Dijon Chickpeas and A Letter To My 13 year old Self

beans and greens

Hey everyone!

I must say, I really appreciate the support for everyone from my last post about “weird” habits. Lindsey was right in that normal is boring. And also, the definition of “normal” is debatable.

It was election day today, did you all vote?!

I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t vote and I have a lame excuse. I’m for sure properly registering next election. It was actually hilarious, one of my students told me she went in with her dad and voted. I used to do that with my mother (my dad only became a citizen this year! after living in the states for 30 years!).

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I see myself these days. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and I dont even recognize myself. I’ve been through an ED hell and I think I’m somewhere in limbo right now.

I often wonder what my life would be like if I had not had a horrible eating disorder for a good 10 years of me life. I know, these “What if” questions are rather lame. But I thought I’d write a letter to my 13 year old self incase I can go back in time and change things around.

Dear 13 year old Eden,

Whats up? Ok, I know life sucks some serious butt right now. Mom died (or she will, sorry, spoiler alert!) and I know you kind of saw this coming, but I want you to grieve. Cry a lot, let it out, be sad. There’s no need to appear strong, its ok to be vulnerable. Believe me, be sad now or else it will all cluster up as an adult.

I know you’re not going to listen to me because I’m an aging, uncool version of you who has to say nice things to you, but please hear me when I say this:

You are fine just as you are.

It astounds me how early your preoccupation with weight began. I was peeking around your room and found your diary. In an entry dated October 25, 2001, you wrote: I lost a pound!  Eventually, you will develop anorexia. If only I could convey through the obsession-clouded years to come the futility of starvation and exercise obsession. Ditch you therapist (she really did stink at the time) and get one that you like and you dont feel like you have to lie to.

You have not yet gotten your period, and I know you are worried; all of your friends are shopping for bras and tampons. So what? They also have cramps and zits and have to shlep maxi pads around. You’re not jealous of those, are you? And I hate to burst your bubble, but when you turn 23 you still won’t need a bra all the time. Consider it a blessing in disguise.

You have not yet been kissed. It’s OK. The boys in your class are probably atrocious pizza faced kissers right now. In a few years, you will cry in your room because you dont have a boyfriend to take to prom. Most of the guys in high school are useless and you’ll go with Lewis who is quiet but at least not the ugliest arm candy of the bunch. And a few years after that you’ll go on a reality show where two guys will actually fight over you. You will be hot, so don’t fret.

You might not be the most popular girl in junior high, but you are smart and funny. Intelligence and wit will take you much farther than perfectly groomed hair or an ability to squeeze into Earl Jeans or whatever is popular right now.

I do encourage you to get more involved in sports, though. You might not be the most athletic girl in the world (or the tallest), but there’s still a place for you on the track or basketball team. One of your bigger regrets as an adult will be that you never participated in school sports. In college and beyond, you’ll make up for this with a manic dedication to working out, often spending hours at a time in the gym. (This, from a girl who refused to run “The Mile” in gym class because she didn’t want to ruin her hair with sweat!) Please, give it a rest. You will look the exact same whether you spend 30 minutes on the Elliptical or 60. I speak from experience.

Start eating REAL lunches at school (no missy, Diet Dr. Pepper and carrots is NOT lunch). And lay of the frozen yogurt obsession. In a few years, fro yo shops will be everywhere and you will be very sick of it.

Oh, and its totally not cool for you to be wearing the same clothes at 18 as you did at 13. Not that its not cool to wear old clothes, but you shouldn’t fit into them. You are such a wonderful person, why would you want to minimize yourself? weirdo (I say that in the best possible way).

With much needed love,



What would you like to say to your 13 year old self?

Stay tuned tomorrow for a pre foodbuzz lowdown as I pack and gear up.

For today’s recipe, you will need:

-2 tbs white wine dijon mustard

-about 2 tbs white wine vinegar

-about half a can of garbanzo beans (which I think is about a cup)

-salt and pepper to taste

put a little salt on the beans before you pour in the mixture of mustard and vinegar (it helps it stick!). Roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 min (depending on the desired crispy level).  Yup, its that simple.


27 thoughts on “Dijon Chickpeas and A Letter To My 13 year old Self

  1. This letter to yourself is so sweet. If only we’d have known back then the things we know now. I felt similar as a 13 year old girl, no boobs and hadn’t kissed a boy. I felt so compelled to have a boyfriend that it lead me into a damaging relationship when I was 17-18. I would have told myself something similar: that boys in high school are all a waste and to know that I was of worth without a boyfriend.

    That recipe looks delish by the way, I may have to make it tonight. 🙂

  2. Eden!
    I absolutely loved this. I know you added humour to lighten it up (which was quite effective if I do say so), but this little letter hit so close to home for me. Thank you for sharing… I know we are all on our own paths and have our own experiences (and I in no way can relate to you about your mom’s death), but I see myself in your 13-year-old self. The late blooming, the absence of boys, the working out instead of being active on some type of team…. all of it.

    I don’t know what I would say, but I do know that I am really glad this happened to me. I don’t think I would like the person I would have become if I didn’t have my eating disordered past. It sucks, but it’s true 🙂

  3. Great letter to yourself, Eden… I should write one to my 18-year-old self (beginning of my own ED). You are impressively honest and in touch with yourself, by the way.
    Also, would you please consider moving to the East Coast so that you can be my personal chef?? 🙂 I would pay you well, and our two dogs would be overjoyed if you “accidentally” dropped some of your delicious ingredients on the floor. 😉

  4. Keep this in mind, Eden. Big boobs are like sombreros, they are fun every once in while, but they are just not practical! I don’t always need a bra either, so you are in good company. I love the letter so much. I really wish that a 45 year old version of myself would write me a letter to read now.
    You are amazing by the way.

  5. i think i would tell my 13 year old self to stop hoarding the halloween candy to my room and sneak eating it in the middle of the night and developing a wrapper collection the size of the rocky mountains behind my bed hahahahaaha yes it’s true.

  6. What a sweet letter! I think I would tell myself to stop caring about what other people thought and just be you.. because the people that really love you will always be there!

  7. It’s been so nice to meet you Eden!! I really love your letter to yourself. I would tell my 13 year old self something one of my nutrition lecturers told us: rather than trying to fit in, fit out!

    ps. I can’t believe you were on Millionaire Matchmaker!! I’ve probably seen you!

  8. Ok I’ll just not say when I graduated high school but I think I took a horse and buggy.

    Eden- that was absolutely lovely. Really moving. I would have said many of the same things except that I never developed an ED unless yo yo weight cycling counts. And also about sports. I never joined because I was never any good. And I wasn’t on Millionaire! (pretty darn cool!)

  9. My letter would be so long there is not enough room here for it all.

    You should write a post about your Millionaire Matchmaker experience! I just recently got addicted to that show.

  10. Eden, this was so nice and such a great idea! If hindsight was 20/20…. I hate living in regret! It’s hard to move on sometimes when your past events so acutely define who you are and WHY you are the way you are! I think everyone should write a letter to themselves every year (from Dec to the next Dec) and write down what you have learned/compare how far you’ve come. I think mine would say “Don’t worry so much” and Enjoy life!

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