Friday, January 18, 2013
A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God
by Mary DeTurris Poust
Ave Maria Press, December 3rd, 2012
How many of us can honestly say we have a truly healthy self-image of ourselves and relationship with food?
I know that I tend to eat unnecessarily because I am bored, tired or in a bad mood as well as when I am hungry. I skip meals because I am busy, but fill up on junk food snacks instead.
This book looks at the roots of our relationship with food, from the first instance of food in the Bible - eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden to the nourishment of the Eucharist in the New Testament. The messages that Christianity has given us can be quite mixed, with examples of extreme piety often focusing on extreme asceticism too, with all the concomitant guilt and baggage that can accumulate as a result.
Poust argues that this is not the message the Church really teaches, and that we need to respect our bodies, our stomachs *and* the food we put into them, as well as making sure we are spiritually nourished by prayer, partaking in the Sacraments and learning to be truly mindful of what, when and why we are eating food in general and high calorie, high fat food in particular. Whether we are overly concerned with dieting or eating, we in the developed countries tend to have a markedly unhealthy obsession with food.
This is a slender volume, but one packed with wisdom and food for thought about developing a better relationship with food and our attitudes to our bodies.