Marina: “How to Dance as Much as You Want, Tip #84 – EAT WHAT YOU WANT”

21 11 2008

Okay, that may seem like a non sequitur to some, but the connection is hot on my mind, because it’s coming up on the winter holidays, a time when our collective efforts to negotiate that tenuous line between consume/refrain come to a frenzied, holly-jolly climax. This split is particularly perilous when it comes to food. You see it in the ramped-up diet ads, the recipes for guilt-free gravy, the covers of the women’s magazines urging us to make decadent cakes for the family, but lose 20 pounds by the holidays.

The very language that most people use when talking about food consumed–“I’ve been bad” or “oh, you’ve been so good”–tells us that the naughty/nice metaphor has long ago ceased to be only a sorting device for Santa to plan his trip, and has thoroughly sunk into our own minds.

And I’m here to tell you that it is a waste of your time.

When you are busy fretting about calories, applying willpower to every party appearance, worrying about the difference between fat-free and full-fat eggnog, that is THAT MUCH EXTRA psychic energy that you no longer have available to pick that perfect mix for a holiday party, to look up a bellydance class in the paper, to go to the Nutcracker (or the Slutcracker, here in Boston), to get out to a reggae night and slow-grind your way to heaven. When you worry about food, you are letting it consume you, instead of the other way around.

I’m going to spare you any lecture about intuitive eating. Google it and see for yourself the benefits you can get from just, you know, eating. (And yes, there are intuitive eating resources out there for people with eating disorders, too.) Me? I just know that eating what feels good to me feeds ALL of me, my dancing feet and my whack-ass mind, too.

So this holiday season, I propose that you save your energy for the good stuff, and don’t fret about naughty or nice. Make it “tasty” or “nasty”, make it “whatever I can afford that is delicious”, make it “what I want to share with friends”. Eat it. Love it. Then get out there and dance. Your body will thank you. For all of it.

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