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?”
“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.
Dinner at Shiki with our family friends.
some bites of my parents’ yakitori
squid appetizer for everyone to share
gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well
sushi for me!
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.
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.”
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!
little bites of a couple kinds of doughnuts from Doughnuttery — delicious!
one of my favorite bites of the day: ginger pecan pie
egg, ham, cheese, scallion corn muffin — totally up my alley
Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef
I couldn’t even finish my salad after bites of all the other things!
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.
I do appreciate it as a musical, however. The music is super catchy and the acting was phenomenal.
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.
Colby, you’d love this.
Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.
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.
We were basically sitting on wooden boxes, but I wasn’t mad about it.
Family style all day!
cold shanghai noodles
some magical fried chicken
butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy
Then there was this “Impossible Burger” that we split into eight little pieces.
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.
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.
the bone literally slid right out
Ben rolling up the sleeves
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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!!!