“Others may only eat to live, but in New Orleans, we live to eat.”
That was how the old National/Canal Villere commercial told the story. My mother absolutely hated that commercial. She hated the idea of living a life dedicated to pleasurable excess. “Ugh, that’s how heart attacks happen,” she’d roll her eyes and say. She’s give a far friendlier eye roll when she’d call me a “creature of comfort.” I like my sweaters cozy, my lemonade ice cold, and my music loud and exquisite.
As for my food, I want it delight the senses. There’s nothing prettier than a perfectly red strawberry, or more fragrant than the spice trinity (onions, garlic, bell pepper) making a meal complete. I love the feeling that comes with serving my children a meal, particularly when it’s something new. So, I do sort of live to eat, in the most unapologetic way imaginable.
I’ll tell you a secret: I’m a fat girl. I know right. I TOTALLY hide it well. (You can’t see this, but I totally hit you with the hard blink.) In choosing life and health, losing weight is a must. When people embark upon various weight loss journeys, I always hear the same sentiment echoed: I’m redefining my relationship with food. I’m eating to live, not living to eat. One of my favorite actresses, Rachel True, tweeted, “Food is not a hug.” I’ll be the first to admit that as a woman, I have become an emotional eater, but even in my thin days, I loved to chow down.
I don’t want to choose between viewing food as a necessary tool for survival OR a surrogate lover. I happen to believe that food was created to be enjoyed. Otherwise, why would it taste, smell and look so good. We could be eating that gruely goulash they ate in “The Matrix,” if it was merely about sustenance. It shouldn’t replace human contact, but food should be experienced and savored. So here’s to me mastering the art of enjoying a delicious meal and saying, “I’m all full. Thank you,” with a huge, satiated grin on my face.