Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!
I wanted to discuss something that I’ve been thinking about lately – emotional eating and love of food.
We all agree that emotional eating isn’t the best. You’re sad, or angry, or disappointed, or even happy, so you reach for food. Cue disordered eating.
But what about loving food? What about eating a slice of cheesecake because you love cheesecake? What about making chicken and dumplings because it reminds you of your mother and it makes you happy? What about buying yourself a box of chocolates on V-Day and savoring them, and screw the calories and the high-fructose corn syrup?
When I was in my years-long calorie counting obsession, when I moved on to my Paleo obsession and even up until (very) recently, I thought associating food with any emotion wasn’t ok. LOVING food led to binging, or weight gain, or falling off the wagon, or losing control. Food had one purpose, and it was to nourish your body.
But where’s the joy in that?
Food is such an amazing, fun, delicious part of life! We cook for others and ourselves to express love. We eat together and share stories and put our phones down for 10 seconds to look each other in the eye. Food is magical, so can we give ourselves permission to really, truly enjoy it without dismantling it into something scientific?
I bought that box of chocolates today and I savored them. I’ve done this for myself every year (except when I was Paleo…), but I usually feel guilty about it. I think about how I should be showing myself love in a different, non-food way like taking a walk in nature or getting my nails done. But you know what? I really love chocolate and it makes me happy. Buying a box of chocolates just for myself feels so lavish and indulgent and it literally makes my day. How fun and awesome is that?
There is a difference between food bringing you joy and emotional eating. So here’s your permission – you can love food! Food can make you happy!
Enjoy your holiday, celebrate love, and eat some yummy food.