I love food. I really do.
Grocery shopping, cooking, and baking are a few of my favorite activities. I get giddy in anticipation of that day’s farmers’ market. I call my husband to the kitchen to show him our newly acquired bounty. I look through my cookbooks, magazine clippings, and saved recipes to find the perfect use for an ingredient. I close my eyes when eating and make happy belly noises.
Loving food or admitting that you do is not always welcome. Women in our culture are supposed to deny ourselves, shun temptation, and keep ourselves from the pleasure of food so that we don’t yield and swing to excess. When we eat, we talk about how many Calories our meal has, how bad we’re being, what kind of exercise we’ve done or are going to do post-haste to work off dessert. If you enjoy food, particularly carbs, fat, or sugar, it’s easy to become a closet eater because such enjoyment is socially unacceptable and clearly conflicts with the latest health revelations. And closet eating is far from a true love relationship with food. Fat and sharing your fondness for cake? Brave! That’s like asking for diet and exercise advice (or worse some weight slurs).
I’m wondering where we lost our love for food. How were we convinced that enjoying food is unnatural, unhealthy, and dangerous? Who decided that having dessert is gluttony and spending an hour for lunch is lazy and wasteful? Why would we give up delight for guilt or indifference?
All I know is I love food. That doesn’t mean I have an eating disorder or 50 pounds to lose. It means no more denial, no more extremes, and a whole lot of y-u-m.