This isn’t exactly the kind of poem I usually write, in some ways. Its more of a ruminatory rant abour how I feel about food these days.
I’m not usually well into long introductions to poems, but I would like to say a few things about why I started writing this.
Eating is an emotional minefield, if you ask me. On the one hand, I feel self-indulgent and selfish for all the time I’ve spent obsessing over my own body and eating habits, considering how comparatively privileged I am. On the other hand, the obsessive cycle that food can draw you into can feel impossible to break free of.
It would take a million years to explore all the reasons why people develop eating disorders or food obsessions, but this isn’t what this poem is about.
This poem is about deciding to eat. About remembering, trying to remember, sometimes against your immediate instincts, that food is nothing more or less than a thing you eat to keep you alive and prepared to tackle your life and do good (or bad) things.
Food isn’t a reward for being good, or a punishment for being bad. it isn’t an enemy ot battle against and it isn’t feeding a parasite inside your belly.
In tandem with being told (or it being inferred) that we need to lose weight, be thinner, be tighter, control ourselves, be better and neater and bendier and shinier by media or advertising or society or ourselves, it feel to me that there is a secondary stereotype, carrying just as much pressure, to acheive a ‘healthly, wholesome, womanly’ aesthetic. Which feels to me to carry just as much bullshit conjecture on how to approach our wellbeing.
Eating should not be about developing ‘healthy curves’ any more than it should be about getting thinner. It shouldn’t be about aesthetics at all. It should ONLY be about putting healthy stuff into your body so you have the well being and energy to live your life the best you can.
With that in mind, here’s a poem about it. Because as we all know, poems solve all the world’s problems.