Wednesday, November 17, 2010

food I

I am in love and hate with food.

The love is deep and satisfying. Books about gourmet cooking hold my attention as well as the most escapist fantasy novels. Feeding people I care about really well, striking that perfect comforting or enlivening chord to make their day suddenly better, is intensely pleasing. I remember great meals, the interplay of flavors and textures and aromas, in vivid detail. I believe in food as art.

Cooking for myself is a gesture of respect. It serves my long-term welfare by saving money, and by developing a skill that will make it easier and easier to feed myself inexpensively and well as time goes on. Insisting on learning to cook brilliantly for myself is also a tool for battling disordered eating.

The hate, as hatred usually is, is complicated, destructive. Sadness can take me two ways. In one direction, I start by eliminating animal foods and sticking to whole grains. Deeper in, nothing but fresh fruit and undressed salad will do. Eventually the solid fruit seems like too much trouble; eventually nothing is good enough, anything would be a defilement. This has happened to me once. It is a path I try to avoid.

The other direction starts with baked goods, muffins, cookies, pastries. As things get emotionally darker I crave meat, ground pork, sausage, cheese. I crave things I find disgusting, things I find morally wrong. For awhile, I was sick and at the same time hungry for meat in this way. Every time I closed my eyes I would see feverish images, tearing off chunks of flesh from my own arm with my teeth, feel my body moving to cannibalize itself. In the worst of this place, I will eat until I take absolutely no pleasure, continue until it causes me pain.


misssrobin said...

Isn't it amazing how something that is such an everyday, necessary part of life can be so complicated and cause so much emotional stress?

I think you expressed well the struggle so many of us have. Good luck in your food battle.

J Rock said...

Off topic, but I need your email address so I can invite you to my new blog. Do you have mine already? I'd rather not post it in a public place like this.

Day said... . . hopefully it is also on my blogger profile?