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.

3 comments:

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...

Janesblogemail@gmail.com. . . hopefully it is also on my blogger profile?