I love food. I love the smell, texture, and taste. It lights up a pleasure center in my brain that can’t be set aflame by any other sensory experience. I’m sure that is no surprise to anyone as we all assume fat people love food.
A lot of people with food control issues love food, but most of us have been in what could be called an abusive relationship with it. It controls us and we abuse it. We don’t appreciate its finer points and take it for granted. We take comfort as much or more from its mere presence and just using it as much as possible than we do in its essential merits. We hate ourselves for using it profligately and we hate food for its iron-clad grip on our lives.
I think part of the reason I failed in the past (and many others may have as well) is that we associate losing weight and living healthily with having to abandon our love. We can do it for a while, but then the need to be fulfilled in the way only food can make us feel comes nagging at us. It’s like a controlling boyfriend who makes us crazy, but we simply can’t live without him.
What I’ve discovered this time around is that I don’t have to let go of my love of food; I simply have to clean up the bad relationship I have with it. I can eat chocolate, cheese, eggs, squash, bananas, and ice cream, but I have to respect and appreciate the process of consuming such things. I have to give each bite the attention it deserves rather than simply use and abuse it out of habit. If I really love it, it will love me back rather than abuse me in return.
Today when I was shopping at the market and I picked up some cheese and crackers that looked interesting, I was thinking about how I was looking forward to eating them. I wasn’t questioning myself for the calories or hating myself because I’m fat and I shouldn’t eat or want these things. I really love food, now more than ever, and I don’t hate myself for doing so.