I received a journal in the mail recently that had a small article written by a psychotherapist, Stepanie F. Greene, MSW, LISW-CP. It is called “Love is More Than the Holiday Meal” and I wanted to share it in part with you.
“Holidays are too often recognized for the “feast” that accompanies them rather than being a time to celebrate the connection of family and friends. We tend to focus on the food. We indulge in seconds, whether second spoonfuls or second helpings to cover our plate, and most of us go back for nibbles during the night.
“This past October, I went to the state fair for the first time in several years. I was rudely reminded of why I had not attended years beforehand. As a psychotherapist working in the field of bariatrics and eating issues and promoting healthy moderation, others’ eating behavior mesmerized me. For most patrons, the South Carolina State Fair modeled the Last Supper!
“Henry David Thoreau recognized food as the foremost necessity of life. Food is fuel. Awareness of this principle has prospect to enhance viability and set forth a simple framework for life. Yet in our complex society, we have attached a plethora of incandescent meanings to food – love, anger, stress, and a sense of nurture. Food is given too much credit. It is used to mask feelings and serves as a temporary band-aid.
“Rather than identifying and communicating our feelings, we allow food to become the focus and the means by which we relate to others and express ourselves. Food is just fuel, and yet it too often becomes the medium for interpersonal communication, especially during the holidays seasons. We give food to show appreciation and to convey tokens of our love.
“As we enter into a new year, I challenge you to be mindful about your relationship with food. I challenge you to treat every meal as a time to celebrate the connection between family and friends and to embrace the taste of happiness and togetherness. I challenge you to nurture your relationships in ways other than through gifts and compliments of food. “
I agree. We need to take the power away from food. It is no easier than that, but it also no harder. Once we have a good relationship with food, the behaviors, that we talk about so much with weight loss, will follow.
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD