This is my Dad and I at a St. Patrick’s Day party last night. Before I ramble on about my latest food thought, I feel the need to introduce him, because he’s led a pretty amazing life. Born before the Great Depression (83 years old), he was a pilot in the Air Force (I got to go up in a Cessna with him when I was 10), an actor and theater critic who hung out with Charlton Heston pre-crazy-NRA-ness, and a member of the crowd who saw John F. Kennedy before he turned the street corner in Dallas and was shot. It is hard to see him in the later years of his life; his speech, hearing and eyesight are severely limited. Through the crap, I occasionally see glimpses of his old self: stubborn, curious, spirited, strong-willed, adventurous. In other words, a whole lot of me.
Another way we are similar is our enjoyment of sweets. Ha. Which leads me to the thought I came up with running today. Long story short, I did not hold back with the food and/or desserts last night. (Which honestly, I usually don’t at holiday gatherings, because, it’s one frickin day). And I felt it this morning. My stomach was a little messed up from the sugar, but nothing bad. It was like a little reminder from my body – “Hey, don’t do that again anytime soon.”
That led me to thinking about feeling badly in general. Emotionally and physically. In life, there are natural ebbs and flows to our moods – some days we’re feeling pretty damn confident, and some we’re feeling pretty insecure. Doesn’t the same go for our bodies? Can we really expect our physical bodies to feel healthy and toned and “just full enough” 100% of the time? No. Sometimes, we’re going to feel physical pain due to an ebb and flow in lifestyle. Now, I’m not recommending we all binge on sugar every night because it’s an “ebb”, but I think it happens because we’re human. We’re not perfect body robots.
I have noticed, as of late, that our society tends to not want to feel bad at all. We don’t want to sit with pain or discomfort. Like my friend Alexandra said, there are diets that promote quick fixes (read: you don’t have to sit with the pain of your real, emotional food issues and instead get a band-aid fix), there is airbrushing that takes away anything that isn’t perfect, and there are eating disorders to numb out the root issues that fuel it. We all produce and run at an insane pace everyday, and in turn avoid sitting quietly with ourselves for two minutes, paying attention to what we’re really feeling.
Anyway, I’m getting a little vague, but I’ll explain what I mean this way. My Dad always told me, “We (my mother and he) will love you no matter what wrong you did in life.” I’m gonna treat my appetite and body the same way. Because it isn’t perfect but it usually hits the mark when I listen to it and treat it right.