“I Love to Eat”: Embracing Our Appetites


Hi guys!

Happy hump day — or Raw Wednesday, as it’s known here on Choosing Raw.

The other day, I was speaking with a client who has struggled—as so many women do—with cycles of dieting, guilt about food choices, and body hatred. Over the course of our session, she had a revelation. “I love to eat,” she said. No sooner had she said it, than she recognized the enormity of those words. “I guess that’s a really big deal for me to say,” she chuckled, “because I’ve spent so much time trying to pretend it’s not true. And it’s something I’ve always felt so ashamed of.”

She’s not alone. For many, many women, nothing is more difficult than to admit to having an appetite. It may be OK to say we’re hungry after a workout, or because we haven’t eaten all day, or because we were super busy doing this or that, but rarely will a woman feel 100% comfortable admitting that she’s hungry for no other reason than that she desires food.

In case you haven’t seen it mentioned on other blogs, it’s National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) week. What does this mean? Well, according to the National Eating Disorders website , it means this:

Our aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.

According to me, it means this: it’s a great time for us all to pay a little extra attention to the very real and painful consequences of eating disorders, and for us to show extra compassion to those we know who are suffering. It’s also a great time for us to do our part in battling these all too common and constantly multiplying afflictions. How? Well, we can show sympathy or understanding to someone who’s battling the condition. We can bravely and boldly share our own stories. We can set a good example by trying to live healthy lives, in which we seek out and maintain a positive and reasonable relationship with food. We can inspire others to enjoy meals by coming up with innovative, nourishing, beautiful, and balanced meals. Perhaps we can inspire others by taking a fun and joyous, rather than competitive, approach to physical fitness. Whatever your strengths are, whatever you have to give, you can find a small way to give it.

Back to desire. In Hilde Bruch’s The Golden Cage–which is, in my opinion, one of the finest books on eating disorders–the author posits that eating disorders have a great deal to do with the willed suppression of desire. They involve the negation, the defiance of appetites: appetites for food, for sex, for physicality.  Women are particularly susceptible to this tendency, she argues, because we’ve been socialized to keep our desires within tight bounds. Historically, and even now, we’re encouraged to be chaste, restrained, clean, and austere: we’re not encouraged to be carnal, or, at the least, our carnality isn’t as socially embraced as male carnality often is. Sadly, we women (and some men) have become all too adept at denying our appetites, our hungers, our yearnings.

While I battled disordered eating, this urge was an enormous part of my illness. I’m often asked if what I wanted from the disorder was to be thin. The answer, naturally, is yes: of course thinness is what I wanted. But it was, in retrospect, only a surprisingly small part of what I wanted. When I look back on those years, I see that a lot of what I wanted was to quash my own needs. Overcoming this–connecting with my hunger for food, for sex, for vitality, for physicality–took a long time. Being able to declare to myself and to others that I not only needed to eat, but wanted to eat–and all that eating implied–demanded that I overcome a great deal of unconscious shame.

Of course, it’s not just women with eating disorders who feel this shame. It’s most women. Sure, we might open the pages of Maxim and read about how much men like a girl who can devour a plate of chicken wings and wash it down with a pint of beer, but this is a rather typecast exceptions to the rule, which is that women are and always have been encouraged to want, but not to want too much. We should to eat, but only in moderation; to desire, but never so much that we behave unseemly, or–God forbid!–slutty; to be assertive, but never so much that we’re bitchy or aggressive. Not that. To utter the words “I love to eat” feels like a shocking confession, a guilty secret.

In my travels through the raw community, I’ve encountered what I think are both the best and the worst kinds of attitudes towards this issue. On the one hand many raw foodists promote what I believe is a truly exuberant and healthy attitude towards eating. On the other, there are some who approach raw foods and fasting with what I believe is too much asceticism. Me? Well, being a vegan and eating more raw food have certainly helped me to realize that there are many things I thought I needed that I really don’t: an endless rotation of cute new clothing, carefully applied makeup, painted nails, and various other accoutrements of beauty. When you live healthily, beauty and vibrance radiates from within. But veganism and raw foods have also helped me, more than ever before, to embrace my appetites: for life, for experience, and, lord knows, for food. I’ve always liked to eat. And when I’m eating foods that I believe are not only optimal for my body, but optimal for the environment and for mother nature, too, I like itmore than ever.

