right now, last night it was Nutella…my evening snack!!

  78. There is nothing that touches us quite like honestly and transparency. May you be blessed.

  79. This is a great post, girl. One of MANY! :) Love how honest you are. It really makes you think! I definitely believe God has a plan for you <3

    LOVE CARBS! <3 jess

  80. Thanks for such sweet comments as well! You are such a blessing :)

  81. this was such a powerful post sophia! it was inspiring to read. i have no doubt that god will use you to do beautiful things! you are so talented!

  82. hmmm Let’s see, how about Sweet potato stuffed tempura eggplant! yea???? THat’s totally different to french toast, but i thought it was kinda like tempura, except not fried. :P

    You’re right. Your past makes you who you are. You struggled through some seiroulsy tough times and it has made you a stronger, better person. You’re so brave to own up to what you consider your “weaknesses”, because to many people, the fact that you are challenging yourself to recover from anorexia shows bravery and strength, not weakness. You should be proud for telling others.

  83. amazing girl, have you ever thought about going into psychology and treatment for ed’s? I think you are such an inspiration. Lovely eats too! oh my gosh, sweet tater fries are amazing and the best accompaniment to pretty much anything :)

  84. You touched on something that really resonated with me–eating disorders make you a different person. I think back on the web of lies I constructed to keep my weight going in the downward direction, and I feel ashamed…but I don’t hide it. I am just thankful that God helped me out of that spot and made me who I am today:)
    Oh, and I am a total carb queen!!

  85. I am so glad that you are helping others with eating disorders, Sophia. I have to disagree that there is ever a possibility of YOU being a self-centered person, because I don’t know anyone who is as caring as you are :) I never knew that I had an ED (although not specifically anorexia or bulemia, just an unhealthy relationship with food) until I started reading your blog. Now that I know, I can work on it!

    Your pictures always have such good lighting, and even it didn’t your sandwich would look just as delicious.

    I adore carbs–my favorite food group by far, but I must admit, that I don’t have them too often…I’m still afraid that they will cause me to gain weight (since I have to watch my weight due to back pain issues) :(

  86. We are the sum of our experiences.

    You have so much empathy and kindness–I guess you just draw people! Or the Universe knows how awesome you are and likes to send peeps your way ;-)

  87. I had an artist friend in NYC. He had a show of his work, and someone asked him how long it took to make a particular drawing. He said, “Thirty nine years.” Every year of his life went into that drawing.

  88. I think your opening words indicate a ton of grace. Fulfilling His plan may not be the easy way, but it’s the right way- He only gives what we can handle!

    I am a bread addict. Bring on the brioche and crossaints, please!!!

  89. oh wow what a creative sandwich love it, its wonderful that you share all this with us its a great insight into a complex issue love ya

  90. this was amazing, you help so many people through your posts and your honesty! thank you for being such an amazing example.

    the sandwich looks incredible, how do you come up with this stuff? carbs? yes please!

  91. You are so amazing honey….

    in my blog you said you wished you could give me a hug…I wish I could give you one too!

    I think you are so incredible

  92. flippin’ awesome!! Serious genius going on here, Sophia!! I want to eat that innovative sammie :D You know, I know that the past will always be there…a memory of what makes me who I am today…so I try to accept it graciously…as hard as that is sometimes and be thankful for the good things it has brought me :D

  93. I promise you someday you will be able to shake that past, not hide it, but it will almost be like something that happened in another lifetime.
    LOOOOVE sweet potato fries!

  94. Oh, I actually prefer your pre-food thoughts very much! You have so much to share – it’s a gift.

  95. Oh how I love good bread. I would probably put two slices of bread around this and make it the biggest french toast sandwich known to man. Just for good measure. I am so jealous of your proximity to GH! Seems like such a great store.

    In my new life, I have only told one of my roommates about my ED. Mainly because it just hasn’t come up. In fact, only a handful of people know that I was ever even overweight. It’s not that I’m keeping it from anyone, it’s just that it hasn’t come up. I definitely would love to do something in the future to help other girls who struggle with ED. Maybe in my career as a doctor. I am so proud of you though for doing what you can to help others. I think that is a sign that you have truly recovered. To be able to talk about it with other people who are still in the depths of illness and not feel the temptation to revert is great. Yay for you Sophia!

