Do you love the food you eat? Allow me to rephrase that. Are you in love with the food you eat? Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth says the way to solve our unhealthy relationship with food is to fall back in love with it. She's envisioning a return to the salad days of experiencing new foods.
That doesn't mean eating more salad. And she's not suggesting anything drastic like abstaining from meat for a few months so you can regain your v-chip (vegan chip). it means remembering the joy of discovery from you first vanilla cone or soft-boiled egg.
She lays out a well-constructed argument on why emotional eaters need to
slow down in order to tackle the issue of binge eating. It's about taking the
time to stop and smell the ice cream and engage all of our
senses, rather than focusing entirely on taste. She wants to take away the guilt associated with eating, encouraging people to "eat with gusto." Her vision of gusto is enjoying every bite and appreciating texture as much as flavor.
The problem with Roth's argument is that, in America, love is about abundance. We show love for food through portion sizes that help you fill up a loveseat by yourself. Acceptance of that love? It's about cleaning your plate. It's why I didn't stop halfway through my overstuffed burrito at Jalapeno's last night. I loved the sauce out of that thing.
I can accept that convenience and shame have led to us eating food like an orphan in Les Misérables. But that doesn't mean our eating habits necessarily change when we're in public. It's eating with gusto that got us into our battle with obesity in the first place. Whether you eat slowly and appreciatively or in a hurry behind the wheel of your Yukon, there is ultimately no difference. This isn't about how we love food. It's about how much we love food and how much food we love.
[Image via Flickr: joyosity]