Of course, we should always guard ourselves against excess. Appetites have limits, and food is just food. But let’s also try to embrace the very real hunger that nature has given us, even if it’s sometimes a little unruly. Desire is a part of life–and a pretty great part of it, if you ask me.

So today, in honor of NEDAwareness week, I think we should celebrate our hunger. In good ole AA fashion, I’ll go first:

I’m Gena. I love to eat.

Do you?

If this post speaks to you at all, I encourage you to echo this statement. Say it on your blogs, to a friend, in writing, or out loud–I like to eat. I enjoy food. Say it in your head, if you want to. Say it in private, or in public. But if it’s true–and I hope very much that it is–say it. Say it with pride. Our hunger makes us human.

Have a great night, everyone.


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  1. Hi Gena,

    What a wonderful post! I have never been ashamed of loving to eat. It is such a big part of me. People always mention it, I am almost known for it. Of course, there are women who feel shame about it, thanks for reminding me.

    I have a page on my blog where I post pictures of me eating over the years. I hope it makes eating seem natural, sweet and fun. Which it is! And we all deserve it!

  2. This was an excellent post Gena…it definitely spoke to me. I am going to save it and read back over it often. I’m also going to read your post about “What Food is Not.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  3. Gena,

    I love reading your blog. It’s always SO encouraging. Thank you for sharing your story in such real terms.

    My name is Julielynn, and I love to eat! =)

  4. My name is Katie, and I love to eat!

    I love this post, Gena. Love love love. Thanks for linking back to Melissa and Nicole’s posts… I know it wasn’t easy for them to post, and it’s nice that they’re getting a chance to share their stories.

  5. Amazing post! When I’ve articulated my love of food (and eating) in the past, I’ve often gotten strange looks from other women. It’s not hard to figure out why. I’m in a Victorian literature class right now (graduate school), and it’s sometimes painful to read the depictions of women in these novels and realize how far we haven’t come with issues like this. None of this is new and none of us are immune.

  6. Great post! I hear a lot of feminism in the way your ideas are coming across, and I love that. Women are discrminated against, oversexualized, amongst other horrible treatment, and I believe EDs take on a lot of those undertones. The way we are treated in society and portrayed in the media is “less than,” and that is sad.

  7. I’m planning on making an ‘i love to eat” post in the next few days. Thank you for your always inspirational posts. 🙂

  8. I really enjoyed your analysis of the feelings, both conscious and unconscious, that women have toward eating. I love food and I love to eat. I hope this post makes more people realize that these feelings are natural and not something to be fought against!

  9. Eating not only nourishes our body, but it’s also a great memory capsule. The aroma of rice noodle always reminds me of my grandmom because when I’m hungry in the middle of the night, unconsiderate little me would wake her up to make me a snack. No matter how much I dine out, homecooked meals shall always be my comfort food.

  10. This is an amazing post Gena- my roommate and I were literally just talking about how she just went on vacay with one of her best friends, and out at breakfast- her friend was like “i feel like all we’ve done on this vacay is eat!”…And my roommate was like, “We were eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner….like normal people!” She guessed that her friend was just used to her other friends barely eating, or snacking, or just feeling guilty about relaxing and enjoying meals and good food. Either way, it’s just a telling example of how so much unnecessary guilt and attention is spent on something that is SOOOO vital for our happiness and health.
    Great post 🙂

  11. this was a WONDERFUL read. i have had disordered eating/overexercising, which was followed by rocky recovery, which was followed by IBS and chronic tension headaches. i truly agree with your take on embracing our appetites and what raw foodism make you realize. thanks for this.

