Attitudes toward food are on my mind these days. Food is part of enjoying family and friends. Itís also part of many rituals, and some foods have their own rituals, like tea ceremonies, Seders, Easter. Iím thinking that these food rituals increase the importance of food in our lives. Itís no longer just fuel for our bodies; weíve now added meaning and emotion to it.
I realized recently just how stuck Iíve been in this spot for decades. I was always the one who cooked for all these occasions, and it had to be RIGHT Ė just the way it had always been from grandmother to grandmother. My self-worth depended on making sure that we had everything just right, and plenty of it. And I started young, around 6.
Over the past couple of years, however, Iíve hardly cooked anything, although Iím a wiz at roasted veggies [especially in the toaster oven!], and it hasnít mattered to me. Itís mattered to others, and Iíve heard about it in a variety of ways. But bottom line, the biggest realization is that I donít really like to cook!!
Whatís that? A nice Italian girl whoís the family repository of Grandmaís recipes doesnít like to cook? Someone whoís become well known for her killer pies and biscotti canít be bothered? (Except for making truffles in December. That involves chocolate, so that makes the truffles IMPORTANT!!)
We occasionally discuss that, as we lose weight, we have to change in order to maintain, and that itís often hard on family and friends. This is an example. I canít, donít want to, wonít, return to being the family cook. Iím just not interested, and itís no longer important to me.
Letting go of this part of my being hasnít been easy. Itís always been part of my core identity. But Iím learning that Iím much more than this, and figuring out more about who and what I REALLY am is quite an experience. Sometimes itís comfortable, and sometimes itís not. But itís an important process.