Tuesday, June 02, 2009

setting the table for sanity.

i love this. can you imagine someone bringing you lunch like this? the ultimate exercise in creating a sacred space for eating.

it might be taking things to the extreme - why the hell not, i say - but it made me think about how important surroundings are when it comes to creating a nourishing meal for ourselves. it's not just about what's on my plate, but about the china plate that my meal is on; the shiny stainless steel fork; the chocolate brown cotton cloth napkin that rests in my lap; the candlelight dancing off the edge of my green glass water goblet that reminds me of the ones i drank out of as a child; the soft, soothing music in the background; the company of a loved one that makes me laugh between delicious bites - my surroundings are a big part of what has made my return to the World of the Eating so very marvelous and wonderful and fulfilling.

not to say i never eat a meal when i'm distracted oh, say... in front of the television watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but even when The Cute and I do that, we still set our places with cloth napkins, we still bring out the salt and pepper, we still pour ourselves cool, clear glasses of water. we (try to) pay attention to our surroundings. we try to stand on ceremony. in this day and age, i think it's important for all of us to do, but particularly important to someone who's recovering from disordered eating. eating and food and all the emotions that go with it can still be scary for me sometimes, so anything i can do to make my eating experience more pleasurable, more nourishing, more safe, more sane, more mindful, more celebratory. i think i should. consider it a welcome home party that never ends.

what are your surroundings like when you eat? how can you make your surroundings more safe, sacred and welcoming? do you have any mealtime rituals? are there any you'd like to adopt?

what's your favorite thing to eat in front of the TV?
me? easy. vanilla ice cream with this caramel sauce. oh! and these Doritos. something wonderfully therapeutic about munching on crunchies and staring at moving pictures.


Leah said...

this is definitely so true, margaux. something i often do besides just sitting down to a real meal is some deep breathing and relaxation exercises (especially if i'm eating some so-called "unhealthy" foods). it can really set the stage for an enjoyable meal.

margrocks said...

absolutely, leah. deep breathing is a big part of it all. it's amazing how calming a little oxygen can be. it's a pity i don't do it more often!

Michal said...

Oh my god i LOVE that picnic-briefcase thing. Wow. I wonder if we can make a min version in a lunchbox.

As for rituals - I must say, i refuse to eat when i'm stressed or anxious, and refuse to talk about work when i'm eating. No lunch meetings. Lunch is lunch and meetings are meetings. And i also can't have loud noise around. Everything must be relatively quiet.

I do enjoy watching tv while eating, but i feel like it's part of the ritual - prepare my food and drink, all placed nicely, and watch something relaxing while i eat.

margrocks said...

i'm SURE you could re-create it in a lunchbox, michal! that would be awesome. if you do, pls send pics!

i love your guidelines about not eating when you're stressed or anxious, and no work chatter. i'm gonna "borrow" those maxims for myself!

yay for TV dinners! remember TV trays? here's a step up now that we're growed-ups! http://rubyurl.com/uRAw. i wish they came all decorated with flowers.