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Sensual food

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Old 05-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Sensual food

In lurking and reading yesterday, I saw a comment from someone that made me think. I cant remember who it was, or in which forum it was in, but the statement made was that if we could all just learn to eat to live, we would all be better off. On the surface, this sounds good, but the more I think about this, the more I don't like the idea.

Sure, for those of us who do have weight issues, perhaps we take the food enjoyment a tad too far, but eating good food is a downright pleasurable experience. While we do have to eat to live, good food and the enjoyment of it is a very sensual experience. I would hate to reach the point where I did not enjoy my food, but merely plodded through it as just something I have to do to survive. There are many things that can make us sigh, moan and close our eyes. And this absolutely CAN'T be a bad thing. Whether it is a caress or that first bite of our favorite rich desert. I think the sensual enjoyment of food is just like every other sensual pleasure out there. There is nothing wrong with it, and you shouldnt feel guilty for feeling it. You just have to make sure that you control it, and it does not control you.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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I've been maintaining a 70 lb weight loss for over 5 years, I still have "sensuous" food experiences (that sounds so 9 1/2 weeks, ha!).

I still looove food, I am the same person I always was.

On a daily basis, I feel I have managed to successfully channel my love of food into a love of HEALTHY foods. I love to eat so much, I have embraced yummy healthy foods like raspberries and greek yogurt, or a perfectly baked sweet potato (so the skin caramelizes and gets delicious) or roasted cherry tomatoes with sea salt, etc etc.

And, now that I'm maintaining, I have one nice meal a week, where I can have something really decadent, like split a molten lava cake for dessert.

Now, I make my love of food work FOR me.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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well said ladies! i can't imagine not enjoying what i eat!
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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Hhhmmm.....

I look at it this way: If we weren't meant to ENJOY our food, we wouldn't have taste buds!
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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The "eat to live" and "food is for fuel only" arguments are, to me, quite reminiscent of certain religious teachings that sex is for reproduction only (and that women in particular should not ENJOY sex, heaven forbid).

I enjoy food to the extreme. I love the way a meal that is tasty and good for me feels in my mouth and in my belly and then in my body, as it works its way through my system. Food tastes good, it smells good, it is visually pleasing, it is fun to cook, it is fun to think about, it's fun to grow, it's fun to shop for. It is a pleasurable experience to be shared with loved ones and community.

I am unapologetic in my love of the pleasure of food. There's absolutely nothing wrong with finding pleasure in food, and in fact I would argue that it's because we've divorced ourselves from the true sensuality of food that we are able to believe that junk food satisfies us in any way.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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One day, later this summer, I'll be able to pick a sun warned ripe tomato in my own backyard. I'm literally drooling at the thought of it.
I love food! I'd knock you over to get melted cheese.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
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Susan, I so get you with that tomato thing. One of my favorite meals in mid summer is a big plate of freshly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, with a nice big ear of freshly picked corn on the cob. It is amazing how something so simplistic can be so damned good.

As for the cheese..well, what can you say about that? I think warm melty cheese is about as sensual as you can get. And It too is also healthy. As long as you dont get too carried away, and avoid the stuff they spell with a "z" and put in a can
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:22 PM   #8
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I am so pleased that I get a thrill out of a abundant salad as much as I did from a tub of ice cream. Actually, I get more pleasure from veggies because I feel full and nourished into of blah and unsatisfied.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #9
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In a way, I WISH that I was the kind of person that didn't really enjoy food. Ya know those people who have to actively remember to or even force themselves to eat. Who only eat because they have to. It would make things so much more enjoyable.

But I also love food. Not only the taste, but the whole experience. I like the hunt for food (grocery shopping, finding new recipes, picking a restaurant, browsing the menu), the smells, how it looks on my plate, picking out bites, and of course all the tastes and textures. I even like the full feeling (I'm trying to condition myself to be happy with the satiated feeling as opposed to stuffed full).

I think a lot of this lifestyle change has been learning to appreciate food in a new way. It's still a sensual experience, and I'm very aware of the food the whole time, but in a healthier new way. I plan my meals, work out strategies to get the most bang for my buck in terms of nutrition and calories and satisfaction, I learn about new foods and recipes and ways of cooking. I find healthy options at restaurants. Rather than choosing a food because of all the melted cheese and other delicious features, I'm learning to think "wow, that food has a lot of fiber!" And instead of enjoying the meal by shoveling everything in until I have to unbutton my pants while zoning out in front of the TV, I'm learning to enjoy and savor each bite.

So no, it's unrealistic for me to expect myself to stop enjoying food. If I tried to suck the fun out of food in order to lose/maintain weight, I would absolutely fail. I do eat to live, but the life that I live involves the enjoyment of food. So to live that life in the way that I want (at a healthy maintained weight), I need to eat to support it in a way that I enjoy.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:07 AM   #10
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I find it easiest to stay on plan when most of my meals are boring and bland. I avoid eating out to the extent possible. Since I generally avoid eating out, I can have what I most enjoy on rare exceptions (dim sum on Mother's Day).

When cooking, I intentionally avoid using salt, soy sauce, boullion and even some spices, not just for sodium avoidance, but because I don't want the stir-fry to turn out too tasty. Even too much of healthy food can cause weight gain and I simply don't want to have to exercise my willpower every meal.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:32 AM   #11
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War MAiden, I was thinking along the same lines.

Sex is good for a reason - to keep the species alive. Food is good for a reason - to keep US alive. Why do you think they made these things so darn enjoyable? For the survival of man (& woman).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE food and always will. Yes, I was abusing it back in my 287 lbs day. I was overfeeding myself.

But now that I eat the proper calorie allotment for me - I still enjoy my food, if not more so. I look forward to every delicious morsel that comes my way.

Maintaining almost three years now and I believe one of the reasons that I've found it to be so, ahem, *easy* is because I thoroughly enjoy what I'm eating. I no longer eat the high calorie/high quantity food, but I have found DELICIOUS lower calorie foods to love. I actually get excited over my meals. I've been known to swoon over my food. I look forward to my meals for the pleasure that it brings me.

I will never look at food as "just fuel" for my body. NEVER. I don't use it anymore for entertainment purposes - stress/anger/boredom reliever - but when I AM eating, it's got to be delicious.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:33 AM   #12
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Regarding food as just fuel would suck the joy right out of my life, and I would fail, fail, fail. I truly don't take a puritanical approach to this, because I love shopping for, planning, growing and cooking food so very much. The world is full of wonderful, healthy, delicious things to eat, and I will not deprive myself of them. The crap? I don't need it, I'm increasingly finding I don't like it, and I'm glad to have jettisoned it. The beautiful, tasty, healthy things? Never. I am constantly on the search for more of them, and every time I make a new discovery, I am elated.
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:27 PM   #13
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I think it just comes from someone discovering what works for their personality or their demons, and it's such a light bulb moment, that they go around declaring it to be THE solution. For everyone. I think sometimes people really don't see outside themselves. Our personalities and experiences are so different that the exact same strategy can be essential to one person and horrible for another.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:58 PM   #14
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If the food and sex analogy is true -- and for me, I think it may very well be so -- then in my former eating habits, I used to be like someone with a porn addiction.

I had an insight during the past few weeks that food represents stimulation to me. Not necessarily sexual stimulation, but more as a stay against boredom, or a moment of entertaining myself. That probably ties in with its sensuality.

I do know that while partaking of it, my rational mind shuts down, and I'm not so good at making judgments, and to some extent, I am reveling in sensory input & am completely focused on that. It's like a moment out of time.

That's why it's so addictive. It's so nice to leave this world momentarily, on a wave of pleasure.
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