  12. WOW, what a beautifully written post, and it’s so different than so many of the others I’ve read on eating disorders this week. It’s so true that women will say they are hungry only if they have a disclaimer to go with it. As I’ve rebuilt my self-image, I’ve realized how many times I take a bite and say, “Wow, I LOVE food.” But it wasn’t until I read this post that I realized how much I had avoided saying that for years.

    This made me want to rename my blog “My Unruly Appetite,” just to send a message loud and clear that women can be hungry for food and hungry for sex and it’s not shameful at all!

    Especially loved what you said about Maxim. Dear magazines of the world…stop telling me celebrities eat only when they are hot enough to not look like they eat!

  13. What a FAB Post girl!!!

    I love to EAT!!!!! I have been loving to eat coconut butter!!!

    It is the best!!!

    THanks for the comment!!! xoxo

  14. Anytime I want to eat something just to eat it, I must first admit out loud:

    “I am not hungry, and I’m going to eat this [item of food] anyway.”

    I do love to eat, but this keeps me from emotional eating too often 😉

  15. Great post!
    I also LOVE to eat 🙂
    And it is so great with raw foods the love for eating will never make you feel in bad condition, I love that too 😉

  16. Fabulous post! A hefty appetite was a sign of health in my family, we would see who could eat the most at dinner. You can see how this could lead in all types of directions on the disordered eating spectrum :). The positive is I’ve never been ashamed of my giant appetite. And even better, as an adult I’m learning that there are foods that I can eat a lot of and it’s beneficial (greens!). Getting over the “clean your plate” mentality has been a challenge, but I’m making progress, and happy that I’m choosing foods that are truly nourishing. I love to eat delicious nutrient dense foods!

  17. I loooove to eat. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have been dealing with disordered eating for years (and I am only 18 years old). Thanks so much for this post, it was really beautiful. Your honesty is moving and it’s extremely motivating to see someone who once suffered with an eating disorder come so far!

  18. A little late to the party (single parenting for a few days means no computer time) but it’s beautiful, Gena. Thank you for your articulate prose and I really appreciate addressing the raw community and the range of views held within it. Thank you for the honesty and bringing this to the forefront and not burying it. Wonderful work!

  19. This post was beautiful and amazing as always! I LOVE to eat. And I talk about that love excessively, my poor husband. I’m sure it’s strange for him because when we met in high school I basically did NOT eat.

    • I’m glad you shared this. It seems this is always the way it works when allopathic medicine is used to discredit natural healing. Sure, maybe somebody (not Gena, she has it right) said that “fruit ferments in the stomach so you should eat it alone.” Which isn’t true, and the article explains this pretty well. Still doesn’t mean that fruit shouldn’t be eaten alone to ensure better digestion.

      In cleansing, the goal is to support the body’s natural processes of digestion and elimination. The reason to eat fruit alone is because it is digested the fastest (Gena talks about the one-lane highway in her food combining post). As the article states, when fruit hits the colon is when it causes gas. Eat a huge meal and then a piece of fruit– there ya go, bloat city. So, to minimize that, you eat fruit alone so that when it hits the colon, it can keep on moving all the way thru the body. Better still, eat it earlier in the day before any other foods (light to heavy) and you’ll have even better digestion. Sure, you can eat it whenever you want, but if you’re trying to avoid IBS/being bloated and gassy/slowing down digestion- eat it alone, or leave it alone.

      • Thanks for this answer! I hate how in “debunking” holistic practices allopathic doctors make NO effort to see how the holistic approach might have it right, even if some details are wrong. Maybe it’s not the stomach but the colon; maybe it is the digestive process and not fermentation… etc etc etc… but if this belief is widespread and helps many people, why not consider the ways in which it might be true? Doctors could be so much more helpful if they brought their knowledge intellectual curiosity to the table instead of fighting against new ideas.

  20. Thank you so much for this post. I was literally just feeling guilty about having several afternoon snacks, but then I realized I was hungry, and I don’t feel too full now. I’m Caronae and I, too, love to eat.

    You write very eloquently, by the way.

