Food confuses me. Whenever I walk into the kitchen or wander the food and diet aisle at Barnes & Noble I feel my heart starting to beat faster and my head start to spin. In a world where there are so many different opinions on what and how and when we should eat I find myself crumbling under the choices and diets and non-diets and meals plans. Even the Christian section of the bookstore is slowly succumbing to this infection with books upon books being written about the Daniel Fast.
Where is my safe place? It’s no better glancing at the magazines, which both encourage skinniness and perfection but also feature heaps of yummy delicacies that will most definitely not help you get thin.
Where is my safe place when even my mind is filled with diet strategies and that pesky voice telling me not to eat and when to eat and that I have to throw up now to get rid of what I’ve just consumed. I could tell you all about the Palaeolithic plans and the grey sheet from Overeaters Anonymous. I could list the rules of the Juice Diet and tell about the benefits of eating only raw food. I have seen the documentaries about what they do to the pigs and the cows and the chickens. I have watched the movies about juicing and the corporate food giants who only care about money. I have learned about how food reacts in our brains in similar ways as drugs – releasing different neurotransmitters and give us a high or a low.
There is no harmony in my head about food or weight or body image. There is no balance and somedays I don’t eat at all just because I don’t know what is allowed and what will kill me. Maybe all food is deadly? Maybe it is all okay? I don’t even know and I couldn’t tell you which way is up. I am drowning in a sea of carbs and fats and protein. My head is fuzzy and I wish I could just eat something without anxiety taking over because of calories or chemicals.
I think we often forget that mankind fell because of a piece of fruit. It was eating that marked our descent into madness and ruin:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband… and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6, NIV)
They ate and that led to the downfall of humanity. Eve ate and separated us from God. Later food would become one of the seven deadly sins – gluttony.
Jesus took the bread and wine as his body and blood. We celebrate this in the communion every Sunday or one Sunday a month depending on your church’s theological bend and sometimes all my mind can think about is: how many calories in Jesus? and should I be eating bread?
I don’t know where this post is going anymore, but I guess my question is this: how do I (we) eat? How do we take back this fallen part of our world? How is food restored in God’s great restoration? Where is recovery in a world where no one can find one answer to the food and diet wars? Where is recovery in a world where the fight is for thin and not for fit?
Food confuses me and I feel like I cannot eat until I know who is right. Where does food fit into your life and what is right with eating?