This week, I tried an unusual experiment. I made a menu, a pretty thing with lots of swirls. On it, I put a list of foods that I really wanted to eat. And I ate them. The End.

Only not so much.

You see, I have a problem with food. Always have. Ever since I was seven years old and worried about getting a bit fat, food has been my addiction of choice. Not enough food, far too much food, only this food, never that food–I’ve covered the entire palette of options.

And I’ve tried all the cures. I’ve been to acupuncture, chiropractic, psychotherapy, naturopathy, yoga, meditation, journaling, and nutrition school. I’ve been low carb, high carb, no carb, no sugar, gluten free, meat free, fat free, and fruit free. The only measurable outcome of those cures, besides having nothing that fits in the closet, is to make me a rather complicated dinner guest.

As of dinner, I think I’m done with that.

Of course, I also have a problem with declarative sentences, so I’m not ready to pinkie swear and blood oath just yet. But this week has made me realize something. My problem is not what I eat or don’t eat, but rather with what I give myself permission to eat or not eat. It’s with what is okay.

Food is food. Everything is okay. The dose is the poison.

It’s not like forbidding something means I don’t eat it. It means I eat a LOT of it, in secret, out of the freezer in a dark room with nobody watching. It means I out-health a wheatgrass juicer half the time and out-eat a garbage disposal the other half. It means that the crap I eat tastes like crap, because I buy it out of convenience stores and don’t bother to prepare it. Food you don’t put effort into isn’t really food, didn’t you know?

From now on, I want my crap to be delicious. So fine. A pastry (gasp!) with butter (oooh!) and flour (defiantly not whole wheat) for dinner. But a homemade pastry, topped with farmers’ market zucchini and fresh feta cheese and homemade yogurt and mint grown two feet outside my front door. A pastry shared with friends, in a park, in the sunshine. A guiltless pastry. A pastry of victory.

An edible experiment.


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