  21. Excellent post. It’s become a part of our culture that women should not have appetites–so much so that my mom gets upset if my dad comments that she ate more than he did at a meal! I consider eating as one of my favorite hobbies, and I’m not ashamed to admit it:)

  22. This post comes at a great time because i’ve been feeling really great about my relationship to food and this just gives me another boost, and the confidence to say: I LOVE TO EAT.

  23. A fabulous post, as usual! I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and found myself wondering how anyone could *not* relate to a love of food!

    I love to eat. Always have. But, there are times in my life when I’ve been reluctant to admit that fact, and even now, there are times when I am embarrassed by how much more is on my plate than on my partner’s. Fortunately, I’ve learned to embrace my love of food and channel it in a healthy way – sure my plate is full, but it’s full of “the good stuff,” and I stop eating when I’m no longer hungry, so it’s alllll good.

    Thank you, as always, for being such an inspiration!

  24. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with loving to eat. I’m a huge foodie and I want to alter my diet so it’s something I can enjoy and maintain for life. I’ve seen friends who are “dieting” eating nothing but green beans and cottage cheese for lunch and I wonder what kind of life that is. Sure, they may be losing weight left, right, and centre, but is that really any way to live?

    There are so many healthy ways to enjoy food … and so many not-so-healthy ways that can be enjoyed in moderation.

    We’re only human! And we’re only on this earth for a short time – we have to enjoy it. 🙂


  25. This is a beautiful, insightful post, and it resonates with me in so many ways. I remember wanting to be thinner not because I thought I would be more attractive but because I saw my thinness as some sign of my self-discipline (which, of course, was really self-denial and a bit of self-loathing). I think eating disorders are often more about the triumph over physicality than about physical appearance.

    There’s a great memoir by Caroline Knapp, the author of *Drinking, A Love Story*, about her experience with anorexia. It’s called *Appetites: Why Women Want*, and it speaks to many of the issues you addressed here. It’s well-written and compelling and definitely worth checking out.

  26. This was an amazing post, Gena! It totally resonated with me. As I struggled with disordered eating, I was also struggling with the fact that I LOVED food, yet food was my enemy- food made me “fat”, food prevented me from looking the way I wanted to. Now, I am past my disordered eating for the most part, but I still struggle from time to time with the battle between loving food and hating it. But I understand now, that there is NOTHING wrong with loving food- in moderation. Just as the French stay thin while still eating high fat, high sugar foods and never stepping food in the gym, I know I can LOVE food, and still be a successful chef, whilst practicing moderation and healthy habits.

    And I am the SAME way when it comes to beauty! The girl I used to be when I was struggling with an eating disorder was obsessed with the way I looked, down to perfectly straightened hair, makeup every day and a stylish outfit. Now, healthy and vibrant, I wear little to no makeup, let my curls fly free except on special occasions, and have realized I am more of a jeans/cute tee/converse girl than the heels-and-skirt girl I thought I SHOULD be.

    Thank you SO much for this! I am Kristin, and I LOVE FOOD!

    This is going on my blog tonight, for sure =D


  27. Great post, thanks for bringing this issue to light, it is a hard problem for many women to deal with. I have dealt with it for a long time. I love to eat. I have a history of overeating… not on “bad” foods but just food in general. When I went raw, I was so excited to lose weight like everyone says you do, and when I wasn’t I had to take a look at what I was doing wrong. Although I was eating raw 90% of the time I was still overeating on things like nuts, dried fruits and raw sweet treats. I had a realization that it was as much about what I was eating as it was about how and when I was eating. I made a commitment to myself to become more aware of how hungry I really was, to sit and enjoy the food I was eating at the time I was eating it and to be more aware of my food choices in general. This is not an easy task, but I am taking it head on. This post could not have come at a better time for me… THANK YOU!

  28. I’m Heidi, and I love to eat. 🙂 In fact, recently on my blog I got one of those happy awards and one of the things I listed that made me happy was eating food. I know some people try to adopt the thought of eating only to sustain themselves but I thoroughly enjoy food and the act of eating. I love the social aspect, the creativity, the feeling/energy, the nutrition, etc. Thanks for a great post!

