The Privilege of Eating

In this world of the “haves” and “have-nots,” I am definitely one of the “haves,” which is to say that I have plenty to eat.
So my reflections on Not Dieting are meant to encourage only those of us who are recovering from voluntary weight loss dieting. In this respect, we’ve followed the latest plan, lost unwanted pounds, and hit our goals, proving to ourselves that we had what it took—the determination, will power, and persistence—to deny ourselves the elemental joys of eating.

When we decide to go against the tide, however, and Not Diet anymore, it’s easy to swing to the other extreme and turn militant about eating what we want, as much as we want, and when we want it, as if having an abundance of food were some right that we’re due.

Wrong! Getting enough to eat—not to mention having ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, desserts and junk food—is not something to take for granted. Crops could fail, truckers could go on strike, funds could run out, or there could be a devastating earthquake that interrupts our food supply.

The first time I missed a meal in college (my work schedule didn’t coincide with the cafeteria’s hours), I got ticked, as if someone had wronged me. What was I supposed to eat—my shoes? Ready to bite someone’s head off, I instead bought some peanut butter crackers and a carton of milk from the only vending machine in my dorm, which was in the basement, and felt pretty sorry for myself the whole evening, eventually going back downstairs for a candy bar. In hindsight, I see now that I was fortunate to get anything at all. That was then. Today, I can’t count the number of days I’ve gone to bed hungry simply because I didn’t like the number on the scale that morning.

No more. (Just typing those words made me smile.) Along with the rest of the family, I allow myself to eat when I’m hungry.

All this to say that being thankful makes food taste even better!

“Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then…When you are full, you will refuse honey, but when you are hungry, even bitter food tastes sweet.” (Proverbs 27:1 and 7, Good News Translation)

2 thoughts on “The Privilege of Eating

  1. Thanks for your lovely post! You very gracefully handled that back and forth seasaw of denial and overeating v. contentment and freedom.

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