We interact with food daily. Our relationship to what we eat reflects so much about who we are, and lately I’ve been paying attention to how my habits, attitudes and perceptions of food have changed.
This topic has been on my mind because in the past few months, as I’ve approached food in a way that’s healthy and entirely new to me. More on that later, but first:
For most of my adult life, I’ve approached food from a few different angles: as performance, as self discipline, and as comfort.
I cooked all the time in my first apartment, usually for an audience. My roommates and I hosted dinners and parties, and I always volunteered to bring something to group gatherings.
I wasn’t particularly talented as a cook or baker, but I could follow directions. I followed recipes meticulously, preferring to make things by myself so I didn’t have to worry about someone else messing it up or taking credit.
When Mike came to visit for the first time, he was sitting in front of a meal I’d prepped ahead of time within the hour his plane landed.
I don’t remember enjoying the process or using food as a creative outlet. The result meant everything to me: the words of praise, the finished work.
I’ve never dieted, exactly, but at times I’ve deprived myself from food instead of nourishing myself with it.
By “deprive myself” I mean that I would cut out sugar, dairy, alcohol, or carbs. I don’t mean I tried to live on 200 calories a day or starved myself. I did try to do a juice fast once, but that only lasted a day and a half before I ate some pasta.
Mike says I enjoy depriving myself of things. I argue that I always have a purpose beyond self denial, but it’s true that I like the accomplishment of self mastery and discipline. It’s a reward in itself.