Archives for: June 2008, 15
We have a friend who says, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure make you comfortable.” The statement always gets a laugh because it’s true. Almost everyone wishes they had more money, but they can see that the rich are some of the unhappiest people in the world.
It’s equally true that food can’t make you happy. In spite of all the magazine articles about comfort food; eating with the wrong motivation just compounds problems, it never makes them go away.
My Darling Daughter and I had a conversation on this topic this morning. It started when she said, “Food makes you happy, Mom, but I’ve never really liked to eat.” At first I wanted to flatly deny both parts of the statement, but I couldn’t.
I do enjoy eating. I like the flavors and textures of food. I don’t care for gourmet cooking with fancy sauces and decorations. Simple food simply prepared is my style. However, I do get pleasure from cooking and eating.
DD on the other hand, says she has never really liked to eat. I remember that when she was a little tyke, she rarely finished her breakfast or lunch in one sitting. She would eat a few bites, then leave the table and go play. An hour later I’d see her back at the table, eating a little bit more.
This has made it hard for her to gain weight this year. She doesn’t like feeling full. She doesn’t want to have to eat snacks in between meals. She especially doesn’t like eating before she goes to bed.
I reminded her that while she didn’t eat a lot when she was little, in her middle school and early high school years she would come home from school, watch TV and snack. That was different, she explained. TV and munching seemed to go together. It wasn’t so much that she liked eating, but she liked keeping her hands and mouth busy while she watched. And she certainly didn’t like the weight that she put on during those years.
She told me how unhappy she was when her jeans wouldn’t fit. “So you worked hard and lost weight – too much weight,” I said. “Did that make you happy?” No she admitted that it hadn’t. “Now you’re almost at your goal of a healthy weight, does that make you happy.” Again the answer was no.
Food doesn’t make you happy. Happiness and joy come from inside. (The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22) Happiness is more about your faith than about how much you eat or how much is in your bank account.
I hope that DD will come to learn that while the right kind and right amount of food can bring health, a happy heart is much more than weight or dress size or the image in the mirror.