On Food:: When We Make Food Equal Love
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
As much as we've been taught otherwise, food is not love. It isn't anything but food. However, it DOES do a great job of playing substitute.
Our relationship to food is the buliding block of our relationship to all other nourishment in our life. But in a world with SO MANY confusing messages around what and how to eat, it can be very difficult to slow down and actually hear what your body is saying when it comes to your relationship with food.
Your relationship with food is connected to your relationship with pleasure, emotions, intimacy and nourishment and SEX.
Some pretty big concepts for something as simple as the food on your plate.
Our culture encourages women to use food as an indulgence and a substitute for other pleasures in life (cue Dove Chocolate ad here), and as such, we often forego other forms of nourishment, connection with our desires, emotions and pleasure to reach for food. Ever notice when you’re having a craving, it isn’t carrots or cucumbers you’re craving? We go for the rich, heavy, comforting foods. These foods act as a substitute for the real thing we really crave: intimacy, fun, expression, sex, relaxation, acknowledgement and pleasure.
When we are at a defecit with these things in other parts of our lives, we turn to food to fill all our needs.
Because lets face it, eating is an intimate, personal act.
Both from a physiological standpoint; our mouths have the second most nerve endings to our genitals, to the feeling of being full and satiated, to the short term reprieve of stuffing whatever it is we might be feeling, to the emotional high food gives us.
We often “treat” ourselves with food for any number of reasons. I often hear women say “well I deserve this, I’ve been working so hard” or “I just can’t help myself” or “I haven’t done anything nice for myself lately, so I splurged on this chocolate cake.” But here’s the tricky thing: Food isn’t something to use as a substitute for real pleasure, or really doing something nice for yourself, or truly giving yourself the thing you deserve. Food isn’t a treat, it’s not something you deserve. Food is just food. No good or bad, right or wrong, deservability or anything else attached to it. It just is.
Food isn’t a substitute for the other things our body and soul needs as nourishment. It is JUST food.
This perspective is a hard one to wrap our minds around because it has been beaten into us that some foods are good and some foods are bad. But food is just food. It’s how we use it and the affect that it has on us that determines its usefulness in our life.
I want to point out that using food in this way isn't another place to beat yourself up. We should be grateful and thankful that we have an outlet for the feelings, desires and experiences that we haven't been able to fully admit or go after. To stop using food as a substitute, we have to start doing or feeling the things we usually avoid.
Maybe you use food because you hate your job, or you are hiding your anger, because you're lonely, because what you really want is hot sex, or a vacation or a partner who you really feel connected to. When what we really crave is pleasure, satisfaction, nourishment and taking care of ourselves, we turn to food because it is quick fix. A safer fix, and one that our culture has encouraged us to use as a substitute to say, finding a man to fall madly in love with, a day in nature, mindblowing sex, or a day relaxing and rejuvenating at the spa.
These things would satiate our mind, body AND soul but they are harder to attain, more involved than a piece of chocolate cake and more confronting to admit we want than that pint of ice cream we just downed mindlessly last night.
So the next time you feel called to treat yourself with food, or because you “deserve” it, see if you can choose another option.
Make a list of things that you truly enjoy that aren’t food related.
And then ask yourself, what choice could you make that would bring you the satisfaction, intimacy or pleasure that food usually does? Start small. This isn’t a race or a test. This is research. Research into you and living how you deeply desire to live. It is your chance to start changing your relationship to food, to having the body you want and to being the satisfied, sexy & soulful woman you dream of. Start now. In the words of Karen Lamb,