Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sick As Le Dog

So yeah, I'm back from France! I really don't know how to put this because god, I would never ever ever ever want to be the type of person who complains about the food in France. France is like the holy grail of food, I know this. I mean, Julia Child and Alice Waters and pretty much everyone I respect in the world who knows anything about food had their great food awakening on the streets of Paris and all that. But unfortunately while I was in France I got sick as a dog and unfortunately it wasn't the kind of sick that made me want to really eat a lot of soft stinky French cheese. It was the kind of sick that me curse an entire nation (France) for having grocery stores with two AISLES of yogurt and not one single solitary bagel. People. Never again will I travel to a foreign country without an emergency bagel, or ten, in my carry on luggage.

The reality is that I was very sick and I felt awful much of the time, but also? The French don't eat how I eat. When I stop to really think about it I eat a ton of almost vegetarian stuff. It's all mostly really light and it's stuff like giant salads and apples and turkey. In France it seemed like every meal started with foie gras and included a cheese course and I just could not eat any of it. It was really pathetic. I actually ordered the children's menu at one restaurant and I thought the waiter might pass out from the sheer indignity of it. He was mightily dismayed at my choice. He should just have been happy I didn't puke on his shoes.

The most important thing I am here to tell you is that I know we are all out there trying not to stuff our faces all the time and we're putting down the chips and we're not eating the cookies and we're trying to pretend we aren't hungry for pizza and that we love cottage cheese and we're all so worried about what we eat all the time and being healthy and as much as I tortured myself for the past two years, as much as I made healthy choices I was proud of while I listened to my stomach rumble and as much as I forced myself not to eat chocolate when I wanted it and I had salads instead of hamburgers, well, as much as I did all of that? I'm here to tell you that being hungry is a GIFT. Wanting to eat EVERYTHING is something I always cursed until I lost it and all of a sudden the thought of chicken made me want to tear off my hands and feet and that day I realized that there was something worse than being hungry all the time, and that was wanting to puke at the thought of every food on the planet. Being able to eat, having an appetite, wanting to enjoy delicious food, getting enjoyment out of that pizza even when you shouldn't be eating it, it's something WONDERFUL and amazing and when it's gone, man, it is soul sucking. Eating has become a chore and seriously, it's so depressing.

So what I wanted to say to all of you out there is Eat That Pizza and Love It. Not every day. Not at every meal. But when you have it? Really really love it. Appreciate how delicious it is to you, and enjoy the hell out of it. If nothing else, do it for me.


PastaQueen said...

I recently had similar thoughts when a friend mentioned she didn't like the taste of chocolate. At first I thought it'd be really handy, but then I decided I was crazy because why would I want to rid my life of the pleasure of chocolate?

Also, personally I think it's okay to eat food you wouldn't normally eat when you're travelling because it's part of experiencing a different culture. If you gain a couple pounds - whateva'. How often do you get a chance to taste real French cuisine if you're not a Frenchie?

Lidian said...

I totally agree. Your post made me recall having terrible morning sickness and throwing up 6x a day and hating all food even divine chocolate chip muffins. I think if we all enjoyed what we were eating, thoroughly enjoyed it, we might not want to keep eating and eating searching for that feeling. I know that's true for me. One piece of dark chocolate or excellent pizza is worth more than those boxes of Snackwell sandwich cookies that someone I know pretty well, used to eat when she was stressed out.

I have just found your blog BTW and it is really good! I'm going to read some more now!


WifeMomChocoholic said...

When my dh and I were separated everything tasted like sawdust and I lost 20 lbs in a hurry. It was weird -- the first time in my entire life that food held absolutely no appeal for me.