Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Food

I don't write about food much on here. Its not that food isn't important to me - in fact, I would actually say that I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with food. Its more that my experiences with food seem to me to either be embarrassing (hello eating an entire box of weight watchers giant fudge bars in one sitting) or boring (dinner often consists of a green vegetable, whole wheat pasta, garlic, and olive oil). I think that's part of the problem. I love food and I love eating, but so often I'm fighting myself over these loves. I'm feeling guilty about the dessert I shared with a friend last night, or sneakily gobbling down an entire bag of white cheddar cheese popcorn in my car (both things happened last weekend). I need to give up guilt. I need to stop regarding foods as good or bad. I need to accept that sometimes I eat for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotion. Food is not the enemy. Since I already think about food far too much, I want to revel in the tastes and textures, in the scents and flavors.

Today's lunch embodies what I want to feel about food and the kind of food I particularly enjoy putting in my body. I've been excited about this lunch since I thought of it yesterday afternoon. I was sad yesterday when I realized I couldn't have it for dinner cause I already had plans to go out. I convinced myself to go on my run this morning instead of going back to bed when my running partner didn't show up by reminding myself that if I went running I would have time post-run to create this perfect meal (and if I had gone back to sleep I certainly would have overslept and been unable to make it).

Today's lunch tastes of the sweetness of fresh home grown tomatoes, the tangy crispness of chopped green bell peppers, the slightly bitter zing of diced white onions, and the mellow nutiness of olive oil. It tastes fresh and clean. It uses food from my fridge that had sunk to the bottom of my refridgerator drawer and begun to shrivel, but tastes as though I had purchased the produce at the farmers market yesterday. Its food that fills me up and leaves me satisified, yet without a trace of guilt. It nurishes my body and soul.

My lunch is simple - its just couscous with diced tomatoes, onions, green pepper, olive oil, and a tad of garlic. Its just a tabouleh salad. I didn't measure anything, I just boiled some water, threw in some couscous and began chopping. I'll probably never make another salad just like it again. I have no idea how much olive oil or salt I used, and I'll probably stink to the high heavens for the entire afternoon (garlic, check, onions, check). For all I know, it could be horrible for me due to the amount of olive oil, but this is how I want to eat. The reverence that I felt as I dined on this simple salad is how I want to feel about food.

I'm tired of fighting myself over food. I'm tired of feeling guilty. So here's what I want to do - eat foods that satisfy me. Think about what I'm putting in my mouth and why. I want to stop worrying about the amount of olive oil in the salad, and recognize that its just food. Its tomatoes and green peppers and onions and couscous. Its nutrious and healthy. It tastes good. I dwell on the joy in eating and stop being consumed by a fear of food.

To some extent, I've been living with this mindset since the half marathon. I eat what I want to eat. I try to eat at least 5 servings of whole fruit and veggies a day, not because I should, but because it makes me feel good. My body feels better when I do that. I've lost the weight I gained at the end of the half, and in fact, last week (before the striking of PMS bloating), I was back down to 155. If I can eat as I please and maintain my weight, I think I'm ok with maintaining a weight that is slightly higher than is considered "healthy."

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

This is a beautiful post, Megan.