I have a cookbook collection. Ok, I have an eating style collection.
You may notice a common theme if you stare at my stack. Clearly I’m conflicted. I want to have my cake and eat it too. Preferably in the healthiest but most sumptuous way. Although I love well curated Pinterest recipes as much as the next girl, I still love my cookbooks best for window-shopping foodie philosophies.
But underneath all the choices, I’m left with the question – how will I eat for the life that I want? I find with my friends that talking about food is never just talking about food.
Do you remember a day as a woman that you did not wonder whether you liked your body? I do. What were we, seven? No, wait, it was when we were pregnant. Big as a house and utterly ecstatic about it. Taking pictures of ourselves from the side. And posting them. With arrows.
Now, we are more interested in each other’s eating philosophy, because that pushes the topic of our food and our weight off a safe distance from our hearts and our thighs. It’s simpler to live like we all think the same.
But one-size-fits-all only works with rain ponchos. There are millions of ways to be beautiful.
I’m bringing up food and self image in this series, not coincidentally called #CultivateCourageous, because we don’t need one more taboo topic, do we? With politics off the table (because we’ve all had enough), why not decide how we feel about ice-cream?!
I think when we talk about food and our bodies with friends, we are silently asking if we are safe people. Friends are the family we choose. We should be the safest people to be imperfect with, too.
So, let’s lay it on thick, let’s say the true things. If a friend wants to talk about finding a great way to eat, let’s heap on the praise for the things right about it. Or if she wants to be left alone for cripe’s sake, hear what she’s asking for and show some respect. Our postpartum, peri-menopausal, or pregnant bodies all need different treatment. Illness-ravaged and recovering bodies are tentatively renewing themselves.
Every decade of life has a new-normal to accept in our bodies. If our friendships bridge those years, let’s celebrate change like we celebrate life. With arms wide open.
Respecting our feelings about the way we nourish ourselves will give us a deep well of dignity that waters better love.
Did you miss a question or two in the series? Just head over to the main topic page for #CultivateCourageous.