10 March 2008

Food Fight

I was giving some things some thought and got a bit stumped. Help me out, will you?

Here’s how things look from here:

It started with our mothers, so to speak, as those who actually started this train were not likely literal mothers, at least not mothers of many, who won us women a vast emancipation from kitchens the country over. Goodbye, dishpan hands! Hello, Kraft Macaroni-N-Cheese!

It gained steam with my literal mother, who worked outside the home, because what other choice did she have? My Dad couldn’t make enough to tie two ends together. (Thank you Ronald Reagan.) But my literal mother was not as emancipated from the kitchen as those figurative mothers expected and thus she had dishpan hands AND we kids ate a lot of Velveeta. A LOT of Velveeta.

It continues with me, a mother, married to a pastor, and thus very, very fortunate to be barefoot and pregnant in a parsonage kitchen. I’m home and I have time to labor with real cheese. I don’t think my kids have ever tasted Velveeta or Chez Whiz or that powdered yellow glue you can sprinkle with water, mix with “noodles” and call food.


But, here’s “it:”

I do not have a healthy relationship with food. I cannot have either a scale or a full length mirror in my house. My husband has forbidden any and all “appearance talk” within our walls with the hope that our kids will not grow up crazy. I cook everything from scratch because I have to—HAVE TO. I ate a lot of fake-but-fast food growing up and I hate food, so I figure the more time and effort I put into the food my kids eat the better chance they have at escaping social disease surrounding food. Doesn’t that make sense?

I do not know a single person who enjoys food in moderation or with healthy abandon. The definitions of “eating disorder” are expanding every day as every day people are getting more creative at abusing their food. And it’s food, simple nutrition, a basic pleasure of life. When did something so basic become (scary music) THE ENEMY? And why?

I’d really like to blame Velveeta, but I think it may be more than that. I spend a lot of time with our food and use the best ingredients we can afford. My eldest child is six. She is showing signs toward crazy. She's always been picky, but this feels different. I see that now she’s thinking as she pushes that balanced meal around on her plate.

What is going on? I would really appreciate it if someone would join me in blaming Velveeta. I'm already aware that I'm a colossal screw-up.

Thank you.


Rebekah said...

I wish I knew. I've had a weight hang-up since grade school, and although I've never had the willpower to go full-blown crazy over it, I know I don't have healthy notions of what looks good and what doesn't. And it is just me, because my siblings are not similarly inclined.

Some people want to steal. Some people want to get drunk. Some people want to starve.

(But I will agree that Velveeta wants us all dead.)

April Marie said...
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April Marie said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Rebekah. We all have our sinful vices that we insist on using to cope in this grey world. Rather than seeking solace and refuge in the shadow of Christ’s wings, we stubbornly hunt for opulence in the shadows of society. Unlike the unique illuminative power our Father God blesses us with, the shadows of the world have this cunning, wily habit of giving us a false sense of control. After all, we can handle anything that is thrown in our path, right? Every little bump, dip, crevasse, or divot can be handled with care and grace in our own hands, and only in our hands.

Take one look at what the world has done to the temples of God, and the answer to that question is blatantly obvious. Whether it’s food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, organization, school work, work, cleaning, reading, exercise, tattoos, sex or daydreaming, we all have our escapes that lead us away from Christ. Every single being in this world is thoroughly and “[colossally screwed up.]” It’s not the parent’s fault. There is only one to blame: a nasty little creature that knows our every weakness and feeds on them. *Bum bum bum BUM.* The devil. ☹ But thankfully, we have a merciful Father, who has already won the battle. Just as Ephesians 2: 1-9 tells us, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. BUT BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US, GOD, WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, MADE US ALIVE WITH CHRIST EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRANSGRESSIONS – IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Maybe over the next stint of my life, I will find the answer. After all, I will be canoodling with the professionals of the field. And I have a deep premonition that Velveeta has a hand in the demise as well. Because of you, I will never support such an ugly foundation again. How crude and purely evil Kraft is. Sheesh.

We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, in every aspect of our life. I don’t know the why or the how, but I do know the ending. The sin that torments us will only linger for a short time before we bask in the wonder of eternity with Christ.

I will be praying continually for eldest child. If her weakness lies on the same plate sitting in front of us both, fear not. As so many chapters in Psalm reiterate, when the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, the ones who fear Him, who love Him: He will deliver them from death. No battle can be lost when we are equipped with a shield of faith, a helmet of salvation, and a sword of the Spirit... armor you and Micah have so wonderfully fitted all three of your children with. No amount of “colossal screw-up” can derail such glory.

Reb. Mary said...

My first question is whether there are *really* any women with no food or body-image hangups. I've yet to find one. If I do, I'm sure going to pester her till I know her secret. But I'm not holding my breath. Thought I knew one from time to time, but then got to know them better and learned the truth. The sad truth is that Messed up is Normal (and/or vice versa).

Velveeta = evil. Agreed. But is this where I have to confess that there's some in my fridge? I actually had to throw out what was left of the last bar, which is scary, considering how long they stay good. I don't even like buying the pre-shredded cheese so much anymore; they put that stuff on it to keep it from caking. (and it's usually more expensive!)

Gauntlets said...

Look, girls, it's time to demand more.

I find myself for the first time ever wanting to eat and not finding any real food anywhere. Where has all the food gone? It's not at HyVee. Not at WalMart. Not at that crummy little Associated Foods. Those places are filled top to bottom with boxes of Nutrient Powder. What the bleep is Nutrient Powder, I'd like to know?

Start saving your 2-liter bottles for me, would you? I'm planning a big escape, somewhere Monsanto can't find me, and I'm going to need a raft.

Come with me. It'll be crazy fun.

April Marie said...

Oh Dawn, I love you...

I have at least three 2-liters for you!

Rebekah said...

RM, don't you worry, I've got a big loaf of the nasty stuff in my fridge and another in the pantry. It's how Dad likes his grilled cheese. But the babies know that it's properly called "chez" to distinguish it from the real thing. I've also learned not to store it on end as it is affected by gravity in the same way as cathedral windows.

Reb. Mary said...

Grilled cheese just ain't the same if it's made with the real stuff--doesn't melt and smash right.