I pinned the poster below yesterday on Pinterest and later on Facebook because it resonated with me. Women, oh, are you with me? How many of you have a powerful relationship with food?
Soon after posting it on Facebook a comment was left that expressed disappointment with the appearance of this message on the House of Fifty site. And after the initial "ouch," I appreciated what she had to say because it gave me insight to how another might take the words, and it also made me stop to clarify my own thoughts.
The comment was:
"I don't think there is anything healthy about the condescending tone of this statement. This is the kind of thing found on body shaming, pro-anorexia "thinspo" pinterest boards, and it is NOT what I come to House of Fifty to read. I am very disappointed by the content. Instead of posting a recipe for ice cream sandwiches followed by a statement meant to shame people for eating, how about posting some healthy recipes on your facebook feed?"
It's a good thing I long ago got okay (well, mostly okay) with people not agreeing with me! I really do appreciate how criticism causes me to pause and think a little deeper about a situation, to not only more thoroughly consider my point of view but theirs.
So I replied:
"I respect what you are saying. But let me share my personal approach to food: I do tend to focus on healthy food choices because they simply make me feel better, but I'm okay with enjoying a treat here and there, because I enjoy them and to deprive oneself leads to more extreme behaviors. I personally know how food has a powerful emotional component and when I am stressed I often reach for food without asking if I am hungry or thirsty, and often thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Because of this, I personally feel this poster provides a positive message, albeit strong, for staying in tune with why we are making certain food choices throughout the day...helping us to live our best lives by feeling healthy."
I do feel passionate about this topic, women and food: we use it to nourish ourselves, our families and friends, to show love to others and sometimes as a way to feel loved ourselves. Food has a tremendous power to lift us up in health and celebration and a terrible power to tear us down when used as a drug to mask stress, hurts, anger and disappointments. I think any dialog around gaining awareness about our personal relationship with food is a positive one, though not always an easy one.