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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Food, Glorious Food...

George Bernard Shaw, the British dramatist, once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”  Think about that for a minute.  I’ll wait.  Brilliant, wasn’t he?  We Americans love our food.  During any hour of television, a viewer is bombarded with no fewer than ten commercials, and the majority are food related.  We have every type of restaurant imaginable.  Food is the center of most of our lives.  Families and friends bond over it.  Love blossoms while we share a meal on a date.  It brings us joy and even healing.  Think about it--there's even a category of food called "comfort food".

I’m missing food.  Don’t misunderstand—I’m not physically hungry.  But I miss solid food.  I miss biting.  Crunching.  Chewing.  I think that a large part of this is psychological, and the part that *isn’t* psychological is habitual.

We are creatures of habit.  When was the last time you actually looked around while making your daily commute?  When did you last see, really see, what was going on around you?  When people ask how you are, do you give them a *real* answer or some perfunctory non-answer?  How many times have you eaten a meal without tasting it?  Bolted that breakfast or that sandwich without appreciating every bite?  When we do things as a matter of routine, we miss so many details.  While I’m missing solid food, I am also grateful for this interlude as it allows me to try to change some of my habits.

One thing this surgery does is force you to slow down. In taking in my limit (two ounces at a time), I have to take it over a thirty-minute period.  Thirty minutes.  When was the last time you took thirty minutes to eat a full meal, let alone two ounces?  Taking thirty minutes to savor a half of a pudding cup is an adjustment.  But this is a time of adjustments.  This is the beginning of a new life for me, and as I said before, it’s not for the faint of heart.  

I opened this with a quote from the venerable George Bernard Shaw.  Well, with apologies to Mr. Shaw, I humbly disagree.  The most sincere love of my life is not food--not any more, at least.  Today, there is no sincerer love than the love of SELF.


  1. Excellent post. You're such a good writer.

  2. This post reminds me of the dysphagia patients I've worked with. They often talk about how much they miss simple things like biting and chewing, since most are on various forms of liquid diets as well.

    I am SO enjoying this blog!