Women and Food
Food can also be an enemy. Women's magazines are full of 12-year-old girls made up to look like adult women, anorexic models, and hips and thighs artifically "airbrushed" off cover girl photos. Thin is beautiful, apparently, and food is the enemy of "thinness". The multi-billion "diet" industry, and the absurdly high rates of eating disorders among women in the West is testament to the sinister nature of the "thin is beautiful" dogma.
But food is one of life's great pleasures. Food makes us feel good. Food makes us feel comfortable. Food is not only a necessity: it is designed to be enjoyed. Jesus' reputation by his enemies was as a "glutton and a drunkard". (Matthew 11:19) He understood the importance of meals not only in sustaining us physically, but in sustaining us emotionally, and in connecting us with others.
Like anything, this can go toxic. It is possible to eat as a substitute for emotional connection with others; as a substitute for fulfilment; as a substitute for dealing with issues; as a substitute for healthy activities; as a method of procrastination. Somehow in a sick and crazy world we need to find a way to truly enjoy food, to savour it, to delight in it with others and the sense of community this brings... while resisting the temptation to use food as an emotional substitute for dealing with issues through prayer and godly action. We need to honor our God-given appetites, without letting them go toxic.
What does food mean to you? Are you at peace with your body and your appetite, or is it more complicated than that for you?