Maybe I should entitle this, “Me and Food.” For many women, including myself, food is emotionally charged. Eat a salad, you’re praised. Eat a small piece of pie, you’re condemned.
Or maybe the title should be, “The United States and Food.” From school lunches to huge portions in restaurants, we Americans have a schizophrenic relationship with food. Ironically, lacking food is as linked to obesity as too much food. According to the USDA, as reported in one of my favorite organizations, Loaves and Fishes, 49 million people, including some 12 million children, struggle to find food every day.
At the same time, close to 70% of us are overweight or obese, impacting everything we do as a nation, from our individual quality of life to our collective wealth (think health care costs).
From a helping perspective, I have supported Save the Children since the 1990s, partly due to their effort to nurture the whole child and community. It’s not only education, it’s health.
From a personal perspective, I persevere. I’m constantly searching for new ways to change my belief system–which is where my inertia begins. Oh the tales I tell myself! You know–from “it’s genetic” to “the grapefruit diet destroyed my metabolism.”
Hmmm. If you read my books, you’ll know I’m a foodie. Every character eats, and eats well–ravioli in California Wine, catered movie lunches in California Thyme, fresh seafood in the rest. For Christmas, I wrote a whole book about a chocolate maker! (My editor claimed I made her gain 10 pounds.)
I like to cook–and my DH encourages me. Every year in my stocking is a Cook’s Magazine. Right now I’m working my way through the special pasta issue. It was a gift. I have to do it? Right?
Ah, the lies we tell ourselves.
Last week I talked about mindful eating. I’m still working on that, but more aware of my food and how much I actually need. This week I added 10 minutes of yoga stretches. My favorite is “corpse pose.”
No, it isn’t much. But baby steps are better than none. Things are going to change this year for me.
How about you? What do you want to change this year for yourself? What do you think about Americans and food? I’d love to hear your thoughts.