I was once asked if I eat to live or live to eat. Not really thinking much of it, but knowing how totally food-mad I am, I knew the answer was that I live to eat. Of course. Then, a few weeks later, I was scrolling through one of the fifty million fitness accounts that I follow on Twitter (because, let’s face it, everyone needs a little spurring on sometimes when the call of a cuppa and a slice of cake is so much more enticing than that of trainers and treadmills) and I saw a ‘motivational’ picture reminding us that we should definitely not live to eat or we will look like pigs (or so is implied)
So, let’s get this straight, you should eat purely for survival, just to live, for sustenance. Hmm… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s healthy for food to occupy so much space in your head and so much of your time that you have no room for anything else, or for your whole life to revolve around it leaving others neglected, but food should be all about enjoyment, about passion, about excitement and sharing and making memories. There is obviously more to life than food, but it is such a central point in each of our lives. So often our days are planned around what’s for lunch or where to eat. I live so far from my boyfriend that seeing him is often done in weekend bursts. These weekends really sum up for me what I mean by living to eat. They follow an oh-so beautifully familiar routine of going for the ‘big shop’ for the weekend, stocking up on ingredients for all the recipes we’ve bookmarked, shared and discussed over the past few weeks, deciding when and where to go out to eat, and filling the trolley with an abundance of indulgent treats to fill the gaps between making lunch and going out for dinner. Living to eat doesn’t mean you live for nothing else, it just shows how central food is to so many other things in our lives, and how it strings everything together and provides such a mouth-watering backdrop to our daily routines.
I’m sensible enough to know that these food-filled weekends are treats and that it’s all about balance. In actual fact, eating indulgently for too long actually makes me feel unwell and, in general, I eat healthily. Plus ‘eating’ should not be synonymous with ‘eating crap’. Whilst I won’t pretend I am one of them 100% of the time, there are plenty of people who live to eat good, wholesome, healthy food. All in all I just know that you have to make time to treat yourself, to share beautiful food with those people who make your life special. There’s nothing like cooking up a big meal with all your friends, or having all the family round and eating my Mum’s roast or sticky toffee pudding (absolute perfection, total foodgasm). I obviously live for more than just food, but what I do live for – my family, my friends, my boyfriend, travelling, new challenges, new adventures – food is a part of too.
In short, you won’t look like a pig if you live to eat. You will most probably just have a passion for life and those around you. You’re not stupid, you know you need to maintain a fit and active lifestyle (or for the lucky ones, a rapid metabolism) if food is going to be a huge part of your life, you also know that you can’t eat crisps and chocolate and cake everyday. Living to eat doesn’t make you a pig, it makes you perfectly normal. Anyway, I’m trying to celebrate greediness anyway so if that makes me a pig, that’s OK with me! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat some chocolate.