    Congrats to the winner of the blender!

  29. Hey Gena,
    I stumbled across this post at exactly the right time. It literally brought tears to my eyes…at my desk…at work. Woops. The point is, thanks for saying (very beautifully) what many (all?) of us think. I struggle with disordered eating and cycles of deprivation/binging and I know so much of that is because I can’t accept that it’s okay for me to love food. It’s definitely a journey but I am trying to take it one meal at a time.
    Thanks again.

  30. 1) I love food!!! I love to eat!!!
    2) I love this post
    3) I love you!! Thank you for all of your knowledge and help- You are brilliant and beautiful, inside and out.

  31. I love to eat!!
    And I don’t think I’ve ever seen encountered such a spot-on expression of how glorious good, natural, body- and earth-loving food – and the celebration of it – can be than in this post. Thank you for your wonderful words, Gena.

  32. I love LOVE LOVE! to eat! And to talk about food when I’m not actually eating. Do you mean other people aren’t consumed by consuming like me? One thing I like about eating better food than I used to is that I can eat to my heart’s content and not feel physically sick, or feel like a glutton. I gobble a quart of green smoothie or a whole cantaloupe without batting an eyelash! Thanks for your post!

  33. Definitely one of my favorite posts of yours ever. My favorite line is when you said:

    “Being able to declare to myself and to others that I not only needed to eat, but wanted to eat–and all that eating implied–demanded that I overcome a great deal of unconscious shame.”

    It’s so crazy that something as biologically automatic as breathing can be wrapped up in so many emotions and implications. It’s when stripping such a experience down to the basics for me, both in what I’m eating and the actual process, that I truly appreciate food for what it is: just food.

    Thank you for your brilliant insight as always!

  34. Amazing post! I totally agree with everything that you wrote. Overcoming an eating disorder or even admitting that you have one can be a really difficult thing to do because there’s so much stigma and preconceived notions attached to the words. I think one thing that doesn’t help is to call things ‘diets’ when they should be discussed in terms of lifestyle. I’ve noticed that this is a distinctly female thing to say about the way we eat. It’s always, “I’m going on a diet,” rather than “I am changing my lifestyle” (as it often is with men’s health). The word ‘diet’ really emphasizes restriction, whereas ‘lifestyle’ emphasizes abundance and embracing new options.

  35. Hi. My name is Bianca and I love to eat. 🙂 Ha! That’s one thing I’ve never felt guilty about. I often feel guilty about over-eating or indulging in too much fried food or sweets or beer. But I’m not ashamed of my appetite and I don’t feel the food guilt when I eat healthily (which happens less often than I’d like … I’m kinda addicted to junk food, what can I say?).

  36. Another amazing post, Gena! So well written. I am finding so much more inner beauty and radiance since moving to a heavy raw diet and have also saved a bit of money not running out and buying new clothes regularly! 🙂 Plus I feel I’m gaining acceptance of other cravings and feelings through it.

  37. Beautiful post, Gena.

    I am going through a HUGELY transitional time in my life, much of which has been spurred by a need to be true to who I am. It strikes me that our food issues are so often intimately related to our sense of self. The freedom that comes with embracing that self is so amazing, no matter what the topic.

    My name is Gretchen, and I LOVE TO EAT! 😀

  38. Gena, you are inspiring beyond words! I sure do love to eat! I very much agree with you about suppression of desire. When I look back to the time I was struggling the most, this was most certainly true.

    Thank you for this post! I hope that we can find some time to meet up sometime!

  39. Ooh girl I love to eat like Cher loves rhinestones. And I like to think it makes me sparkle just as much, but from the inside out! Especially when preparing healthful, nourishing (thanks for the link love my darling!) meals that do a body good. And I hope to be able to show that to more tummies than just my own some day!

    This chick did a tarot reading for me at SIB on Tuesday night and said that I possess qualities of a healer and that going forward I will use my compassion to help others. I can live with that forecast. 🙂

  40. I dislike eating. I find it a chore that I would prefer to avoid. It has nothing to do with body image or weight, so I don’t think it’s an eating disorder. Unless I get ravenously hungry I can go entire days without eating.

