Can We Speak in Cheese Plates? #VOWfeast

Food and I have a complicated relationship.

Some days it’s the ex-boyfriend I send a drunken late night text too even though I know better.
Some days it’s the perfect yoga class.

My interactions with food are a barometer of how I am feeling about myself.

Some days I’m preparing whole foods and healthy meals.
Some days I’m binging pasta boxes.

Food is how I speak most authentically about my feelings for you.

Some days I make homemade cashew cheese for the vegan pizza I crafted just for you.
Some days I say we should go out, because I have no interest in putting my heart on a plate for you.

I know that food is my love language.

Decanting a bottle of red wine hours before it will be poured for Sunday night dinner is perhaps the greatest display of kindness a person can demonstrate. The preparation of that dinner, the greatest of affection. The sharing of the meal, a bond of trust. The second bottle…words we can’t and won’t say but are the most sincere we have ever spoken. Dishes are intimacy.

And after a week of #VOWfeast, I’m know where I have come from and just how far, but I am all too aware of how much I left to do.

This week, we get naked as we


Steph’s FEAST mantra: Enough is a feast.

Steph’s Song of the Week: Tribulation by Matt Maeson

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWfeast post 

Why Visions of Sugar Plums Have Been Dancing in My Head (#VOWwithdraw)

I’ve been withdrawing all month.

From wine. From cheese. From bread. From things that I don’t normally eat but suddenly became the calorically unfortunate daydreams of my stomach.

As cliché as it is, I too swore to a dry January and a restart for my body.

For me, it was not about weight loss or radically changing my lifestyle; it was simply about consciousness. About trying to figure out the story I’ve been telling myself to see if I can’t pen a new draft. About trying to understand a little more about what my body has been trying to tell me with it’s gurgles and gas (yep, I went there; how is that for authenticity?). About gratitude for my plate and a brief pause about what I put on it.

According the piles of journals I reread over Christmas, I’ve been in a body-hating-I-need-to-diet pattern since circa 2004, and after 15 years of an unfriendly relationship with food and, later, alcohol, I wanted to see if I couldn’t start to feed my body a bit more intuitively.

It’s Day 28. I haven’t weighed myself, but I don’t expect I have lost more than five or six pounds. My skin is not radically different (but the amount of stress my body has been under this month could be to blame for that). I will not be making a drastic shift in my lifestyle in two days (in all honesty, I didn’t eat that much different than the Whole 30 diet before…minus the wine).

But I have learned, and I have gotten a good start on figuring out my relationship with food and wine—one of my main goals for 2017. I want to build a bridge with my body this year. In part because I have come to realize that watching my mom struggle with the issues I struggle with now (and probably most women struggle with) affected me early and significantly, and I’d like to see if I can raise my daughter differently. Madre, I mean no disrespect; you did a damn good job. What I mean is simply that I would like to try to raise a daughter who is gives her body more grace and is more generous with the bodies of others, because, as poet Nayyirah Waheed wrote:

‘i love myself.’

What I can say after 28 days of withdrawing of some of my favorite things is this:

It’s hard to hate your body when you’re only being good to it.

It’s easy to look for and find both comfort and distraction in a bag of goldfish crackers (LOVE THEM) or a bottle of wine; it is considerably harder to be unable to feel numb and instead have to sit with whatever it is you’re looking to not sit with and figure out what’s going on and how to deal with it.

Food is my predominant love language and my most effective means of meditation and thanksgiving.

A lot of things are fruits that I didn’t know were fruits (e.g., cucumbers and avocados).

There’s more, but that’s likely another post, as are other things I learned this week:

I need to stop watching the news, including The Daily Show, because it’s making it harder for me to seek first to understand and to remember that joy is an act of resistance; and

I need to make a Sabbath, even if only for an hour, at least once a week.

But maybe this week’s VOW can help set the boundaries I need:

Here’s to Establish.


Steph’s WITHDRAW Mantra: “I’d like to get away from earth awhile/ And then come back to it and begin over…” Robert Frost
Steph’s Song of the Week:  “Yes We Can – Barack Obama Music Video” (On repeat…Every. Damn. Day.)

Be sure to read Lin’s post on #VOWwithdraw