Food is not your enemy. Exercise is not a moral victory.
I’m in the midst of getting into it on Tumblr with a person who thinks that OF COURSE exercise is a better coping mechanism than comfort eating and, you know, I’m glad that works for that individual. I am NOT glad that somehow this turns into blanket advice for everyone in every situation.
You can’t turn a hammer into a screwdriver and when what I need is comfort? Exercise isn’t going to cut it.
It’s all so very either/or for critics, it seems. If I advocate for mindful comfort eating, well, obviously I must not think people should get out and move. The two can exist. One coping mechanism doesn’t fit every situation in our very individual lives any more than one blanket statement about exercise does.
Sometimes, I cope by walking around IKEA. It’s indoors, it’s safe, and it’s ginormous. Sometimes I cope by having some meatballs. Sometimes I cope by having sex with my husband. Or myself! That’s an AWESOME coping mechanism, I’m not gonna lie.
I said on Tumblr that I think our culture DISREPECTS food – more and more that is the conclusion that I cannot avoid. Food and everything associated with it.
The irony of me being a champion of eating is, like, making me laugh so hard right now, you don’t even know. I’d opt for a little nuclear reactor instead of a digestive system if I had the option. But I feel really protective of eating lately because it seems like other people want to define it, limit it, and, even in the context of body acceptance, tell me what is good or bad about it compared to other things.
Food is not your enemy. It isn’t my enemy. It isn’t our enemy.
It’s when I try to place myself in opposition to food that I wind up most unhappy – and increasingly disordered not only in my thinking about my food and my body but in my actual food practices. You don’t have to be a gourmet to respect that food is not only a necessary component of, you know, staying alive; it’s also a vital part of our cultural well-being – both as distinct ethnic heritages and as smaller… kinship groups, for lack of a better term.
I have long been tired of the resentment I feel towards food preparation. I take a few steps forward, a few steps back, I renegotiate my relationship with eating on a pretty regular basis – because if I don’t, I just don’t eat. And that doesn’t do anyone any good. *laugh*
But the fundamental thing that keeps me engaged with the subject is that food nourishes me in more ways than can be simply enumerated.
Exercise does some great things for me. There are issues of classism and ableism that must be addressed when discussing activity – as there are with so many topics. But if there is a real hierarchy? Then food wins out. Because I live without exercise. I cannot live – none of us can – without food.
But I’m not a fan of hierarchies. I think they are bullshit and they force us into binarisms. This OR that. I am greedy, maybe – I want food AND movement. And all sorts of other things.
Food is not the enemy.
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