    Raw food helps and hurts. I find I prefer to eat raw food than cooked food, it feels more natural and I don’t mind eating it so much. However it takes longer to prepare and I am not sure I get enough calories from raw food, especially given my dangerously low weight.

    So yeah, I hate to eat.

  41. A beautiful, feminist, fantastically written post. As women we really do need to embrace our bodies desires, from sex, to sleep, to indulging ourselves, and to EATING. I love to eat, always have and always will. But I’ve been lucky, I’ve never suffered for a moment from disordered eating or in any way every thought negatively about my body so it is easy for me to talk about this. I can see why so many women in our culture have problems with their bodies and with their hunger, it is hard to resist the pressure placed on us to be perfect, lady like, skinny minnies.

    And you are SO right, disordered eating is usually only marginally about physical appearance, or it often starts off focused on that but becomes so much more. There is a school of thought that I tend to agree with that states that the increase in political, economic, and social equality we women have enjoyed over recent years has led to society punishing us and oppressing us in other ways, eating disorders and our desire to negate our very selves through starvation being one outcome.

    tI think you are doing such a wonderful thing, Gena, in shining a light on this topic. Thank you!

    • Interesting points (form both of you girls!). Really well written article and one i completely relate to. I heard ya too Voracious, I love to EAT too. Thanks Gena and Natasha for being wonderful role models to plenty of wonderful women (including me).

  42. Gena, I am always in awe of the beauty of your writing. What a wonderful post and message. Love this one! And I certainly LOVE to eat! I’m so thankful that I’ve found my way to a style of eating that allows me to eat until I’m comfortable and not need to count calories, weigh things and restrict myself. And a special thanks to you for sharing amazing recipes like banana soft serve so that we can “indulge” in healthful treats!

    Have a great day!

  43. How do you manage to write posts that both make me smile, get goosebumps, and shed a tear all at the same time?

    My name is Katherine and I love to eat. I love the taste of food, the texture of each and every bite, and the way it makes me feel. I also love MYSELF, for the energy I’ve put into learning to care for this body that loves to eat so much. I love myself for being patient, for growing and maturing, and for unclasping the death grip I had on my diet and weight. Instead of clenching my fists, I stand proudly with open arms, and I’m so fortunate to have welcomed wonderful and inspiring people like you into my life.

  44. Hi, I am Gelareh and I LOVE to EAT!

    This is a great post and addresses a great issue that we are facing in our society.

  45. What a lovely post! I often feel conflicted because on the one hand, I think of food as fuel and want to bring in the optimal amount and type to power my body, but at the same time, I’ve come to regard cooking as an artistic process and love creating new foods with differing and complex flavors. Why should we be ashamed of wanting to eat something purely for the taste of it? I don’t think it has to be one way or the other. I hate the idea of taking a food I love and “health-ifying” it with artificial sweeteners and unpronounceable chemicals. I’d much rather let myself have the real thing in moderation, and enjoy it and not feel guilty about it, then eating some fake version of it or removing it from my diet altogether. I love to eat, and I love to eat well (interpretations of “eating well” are left open). I’m not ashamed!

  46. Gena this blog post is perfect! I love food sooo much! haha
    My favorite part about raw foods and cleansing is that I can TRULY enjoy food now. It’s help me come to peace with my love for food because I can eat plenty and feel light and bouncy afterwards, provided it’s the right foods, consumed calmly and happily.

    wooohoooo! Such a liberating post! A new favorite of mine!


  47. LOVE this Gena! I absolutely love to eat. Although I used to feel somewhat ashamed by that fact, now I 100% embrace it. I love food, but good, wholesome, nourishing food. I feel good about the food I eat and I enjoy eating it. I’m healthy and happy and can attribute these things in part to the foods I enjoy every day :).

