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Changing Food Focus

I may have mentioned before that I still like thinking about food, just in different ways than when I was heavy. One way for me to get my food fix is by watching food shows such as Chopped. Mostly it’s just fun, but occasionally it’s also inspirational.

Consider the recent Catwalk episode​, which featured fashion models who were also chefs. The two women on the show talked openly about their struggles with food and body image. One spoke of dieting for fifteen years to lose weight before finally realizing she simply had a different body type than that of the typical model.

The other woman talked about how much she hated other people telling her what she could or could not do with her own body. Both had eating disorders, and both were passionate about helping other young women in those situations, to make it clear that rules about food and body shape and size are not healthy.

What made their stories so hopeful was seeing how these women had been able to change their focus on food. They went from seeing it as the enemy to something they could celebrate, enjoy, and share with others. As one of the women pointed out, she realized that food was everything – without it, she wouldn’t have the energy to live her life or do what she loved.

It made me wish such a focus could be more of the norm. Instead of fixating on food as good or bad (or any categories that invite judgment), it would be wonderful if we could collectively focus on it for what it truly is: fuel for our lives.

It doesn’t mean the food can’t taste good, or be something we sometimes overindulge in, or sometimes have just for fun. But I think such an approach would go a long way to developing an overall healthier relationship to food and ourselves. So I thank these women for all they’re doing to raise awareness, and I hope others join them.

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