The other day, a friend was telling me about spending the weekend with her widowed father and his new companion.
She was a little uncertain about how it all would go, as she had never seen her father with a woman other than her mother, who had died nearly a year ago.
To everyone’s great relief, it turned out to be a delightful time for all involved.
There was one thing in particular that my friend noticed about the new lady in her dad’s life…she loved to eat.
“What was unique about that?” I had to ask.
My friend went on to explain that her mother rigorously watched what she ate her entire life. She never indulged her sweet tooth and certainly never seemed to enjoy food. Yet this lady was exactly the opposite. She ate whatever she wanted and relished it all.
As I went about my day, I was reminded of a story my cousin once told me about her mother, Betty. Betty was a tiny woman, partly due to genetics but mostly due to the fact that she ate like a bird in a never-ending quest to remain thin.
During the last week of Betty’s life, my cousin Elaine decided to stop by the nursing home to see her and brought along the biggest hot fudge sundae she could buy. Betty was delighted and Elaine so enjoyed seeing her mother savor every single bite of that sundae.
I remember telling Elaine how sad that was…she had spent her whole life denying herself until the very end. And yes, she died thin…but so what?
After my dad died from a heart attack at the age of 71 after a life full of healthy eating and exercising (and trying in vain to get my mom involved in those same pursuits), my mom instantly developed a new philosophy:
2. Eat well.
3. Die anyway
A magnet with those very words hangs on her refrigerator to this day. She is a woman who enjoys her food.
I’d say that philosophy is working for her. 🙂 (That’s not her car by the way).
I went through a stage when I lived as a vegan a few years ago. I learned a lot of new recipes (which was no small feat for someone who has a plaque in her kitchen that says, “The only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house!”); I lost weight; I had a lot of energy and generally felt pretty good.
However, eventually I got tired. Tired of never eating the same thing my family was eating. Tired of having limited choices. Tired of ordering salads when we went out to eat since that was the only vegan thing on the menu. Tired of people looking at me as if I were some kind of New-Agey, PETA-loving loon (none of which is true). Tired of getting a lecture from the lady at the health food store—the health food store!—when I inquired if they had Ener-G Egg Replacer in stock. She looked me up and down suspiciously before finding one dusty box at the back of a shelf. As she handed it to me, she said, “What’s the matter with you? Why don’t you just eat eggs? Eggs are good for you!”
It ain’t easy being a vegan in New England.
Sometimes a girl just wants a bite of steak or an ice cream cone, you know? So, I stopped being a vegan.
Obviously, I am not advocating over-eating, not exercising, being unhealthy, or placing too much of an emphasis on food.
However, life is short. Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored in moderation.
So for today…enjoy and savor! 🙂