  48. i like this a lot, especially the part about hunger for other things besides food. i do believe many of these are connected: food, comfort, laughs, intimacy (does this realm of blogland allow sex talk? i’ll leave it at intimacy to keep things kosher :P), intellectual stimulation and peace of mind. even if we leave food out of the equation of hunger for different things in life, we still need it to fuel our brains to even sustain any sort of desire such as hunger. okay, now i’m losing myself, but i think you all get the idea.

    great post!

  49. i wanted to clap while reading this. 🙂 i’m leslie, and i love love love to eat.

    i also think you’re spot on in identifying shame as a driving factor – we’re conditioned to feel shame about so many different emotions, and i think part of coming into one’s own as an adult is embracing all of those emotions as part of what makes us human. i’m proud of every one of those desires, love of food included.

  50. Gena your posts are always so well written – I especially love when you highlight issues like this – I hope you plan on writing lots of books someday because I will buy them all!

  51. I love to eat, and I it’s embarrassing especially since my boyfriend could care less about food. He can’t understand how eating makes me hungry, or how I want to try so many new foods. I’ve eaten a couple pieces of pizza at a party and acted like that’s satisfied me, just as it did other people, then when all the guests left I ate the remaining 8 pieces. It sounds crazy, but I just wanted—FOR ONCE—to eat all the pizza I wanted. It’s horrible to feel like your not allowed to love food, or feel hungry, or enjoy eating. That’s how I feel most of the time, unfortunately. The one thing I love about raw food is I feel like I can indulge and still be healthy…unlike eating 12 pieces of pizza. Yikes.

    This was a phenomenal post, Gina. Thanks you so much for addressing this issue. I often feel like I’m the only hungry-n-struggling girl in town!

  52. Gena, this is a truly great post! As always, you write so eloquently and concisely about such an important and huge topic. Awesome; seriously.


  53. Gena, your words are so beautiful! Thank you for addressing this issue and couragously sharing your story. I myself have struggled with eating disorders and am still healing. You have inspired me to share my story as well.

    Hi, I’m Melissa and I love to eat. I love to cook and I love to eat.

    I’ve tried to deny it to myself, restricting. Then it only led to extreme binging because then I felt like I want everything all at once not knowing when I’d let myself have it again.

    Thank you! Also, your chard rolls look scrumptious!!
    Have a wonderful week!

  54. I love to eat. I love to uncook. My relationship with food continues on a healthy path, and I couldn’t be happier. 😀

  55. omg I LOVE to eat! Why else was I an overweight kid, teen, and adult?! My whole family loves food… it often seems like food gives us far more pleasure than it gives most people! Even my weight loss and eating disorder were driven by shame of my love of food… maybe not the love of food, per se, but what felt like such an infatuation with food that I was ashamed to not be able to control!
    I love food most perfectly when I don’t feel conflicted about it- when I love the taste and texture AND I love that the food is wholesome and part of my appropriate nourishment. So for me, finding absolutely delicious vegan and hi-raw meals is essential, and especially finding meals that I can enjoy in large quantities, because I love to eat! High volume smoothies, soups, and salads work really well… polishing off a big bowl of blended soup here. Raw fruits and veggies also help. I also love that when I’m eating healthfully the majority of the time, I can sneak in some relatively less healthy foods, and LOVE eating them without the panic or guilt.
    I once had dinner with Marya Hornbacher, and what stood out for me was that she loved her food. She exclaimed about being hungry after giving her lecture, and we savored the radical significance of that pronouncement. She said she loved the company of good, nonjudgmental friends who loved eating, sans emotional and cultural baggage and judgment. I was lucky that I never felt pressure to deny hunger- and unlucky that the love of food led to addiction and hatred and self-denial. I am so happy that there is a way to indulge the love of eating without the pain, a way that I’m succeeding at more often than not.
    I am excited to check that book out. I very much believe that eds are frequently a manifestation of a desire to suppress other appetites, or fear of standing up and speaking our truths.

  56. Great post girl! I love to eat! Actually this is one thing I don’t hide. Everyone at my work knows it and sees me eating what feels like all the time, but it’s all good for me foods!