  96. Sophia, I read every word that you wrote. Not only are you beautiful on the outside, but you have such a beautiful heart and a beautiful story that is shaping you more and more into the woman God designed you to be. (Not to mention you’re a great writer, telling your story in compelling ways!) We have all kinds of valleys and hills in this life, and your E.D. was definitely a valley, there is no denying that. But look how much stronger it has made you. Look at how many lives you are now able to affect and positively influence. God gives us our rough spots, our valleys for a reason. (I know that sounds cliche, but I know it’s true…and as I’ve been in a valley of unemployment for MONTHS on end, with a college degree and other qualifications…I know that God will be able to use me and this time to help others going through the same thing now, or in the future when I come out of this, I’ll be able to help others, too). All that to say that if you ever need a friend to remind you that you are beautiful and that God is using you in ginormous ways…hit me up. :)

    That and I am LOVING your dinner creation. I want eggplant now!

  97. You are so amazingly creative I can’t believe it! Wowzers. Yes, I love carbs. I’ve been able to curb my addiction in the past few years by eating more whole foods. But once a carb lover, always a carb lover.

  98. Hey Sweetie Pie, I was so sad reading the first part. I really just want to reach out and give you a hug. But, then when I got to the eggplant sandwich, I went, hot damn, turn my frown upside down. You go girl.

  99. You’re right… you can’t run from the past. But you can look to the future and that’s what is important!

    Gorgeous photos, by the way!

  100. Peanut Butter Bliss

    Your ED in no way defines who you are as a person!! I am so happy to hear that your friends do not judge you at all about it.

    mm yummy sammies :)

  101. It’s the past that defines us, but don’t let it weigh you down, Sophia! Make what you can of TODAY:)

    I think I was sold the minute I saw the eggplant! <3

  102. What a fun eggplant stack, very creative! I wish I had a sandwich like that right now! :)

  103. Your words and courage honestly move me. You have come so far, and I am proud of you for moving on from the past. Good for you for not allowing it to define you. You are so much more.

    Oh yes. As always, I’m drooling over here. Especially over the fries. I’m beyond a carboholic.

  104. Never met a carb I didn’t like… yikes!
    Hey, I wish you were my personal chef! Everything you cook looks so fabulous!

  105. Here’s a question for you…do you think you’ll ever completely eradicate ED? I think it will always be there for me – or at least my relationship with food is forever changed, even if I eat healthfully. This changed relationship with food is not all bad, but I do hate that the monster in my head never goes away completely. What do you think?

  106. The past is only a small part of what makes you who you are today… when you OWN the past, it is yours…. when you hide it as being shameful… you are surround by elephants… know what I mean.. I think carrie fisher said it better..

  107. I love that you are so real and that I can click over for wise words that change me and food that inspires me… that’s what sets you (so far) apart!

    Now… no good bread? A tragedy!

    P.S. USC + Me = I would sublet or just pay the 3 months rent… no biggie… and are you home in Dec? Come cook with me!

  108. It’s good to be reminded that we can use our past to make the future better.

  109. While I can only imagine what you went through with ED, your writing tells me you’ve become a much stronger person because of it. I have also seen by the responses that you certainly have inspired and struck a nerve with a lot of folks. I know I greatly admire what you write about.

  110. seriously that sandwich looks awesome…

    and great post too!

    Somehow, someway, my friends find out about my blog and discover my past, but don’t judge me in the least.

    …because real friends do that! ;)

    wonderful post, so glad you feel this way and have real friends to confide in. it really sucks to carry shame on our backs, so much better to release it and let it go.


  111. you are amazing :) i can’t wait to meet youuuuuu !
    oh and your photos are ridiculous. they’re SO GORGE!

  112. Sophia, I’m so glad that you are able to learn from your experiences and your past and help others. You have done such a wonderful job healing and growing into the the person you are now. I’m so happy that you are able to share this gift with those in need. You are a gift from God.

    And thanks for the shout out, lady! And you are right, that french toast eggplant was ‘like whoa’. How the heck do you come up with such creative masterpieces every single day? I love it! And those fries looked sooooo good! And carbs are the best…I love all carbs and would eat them all day long…I think because I’m Chinese, white rice will always be my #1. But then again, potato chips are pretty damn good, too!

  113. Pingback: Open for Discussion: Is Total Recovery Possible? « Burp and Slurp~

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