Thoughts about food…
Eating is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. It makes my heart happy to think about food, try new recipes, and feed other people who gather around my table. Whilst many of my food memories involve other people, I genuinely enjoy cooking just for myself. Eating enjoyable food that I have personally prepared is an act of nurturing love that can be traced back to infancy. After all, one of the few ways my mother could express love to me, an entirely dependent human being, was for her to feed me. I consider feeding myself with care and intention an act of self-love. How about you?
If your honest answer was not a resounding “YES,” I encourage you to consider why. Do you disagree that feeding yourself nourishing, enjoyable food is an act of self-love? Or is it something else? “Can’t be bothered.” “Too much effort.” “Not enough time…” are some of the reasons I’ve heard over the years. Let’s think about what this means. If you accept the premise that feeding yourself is an act of self-love, and yet you raised your hand in agreement with one of the excuses above, you are saying that you can’t be bothered to love and care for yourself. Sit with that for a minute without arguing or justifying. What exactly is going on here? If your lunch is a hotdog from a gas station that you eat while you’re driving, what might that be saying about how you view yourself and your worth? And by the way, this reasoning also applies to my health-conscious readers as well. Do you feel loved and nurtured when your body cries out for toast, but you forbid yourself to eat carbs? Just sayin’….
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matt 7:9)
The two greatest commands that God gave us are grounded in love: Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-40). Notice that our ability to love others well is directly related to how well we love ourselves. And here’s my main point today: How we feed our bodies is the fruit (pun intended) of our love for ourselves.
So, how’s your eating? Is your “how” restrictive, punitive, or mean? Is it mindless, thoughtless, or rushed? Does the way you eat nurture your body AND your soul? Do you feel cared for and loved by the way that you eat? These questions are meant for you to sit with and reflect on. If you notice that you are feeling defensive and want to justify why these ideas don’t apply to you…”Do you know how busy I am???”…I invite you just to be curious about what’s coming up without judgment. Your feelings and reactions are clues to hidden gems of revelation and truth that will invite you into breakthroughs and healing if you let them. If you’ve never paid that much attention to how you eat—maybe you’re the one eating that hotdog at the convenience store—I invite you to spend the next week just noticing your habits around food. Don’t judge yourself; just notice. Open your refrigerator and cabinets. What’s in there? How do you feel about what’s in there? Be curious and ask God to show you what your habits and cabinets may reveal about how well you love yourself. Remember, your commitment to love and nurture yourself is directly related to your capacity to love and care for others. How’s that going for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!