Daily Beauty, Day #9: Food

Today I have decided to write about food, because as I type these words, I feel pleasantly full and am thinking about what I have eaten fondly. Is it alright to enjoy food? How much should we enjoy eating? How often (if at all) should we consume foods which we know are unhealthy for us? These questions are very prevalent in our current culture, and I think that the answers of many to the above questions would lean towards the negative.

But I think that food is a gift. And upon receiving a gift, the recipients are expected to appreciate said gift. A good gift-giver only gives gifts that they think will benefit and please the person to whom they give this gift. In this case, God has given us food, and the diversity of flavours He has created demonstrates that eating is about more than just bodily preservation. We do need food to survive, but God has also given us food as something to enjoy and appreciate with joyfulness. He has given us this gift to share.

When we start to exert too much control over the things we eat, I think we put restrictions on this gift. Instead of enjoying them freely, we use these gifts with heightened awareness of the contents and amounts of what we are consuming. We forget to appreciate, because we are too concerned with our plans for what is healthy, good and right. We lose sight of the beauty of food and its simple art, and become swept away in our plans for self-improvement.

I am certainly not indicating that what we put into our bodies is of no importance. However, I think it is essential that our consciousness of our diet stems from the right reasons. When we desire to be healthy so that we can appreciate and honour our body, which is also a gift from God, we may think about how we can achieve this goal, but without stressing over perfection or attempting to shape our bodies into earthly images of “beauty.” In my opinion, the key is moderation. Anything in excess is unhealthy, even if it is healthy eating. Becoming too rigid in any sort of routine actually separates us from God, because we try to deny His control in certain areas of our lives and are too caught up in our own plans and ideas to allow His presence to infiltrate our daily tasks and His good gifts.

I love to eat. And I don’t feel guilty about enjoying food. Instead, I think we should aim for balance, and this balance is always easier achieved when God, the only one who is unchanging and ever-steady, is at the centre of our hopes and goals.