    I actually just read your about page today and was really interested in the part about how those years of eating not very nice on your stomach gave you IBS. I feel that my stomach gets upset and irritable a lot of the time and sometimes wonder if it’s from younger years of unhealthy diets. How would this effect me still many years down the road?

  57. I was just thinking about this the other night. I realized: wow, I love to eat. I love taste, texture, flavor, color, and new cuisine.

    Sometimes, when eating comes with so much emotional baggage or is the manifestation of a deeper issue (i.e., an eating disorder) I forget that deep down–without all of that “stuff”–I really enjoy, love, and respect food. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s not everything. But it is definitely one of life’s pleasures. The difficult part, for me, is reconciling the enjoyment I feel with the disordered habits that I disdain.

    I don’t think I’m making sense here, but this post really spoke to me. Thank you.

  58. Oh Gena you’ll hate me as I say “funny typo!” in your title (titter, titter!), considering the image just under it.

    Not poking fun; genuine chuckle over here; keep it up!


  59. I loveeee to eat!! And I love my (somewhat recent) appreciation for foods that a year ago I would have shunned… today at work a coworker was shocked that I cook with coconut milk because it is “fattening and high in cholesterol”… this was coming from a nurse. I’m just happy that I can now get joy from wholesome foods like this, versus trying and failing to fill myself up with nutritiously void, fat free foods.

    So, I love to eat, and I especially love to eat REAL foods!

  60. I love to eat! I love looking at, reading about, preparing, and enjoying healthy, delicious food.
    Food has always been one of my passions and I am so ready to enjoy it to the fullest and completely let go of all of my problems with disordered eating (still in the process!).

    Love this post.

  61. I lovelovelove to eat! It absolutely kills me to see how women express guilt about food – like you said, it’s just food! My vegan lifestyle means that it is superduper easy to maintain a healthy body weight – no diets for me! P.S., I just polished off a bowl of banana soft serve, and it was aaaaamazing, as usual! You rock! 🙂

  62. I think that is so true. I have longed LONGED for 1 1/2 years after starting to binge…to be thin again. But really it is about loving me, opening myself up to people, affection, sex, intimacy, etc. It’s as though we can’t be open about other things in our lives..so we shove food in to make life feel more intimate. Thank you for this post. I think it speaks leaps and bounds for people.

  63. I love to eat too! I have no idea why it is so hard to admit that but it is. In Indian culture it isn’t attractive for a girl to eat, and obviously a chubby girl’s stock goes down, so I always felt the need to stay skinny. Lucky for me I had a good metabolism but I still made sure not to eat too much so that I didn’t look like a hog.

    Great post!

  64. You know, reading this, I realized how often women come into my office, and admit, “I just love to eat.” As if it’s a shameful thing that they are telling me. And they always seem to feel as if they’re all alone, and as if there’s something wrong with them for this. Well, I’m Iris and I LOVE to eat. It feels kind of good to say that. 🙂

    Another great post, Gena.

  65. This is such a heartfelt post and must be your best by far. I was really struggling with eating raw in winter and it put my mind in a dark place for a long time. It helped me put in perspective what I had been tormented by.

    I agree that we should relish our passions and desires and be who we really are!

    I love to eat, too!!

    • There’s no such thing as too much on this blog.

      Well, OK. Maybe there is. But I haven’t seen it yet 😉

  66. Great post! I have struggled with this a bit in my life of course most women do! Right now I’m struggling with eating enough and when my appetite is low it sucks. I love having an appetite and I love eating food that is healthy and delicious! No shame in that!

    Hope you don’t mind if I repost this in a forum. Crediting you of course.

  67. I love to eat. and I love your blog! and I love that you are highlighting issues like this on a regular basis. It’s just an all round love fest from me!

  68. Great post Gena! And perfect timing, Michelle and I were just discussing our “diet” and are we eating enough, not eating enough, we feel like we are eating, etc. All our conversations tend to be about food….hey WE LOVE TO IT!!! Thanks for reminding us that is okay to love food : )

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