January 03, 2007

A shared quote...

A while back Jenny shared this great quote with me...

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

I have been wanting to write about this so I did not respond and I am sorry it has been so long.

Anyway, this quote is something that I have been contemplating in my life for years without even knowing it. For many women we spend the majority of our adult lives trying to eat right or lose weight or both. We beat ourselves up over bad food choices and resolve to starve or exercise ourselves to death to look like those horid emaciated women in those magazines. When I was in college (the first time) 20 years ago I realized I could no longer eat like I was 13 so food became the enemy. I counted calories and dieted and lost and gained. It was such an awful vicious cycle. There was one point in my life that I survived on about 800 calories a day and taught myself to ignore my stomach growling and the signals that I was starving. It took a very wonderful fiance/husband to pull me out of that.

It took me many years to realize that food was not the enemy but dieting was. We were not designed to ignore food or skip eating. We need to be refueled and nourished. I have read in other countries that meals are made for family and they are lingered over together. In America we are so guilty of rushing through our meals if we stop to eat them at all. When we do eat I am not sure we are even tasting it before it is "down the hatch". Our mentality about food could use some revamping.

I recently read a book called the Sonoma Diet. I do not usually read diet books but my MIL said this one was very different and she was right. It is a magnificent book on eating healthy great tasting food and sitting and savoring and lingering over a meal. The book encourages one to savor your food - really taste it. To stop and slow down and enjoy each bite is important. It is good for us to slow down. The world is rushing forward too fast and we need to take time to jump off and rest. Slowing down to eat is one of the ways we take time out. There would not be as much heart disease and stress disorders if people would just take time to slow down a bit. God designed us to work but He also designed us to sit and eat and sleep. Work is not all there is to life.

There are other reasons that food is important and I believe that people lose these things when they do not take the time to prepare, eat and share great food. Our family has some very important ties to mealtimes. Besides the fact that I am in culinary school to become a caterer we take time to cook together in our home. We prepare every meal and very rarely go out to eat. We have family meals and do take time to linger over that last bite together while we talk about the day. Some of my most valuable memories of family members that are no longer with us are based around food. There is a rich heritage in many families centered around food. For me, much of the joy of food is in the process of preparing it. I believe that is a lost art in America today. People are too busy to enjoy the process of anything much less make a home cooked meal. I know cooking is not for everyone (or at least they think it is not) but there is some catharsis in it for me that just calms me.

In contemplating diets and weight I don't think the food is the problem. I think using food as a drug is the problem. I did it for years. I have an addictive personality and I know that. Being aware of that has helped me to make better decisions. When I stopped medicating myself with food I no longer continued to gain weight. It is about moderation. It is about eating what your body needs - and sometimes it needs chocolate. ;) Many illnesses could be halted by simply eating the good for you stuff and the not so good for you stuff in moderation. I learned I did not need a whole box of ice cream but merely a few bites to satisfy that craving. So, stop when you are satisfied. Learn to recognize when you are full or almost full. Don't stuff yourselves. These are things I live by and I enjoy eating so much more now.

Food is not the enemy - it is a tool. It is a tool for nutrition, health, family fellowship, and in my case many church fellowships, slowing down to rest, building memories and family traditions that build relationships and something that we are meant to enjoy. Finding joy in a bite of cheesecake is not a sin. Eating the whole cheesecake is. LOL So...

"Stop whatever it is you are doing and devote your attention to eating." You will be surprised how much better you will feel if you do. :)

2 comments:

  1. But eating a whole cheesecake is so much fun!! lol

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  2. What a fabulous post! I love what you've said here! So glad I found your blog - I know I'll be back often!

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