I picked up a book at the library today, "Big Brother" by Lionel Shriver who wrote the brilliant but disturbing book "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (from the point of view of a mother of a teenage boy who kills a lot of students at his school in a mass shooting). I've only started this one, but it is really interesting so far. It's about obesity and relationships. The main character is stuck between a food-Nazi husband and a brother who has recently become frighteningly obese. She doesn't know how to help him, which I think is a problem for the family of many people with self-destructive behaviours. In the first few pages of the book she rambles about our relationship with food and this paragraph really struck me for some reason:
'Food is by nature elusive. More concept than substance, food is the idea of satisfaction, far more powerful than satisfaction itself, which is why diet can exert the sway of religion or political zealotry. Not irresistible tastiness but the very failure of food to reward is what drives us to eat more of it. The most sumptuous experience of ingestion is in-between: remembering the last bite and looking forward to the next one.'
I think about food a lot but confusingly try to distract myself as much as possible while actually eating - I read or watch TV or both. I have tried eating mindfully, enjoying every bite, and hate it. Eating bores me and makes me uncomfortable. I also don't really like it as a social occasion - watching and listening to other people eat? Why would that be pleasurable? My ideal meal is alone, with a book that will stay open more or less by itself so I can use knife and fork. I don't know why this is.