Gluttony or “Just Living”?

This weekend was definitely gluttony.

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered eating, I ask that you please read with caution or not read this post at all. Please take care ♥︎ 

But let’s talk about guilt over gluttony in the context of recovering from an eating disorder. I’ll start with a little fact about myself:

Before I developed disordered eating habits, I experienced guilt over eating more than I thought I should, because I felt that I was being selfish if I ate to the point of satiation. What about all the children my age who have nothing to eat for dinner tonight? My parents shut that down really quickly, but this is a real sentiment that I had when I was younger.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s prudent and good to avoid gluttony and to be mindful of our brothers and sisters who have less to eat than us. However, I know from experience that there can be uncertainty between two thoughts during recovery:

“Am I eating all this for the sake of recovery?”

vs.

“Am I just being gluttonous?”

I am neither a dietitian nor a priest, but I do know that “gluttony” is necessary for recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder. I put “gluttony” in quotation marks because eating a lot— an amount greater than you feel like eating—during recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder is essential for healing the mind and body. It is the only way to get yourself to reach a healthy weight and challenge restricting behaviors.

(This doesn’t mean eating until you get sick, but many of you probably understand what I mean.)

So what happens once you are completely recovered (or even 99.9% recovered)? Personally, I believe I am well past the point of “eating more food for the sake of my health”. If I eat more than I think I should at this stage of my life, it’s probably unnecessary. But am I gluttonous or “just living”? 

I think it can be argued that “just living” involves a little bit of gluttony. Most of us don’t need that extra drink or dessert, but those extra treats that put us a little over the top can be good for our mental health and social experience.

According to Google, gluttony means “habitual greed or excess in eating”. I certainly believe that eating more than you really need is not a terrible thing every now and then (if you are at a healthy stage in life). However, for ME, once it becomes habitual — once excess eating becomes…excessive — that is where I’d say I’m being a little bit gluttonous.

This is a self-reflection. I do not mean to speak for anyone else! But I’m curious to hear if anyone has similar reflections.

So let’s look at the amount of food my family and I ate this weekend.

Friday Night

Dinner at Shiki with our family friends.

IMG_2717

some bites of my parents’ yakitori

IMG_2718

squid appetizer for everyone to share

IMG_2719

gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well

IMG_2720

sushi for me!

Saturday

Back story: We and our family friends are HUGE foodies, and for whatever reason, it’s a tradition for us to go into NYC and do a “food crawl” to many different food vendors. Rule: We must walk.

IMG_2722

light breakfast (light for my standards): Greek yogurt with half a banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, and pb

First stop: Chelsea Market! Also known as the land of “I can’t choose what to eat.”

IMG_2726 IMG_2727 IMG_2729 IMG_2743 IMG_2744 IMG_2757

We all parted ways and bought our own dishes before reconvening, but we also shared a bunch of things. Many little bites here and there!

IMG_2733 IMG_2735

little bites of a couple kinds of doughnuts from Doughnuttery — delicious!

IMG_2736

one of my favorite bites of the day: ginger pecan pie

IMG_2737

egg, ham, cheese, scallion corn muffin — totally up my alley

IMG_2739

Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef

IMG_2738

I couldn’t even finish my salad after bites of all the other things!

way too much food before noon #chelseamarket #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

IMG_2759

After Chelsea, we walked uptown towards Broadway via High Line for a more scenic route. The weather was overcast, cool, and absolutely perfect!

We watched a matinee of Book of Mormon, which is a pretty esteemed musical. It was definitely hilarious, but it was also so vulgar and blasphemous that every time something funny happened, all I could do was stare with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. I may have smiled too.

IMG_2765

I do appreciate it as a musical, however. The music is super catchy and the acting was phenomenal.

"Hello!" 📘👔🙏🏼 #bookofmormon #broadway #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

We headed over to Koreatown for our post-show/pre-dinner snack. Madre and Pop suggested a Korean food court called Food Gallery 32.

I had a bite of taiyaki, which is a pastry shaped like a fish, stuffed with red bean paste. Fresh out of the iron, this thing was FANTASTIC. Crisp exterior, gooey interior, rich filling.

IMG_2772 IMG_2776 IMG_2778 IMG_2779 IMG_2780

Colby, you’d love this.

Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.

IMG_2775

Dessert before dinner (but don’t worry, we ate dessert after dinner too).

My uncle made reservations for us at Momofuku Nishi, a trendy, modern Japanese restaurant.

IMG_2773

#minimalist

We were basically sitting on wooden boxes, but I wasn’t mad about it.

Family style all day!

IMG_2784

cold shanghai noodles

IMG_2785

some magical fried chicken

IMG_2786

butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy

Then there was this “Impossible Burger” that we split into eight little pieces.

IMG_2782

Perhaps you are asking, “What the heck is this sad looking burger doing at an upscale Japanese restaurant?” Well, the burger is vegan (the patty at least). But it 100% looks and tastes like meat. Hence, the “Impossible” Burger.

IMG_2783

The only wow factor was that it was vegan, because otherwise, it just tasted like a really mediocre fast food burger with subpar french fries.

The main event was this 10 lb. pork roast that my uncle had to order ahead of time for our party of seven.

IMG_2790 IMG_2792

the bone literally slid right out

IMG_2789

Ben rolling up the sleeves

IMG_2787

We ate it in lettuce wraps with many delicious condiments, herbs, and sticky rice. There was a good amount of meat that we got to take home for leftovers! It was a heavenly piece of meat.

IMG_2801

Then it was time to walk our way to dessert. Our family friends stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up some cookies to go. Then we headed to Van Leeuwen ice cream. On our way though, we got distracted by a place called Snowdays, which sells “shaved cream”.

IMG_2796

It’s a frozen block of cream that is shaved. My aunt shared her black sesame shaved cream with coconut and mochi with all of us. Pretty unique! It’s like ultra light ice cream.

IMG_2797

Had to take a picture for ol’ Disney Channel’s sake. Did anyone else watch Wizards of Waverly Place?

Finally, Van Leeuwen. Ben and I shared three scoops (I was greedy. We definitely should have just gotten two scoops). I chose ginger, honeycomb, and vegan banana nut. They were all so good! I couldn’t choose a favorite.

IMG_2800

Obviously, humans don’t need this much food (unless you burn calories like Michael Phelps). I did feel gluttonous (especially with that ice cream at the end), and I do not condone eating like this every day of course, but it happened, it was a wonderful time with family, and I am grateful for all the food.

So tell me:

Have you ever struggled with discerning gluttony vs. “just living”?

Have you ever done a “food crawl”?

What are you doing today? Happy Labo(u)r Day!!! 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Gluttony or “Just Living”?

  1. totally think that indulging is a part of life, and is so good for our mental health! We all have those weekends when we have a bit more than what we usually do, but that’s life and that’s living! I am thankful we have both gotten to this point of food freedom Alison! ❤

  2. You know what? Even in the Old Testament, God ordained times of feasting for His people, to celebrate His gifts and goodness and mercies, and I think that these times DEFINITELY have a place in our lives. For me, I have to be mindful of whether I’m being grateful for it or I’m idolizing the food. That really changes my perspective. I’m so thankful that you got to enjoy an AMAZING weekend with your family Alison. You are at a place in recovery where I’m going, by God’s grace, so slowly, but SURELY! 🙂

Your comments are groovy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s