Day 16–No More Guilt

Okay, like a million other women on the planet, I’ve gone to see Eat Pray Love. I’m half way through the book and I keep reading about Italy because of the food entries and I’ve come to a conclusion. 
I love food, I love preparing it, feeding my family, the gatherings around a table or at a coffee shop. I love everything about the process of food and all associated with it.
I love food and after watching the movie, I’ve discovered that loving it is a good thing.

Here’s a clip of Liz (Julia Roberts) and Sophie (Tuva Novotny) are talking about eating and guilt associated with it:


And they’re right. Why are we pushed to eat when we’re young, as we’re growing, and expected to clear our plates as a sign of appreciation, only to be told “not too much” or “you shouldn’t eat that” when we get to the marrying ages? It’s as though our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and anyone else who cooks pushes food at you and tries to pull it away at the same time. No wonder people are confused about food. No wonder so many are obese (including myself) because it’s seen as an all or nothing thing. Since when is eating, enjoying a meal supposed to be all or nothing?
Are we supposed to eat or not? Are we supposed to enjoy it or not? No matter what we like to eat versus what we eat to stay healthy (or not), why can’t we simply enjoy, love it? Savor the flavors and the company, embrace the memories of all of it without this constant floating of guilt all around us? That little voice whispering “you shouldn’t eat that, you’ll get (stay) fat” or “you should order the side salad with lemon and bowl of tree bark.”
AHHHHHH! It’s all so frustrating because I do enjoy a healthy meal even more than an unhealthy one, but let me specify what I mean by healthy. One where I didn’t glutton myself, where I ate and actually tasted the food, I didn’t shovel it into my mouth. I have great conversation–this could be with a group of friends or my daughter over a PB&J–but the time I spent was well worth the food. Yes, I have eaten to be gracious, to be grateful, and to be gluttonous. I’ve eaten because I’m bored, scared, excited, or it’s a day that ends in “y”, but I can’t honestly say, there are probably no more than a handful of times I’ve eaten and actually enjoyed the food alone.
Does this mean I’m done with watching what I eat or am planning on throwing the healthy plan out the window? Not at all. In fact, I think it’s helped me realize that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moment where you actually taste the food. Just know the difference between eating something for the sake of eating it and enjoying it.
I think enjoying it will help me eat slower and take more pleasure from the entire process of feeding my body.
Well, it sure sounds good. I’m hoping some of this philosophy actually sticks past today.

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