Food and Love

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Emotion, Mental, Spiritual | 0 comments

A friend of mine recently said something that made me stop in my tracks. They said that they couldn’t wait until food was just fuel and not something pleasurable. This person has gone through quite a bit lately, including losing quite a bit of weight. Yet their take on food startled me.

Let’s be realistic here, the human animal needs food, water and oxygen to function at all. So food is fuel yes, but it is a necessary fuel. Which brought me to my question of why the hell wouldn’t someone want to enjoy something that is necessary to life?

Ours is a nation obsessed with weight, weight loss, weight gain, fake foods to get you there…
Personally I have had struggles with my weight most of my life, especially around the traumatic events that occurred. I would go up or down, from hitting 179lbs to dropping down to 126lbs; and for the record I am 5’ 2” on a good day. I fully understand the constant battle with weight and food. What I don’t understand is thinking that something essential to life should not be pleasurable.

One of the most basic things in life is making babies and sex is pleasurable, or at least should be if it’s done right! So why reduce food to just a fuel. So instead of a balanced meal, grabbing a counted caloric pre-fab bar is the way to go? Oh hell no, I want my chicken parm or my home made gnocchi thank you very much.

Someone once told me that how we handle food is how we handle love in our life.
It might just be a theory; however it is one that resonates with me deeply. As a society we crave love, yet we have such a limited understanding of what love is. How can we embrace ourselves and open up to someone else if eating a meal makes us have to jog 8 miles to counter act or balance out the calories we just ate? How can we love if our idea of food is processed, chemical laden mystery foods that are labeled healthy? It’s like dating that person we know is bad for us but hey, we just can’t resist can we? We put bad things in our bodies and expect them to be perfect, healthy things. Just like we put unhealthy things into relationships and expect them to work out oh so perfectly.

Disorders and addictions are real.
I am not making light of disorders that affect so many. What I am asking is why are so many of us in the closet about actually loving ourselves enough to eat good food in a healthy way? Or having healthy relationships? We stuff ourselves or starve ourselves or mix it up to create a binge and purge routine, we control it down to the last calorie count. Most often this is triggered by some stress that we don’t know how to handle so we turn to food instead of looking inside and facing our own inner buffet table that is our psyche. Yes there are things inside us we don’t like about ourselves, just as there are things that we love about ourselves. Why is acceptance so damn hard?

What are we really afraid of? Is it that tempting treat?
Unless you are dealing with real health issues like diabetes I think not. I think it is fear of not being worth loving at all. That quiet sense of not being worth it. Of not being worth enjoying what is essential to life.

That seems to me to be the pure definition of hell, to be alive yet not allowed to thrive. Even the essentials tainted down to just essentials. That deep breath of cool autumn air, that fresh brewed cup of coffee or tea, that spaghetti dinner with a fresh piece of buttered bread….reduced down to ash in your mouth because you won’t allow yourself to enjoy it.

Loving someone that is harmful to you, getting involved in a relationship that is dishonest, doing anything to be in a relationship because that must mean you are worthwhile right? Um…no. You are worthwhile simply by being yourself. Just like making a bowl of ice cream or some carbs into villains; people turn love into a painful, martyred, grueling experience because that makes it all worth it. There must be some pain for the gain right? NO. I will say that again, NO.

Ice cream and carbs are just ice cream and carbs.
They aren’t evil, food is not the enemy. Love is hard work but not some uphill climb for survival. Yes being in a relationship is work, especially in the most important relationship, the one with yourself. Your view of yourself, vs. society’s view of how you should be or look. Just like with another person, different ideas, different viewpoints coming together smoothly all the time just isn’t going to happen. So put on your big kid pants, wade in and work out a solution because you are worth the effort.

Trust me, skip the frozen dinners made in a lab, likewise skip the belief that you aren’t worth anything but suffering, it doesn’t serve you. Working on something is satisfying, and pleasurable. Start with yourself, take the time to really look inside and see what you have to offer the world. Then, like a gourmet chef, get the best ingredients, take the time, work a successful recipe, add in a few personal twists, and you will create a meal of a life worth savoring.

As always, if this resonates with you then I want to talk to you. I want to hear your story and see if I can help you become the gourmet in your own life. There is never a fee for a discovery session, so please feel free to contact me here.

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