The July issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, is FAN. TAS. TIC. Not only is it the Summer Reading issue (yay!), it's got a great section on people's different relationships to food - why they eat what they eat. It's a collection of short essays emphasising what is great about food - the pleasure in tasting and the way it makes you feel.
There's a vegan chef, a woman who goes on crazy crash diets like Greek Salad and Tootsie Rolls, and my favorite: The Omnivore. I want to be her. She actually seems to enjoy her food. She eats everything, from pulled pork tacos to poached goat, caramelized Brussel sprouts to a deep-fried candy bar. She acknowledges her "ample butt, boobs, and stomach." But, she says, "I'd rather have curves than agonize over whether I deserve dessert."
BING! I think my brain sort of exploded. I am so sick of my push/pull, love/hate relationship with food. I am sick of feeling bad about my body and making food the enemy. I LIKE FOOD. I like to eat. Sometimes I like to eat junk food. Sometimes I crave a fresh, crunchy salad or a baked sweet potato or grilled corn on the cob - with butter. My life has been one long calorie calculation after another, one more sneaky spoonful when no one else was looking. Every couple of months I have a meltdown (usually after skipping some workouts,) crying, "I'm sick of having to work out so much! I'm sick of having to think about my weight all the time!" It's damn exhausting. It sucks all the joy out of eating and out of life. I want a healthy relationship to what I eat. I want a life of energy and activity and good health. I also want a life without self-flagellation if I eat a doughnut (or two.) There's got to be room for all of that.