Food and women – women and food – another old love/hate relationship and a battle field which keeps taking too much of our time and effort (for my taste, pun intended). Let me start by saying this:
I LOVE food and I´m not afraid to show it. Not in a “oh, those scones look so cute – I guess I´ll go crazy and break my diet just for today” but in the “eating and loving every bit of it” kind of way.
I was never able to start a diet, much less keeping it – I do too much, live too much, go to so many places and spend so much energy that dieting sounds like trying to drive a car without fuel (how far would I go?).
I´ve been called (mostly by men) “hoover” (yes: l´aspirateur), hungry wolf (thanks, gentlemen!), peasant with an excessive appetite for food (or life – be sure of it) and cookie monster. One of my exes, a lebanese photographer who makes his living out of dancers (whom he hates and considers a bunch of prostitutes) – famous in my books and posts for trying to stop me from dancing, beating me up and trying to kill me – reached the point of accusing me of making him spend too much money on…
tchan, tchan, tchan, tchan...
(drums and trumpets playing loud)…FOOD.
I made him spend too much money on FOOD – isn´t it delicious (then again: pun intended). Some women are weird that way: no gifts, no shoes, no cloths, no jewels, no cars and houses, no money on the hand: plain, rustical, shameful FOOD. Let all doubts rest: I AM A WILD BEAST FROM THE FOREST.
The same male creature accused me of “moaning with pleasure” while I ate – a treat worth a couple of public fights in Egypt (he thought people around me would take my pleasure in food as a sexual invitation).
I also believe that LIVING requires food – who would have thought?! Starving yourself (to all kinds of deaths) doesn´t not allow you to go for it, run, jump, do, create, love, bite, struggle (if necessary), climb, enjoy, dance, teach, write, work, speak up, take your claws off those fingers and grab LIFE, laugh and so on. You need ENERGY – calories – in order to live and I´m not surprised that a heavy fist is still being imposed on women when it comes to dieting and starving to death. Taking away your food and love of food is the easiest way to keep you quiet, silent, weak, powerless, lifeless, unable to reach for your potential.
And there´s the COMFORT food and how we, some times, need to sacrifice the body needs for our emotional needs (as important as the first). I am not defending an unhealthy, excessive, self-destructive eating routine – that´s not what I´m referring to. What I´m saying is that food is related with our sexuality, our emotions, our needs to be nurtured – physically, emotionally, intelectually, even spiritually. Choosing and enjoying the food you put into your body must be a pleasurable, gilt-free process and loving yourself is necessarily a “food subject”. Respecting our body type and needs is essential – I often feel that there are periods I need more food and others where it´s almost accessory. I listen to my body and allow it to enjoy all the things still considered “inappropriate” for civilized, polished, well bread women: food, sex and dance (yes: that devilish thing called ORIENTAL DANCE) are on the top of the list. A lady is not supposed to admit she takes great joy and pleasure in FOOD, SEX and DANCE (sides of the same coin); if she does so, she´s instantly labeled in a negative way.
References to weight, diets and how we “should look” annoyed me in the past but, thanks the lord, I´ve grown out of this nonsense. Healthy is not necessarily skinny; I have a round, curvacious, strong & creative body which I love and cherish (just the way it is). I exercise aside from my professional physical work – because I care about my health and my profession and I happen to enjoy it – but I don´t sacrifice life´s pleasures for the sake of the neighbours who consider I should lose a few pounds. Honestly: I have better and more interesting things to do with my life than caring about neighbours´opinion (and so do you).
P.S: The connection between the enjoyment of food, sensuality and freedom – is that a coincidence?