I've always had a really complicated relationship with food. Over the years, food has been a source of both comfort and pain, not unlike the relationship teenagers have with their parents, needing them and rejecting them simultaneously.
Even as recently as a year ago, I would have said that food was a necessary evil. That I would prefer to be permanently hooked up to an IV that dispersed the necessary nutrients than ever make a decision about food again.
What a difference a year makes. Food has become a source of joy, of community, of nourishment. I look forward to every meal. I love trying new things and experiencing new flavors.
Perhaps a little too much, according to the scale (which, yes, I know, I need to throw away) and pretty much all of the clothes in my closet.
I KNOW I'm happier and healthier. I feel strong and sexy. And I shouldn't let numbers--whether it's the scale or the label in a piece of clothing--dictate how I feel about myself.
And yet, it's been getting to me. The old feelings of inadequacy, those desperate urges to control and ration and manipulate every morsel and every calorie every second of every day have been flooding back.
Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert and my girls' night at the movies for Eat, Pray, Love (more on that here), I had a huge craving for Italian pizza. So, I popped over to my neighborhood place, Antico, which specializes in genuine, wood-fired, melt-in-your mouth, drool-worthy pizzas.
The owner greeted me with a huge hug and loudly proclaimed in his thick Italian accent:
Now here's a woman I love! She loves to eat! I mean, really, really eat. Look at this pizza--the sausage, the cheese, the bread--she eats it all! Bellisima! I love a woman who eats!
And you know what? I love ME when I eat. When I really eat. When I savor every morsel, inhale the smells, detect every nuance in flavor. Because I'm happy. And healthy.
So pass the pizza.