Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Love Food Too Much

I am told this is one reason people give for why they cannot lose weight. I use the word “love” frequently, and I mean it every single time I say it or write it—except this time. I don’t think we can love anything too much. If we do, then I don’t think we are using the word correctly or loving in the way loving is meant to be done.

I am a sexuality educator and consultant. For the past twenty years, I have talked about the importance of self-pleasure, self-love and our relationship with ourselves. I consider eating one form of pleasure that is neither less nor more important than other forms of pleasure.

I have challenged the cultural norms as best I can about just about everything. Much of my work has been trying to increase awareness and acceptance of gay, lesbian and bi sexualities. I advocate for all sexual expressions and activities as being acceptable as long as they are consensual.

So I have no hesitation to also challenge assumptions that we need to be of a certain weight, body type, skin color or age or to be able bodied in order to be considered healthy or beautiful.

While I don’t define health and beauty by pounds or outer appearance, there is no doubt that we live in a physically unhealthy society here in the United States. However, we also live in a mentally, emotionally, sexually unhealthy society, and it is just as important to address these aspects of our lives and health as it is to address physical health.

So I don’t underestimate the need for more exercise and healthy choices around food and other parts of our lives. But I will advocate for healthy choices that come from true empowerment within and not from pressure or arbitrary standards of beauty from a partner, peers or society.

I believe the only way we change anything is to fully accept where we are right now. We don’t get anywhere by beating ourselves up or not having compassion for ourselves and other people, whether we are talking about making good choices around sex, food or any other area of our lives.

So can we love food too much? To answer that question, we need to answer these questions: Is our love for food unconsciously similar to what happens in some unfulfilling relationships, or is it a love of the most authentic, meaningful and healthy kind? When we eat, are we really experiencing the pleasure of the food, or do we not even taste what we are eating? Are we intentional with our food, or do we go for what is convenient? Do we rush, or do we take time preparing and eating the food? Do we have regrets?

I believe it is important to be intentional in all parts of our lives, including what we eat. But our bodies and our lives do not have to look one way or like someone else’s.

First published on   June 27, 2013

Copyright 2013 by Susan Miranda.  All rights reserved.  No part of this writing may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder. For reprint permission, email