what is food and how do we talk about it?

A dear friend and mentor e-mailed me yesterday with a link to an article in today’s New York Times magazine section. She was given this link by a woman who recently lost her daughter to an eating disorder so that first question still circles in her head to this day.

I think this article brings up a lot of questions and one that I want to ask is can we truly help our young women or is it a battle we’ll always be fighting? If we’re not healthy ourselves, we can’t help others, but if mothers do not have a healthy body image or nutrition choices, how can girls grow up against their mother’s actions? Also, where’s the fine line between healthy and obsessive?

I’ll post some of my thoughts tomorrow, but I’d love to hear yours first without my preceding ideas.

…and discuss!

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6 responses to “what is food and how do we talk about it?

  1. I found the article really interesting as well.

    I am terrified of having children, especially girls, and passing down my issues. While I think I am better about it than ever, I still definitely struggle and I don’t think I will ever be perfect – not that that is realistic.

    The only thing that I can think of to do it to create an open dialogue with your daughters and other young women about food, weight, and body image. I think it’s important to remember that even though they are children, it starts sooner than we think.

    I honestly don’t know what the right answer is and I can’t wait to read your thoughts!

  2. I’m trying to learn how to have a healthy obsession with food. I think I’m getting there this time, finally. I think about food all the time, but more so because I like cooking and I like inventing new ways to eat healthy foods without feeling like I’m depriving myself of anything. I stalk foodgawker on a daily basis (usually a bi-daily basis) and it makes me happy to be in the kitchen. And it makes me happy sharing my cooking and food finds with other people.

    But I have been at a point in my life where I was depressed about my weight because my mom, being Asian, is very blunt about my weight. But I think in Asian culture, the truth is the truth and they don’t hide it. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned more that she wasn’t insulting me but more so trying to raise awareness and help me, but there’s a disconnect. I don’t know. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I’m at today (23 years!) and there’s still a long road ahead of learning how to figure things out, especially when I start law school.

    I’m learning to channel my weight away from the number and into general health and fitness. I’m no longer scared of fats in food now. I mean, I monitor my fat but if I want a cadbury egg, I’ll have a cadbury egg. It won’t kill me, it’ll actually keep me sane. I’m focusing more away from the scale and to running, training, triathlon! The weight will come with all of that, but it’s no longer my central focus.

    Sorry about the essay of a comment!

  3. Thanks for sharing this article, what an interesting read. It really hit home for me on so many levels. This is something that as a Mother I have thought about so many times. While I have never suffered from an eating disorder, I have never been content with my body.

    My Mother’s family is very weight conscious it is the first thing they comment on when they see you. If you look skinny or not. It never affected me until I did gain some weight, especially when I would hear from my Mother, “You were always so pretty, don’t worry you’ll lose the weight again.”

    Stab in the heart. It really stuck with me for a long time. Now that I have my Daughter I know I never want to intentionally or not, put this message across to her. I have come to realize that I am going to have to set the example for her. I am going to have to stop fat talk, stop viewing food as good or bad, and learn to love myself as I am. I am consciously trying to do that every day and it has liberated me in so many ways.

    I am feeling better then I ever have before.

  4. Pingback: can we normalize food? « the sweetest thing

  5. Pingback: can we normalize food? | the sweetest things

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