My Relationship with Food
French culture is like the grace of wind. A couper le souffle means breathtaking. Walking in the streets of Paris is like a daydream that you forgot to dream. It is like reliving your life as a child, aimlessly walking in wondrous awe. It is something that strikes the very chord of what it means to enjoy life. Before I left for Paris, I was training to join some kind of dance troupe or team. Coming from Dallas, Texas and not having a ton of classical training in dance I thought maybe joining the Dallas Mavericks would be a good place to start. I was also intimidated by the dance world, it can be a scary place. However, dance in Paris is everything. It is exquisite and the movement reminds me of a brush circling a canvas with a fluidity that encompasses every breath. I’ve never felt so much guilt about my food and my relationship to food, as when I was training to be on a dance team.
French Pastries and The Ability to Indulge
Subconsciously, I counted my calories and stayed far away from anything that was overindulgent. I ate strictly fish and vegetables. I thought it was a part of a necessary sacrifice made to live a healthier life, so I could get strong and fuel my body with nutrients. In Paris, they don’t have this culture. They don’t care if you have ice cream and a white croissant for breakfast. They don’t care if you eat pastries and macarons. In fact, in Europe people don’t really care that much about what women do in general. Egalitarian in nature, all of Europe seems, without trying, liberated. They have traditional values, however, it just seems like they don’t try so hard. Weirdly, it has made me stop trying so hard. In general, America is a fixated culture. In America, we care so much about what people think about us, the way we look and competing to always be “better.”
I think it also has to do with advertising and the fact that mass consumerism is a large and distinct part of our economic system. However, I am learning to love indulging myself. Something that if I participated in the states, I would feel immense guilt. A sort of puritan guilt, I presume. I don’t know how much weight I’ve gained because I don’t own a scale. However, I look at my body with the new little pudge on my belly and I feel sexier than I’ve ever felt before. And my dancing is the best it has ever been.
Liberation in Europe
It is my personal opinion, that we are a society that tries to become “liberated.” We march and we protest and we create all of these women’s slogans but at the end of the day, we feel so much guilt. This guilt leads us to OVER consume. I think America is a culture that is obsessed with perfectionism. We have to be the best at everything and we’re so wrapped up in our own nationalistic perception of ourselves that we’re missing out as a collective society on what it means to love our culture. We are without a culture and it is because we’re too busy trying to “make America great again.” When if we just stopped and looked around, we’d realize we’re okay. And we don’t have to try so hard.
Indulgence in moderation is the best form of self-care you can offer yourself. Letting yourself love your body as a female is so important, and I guess I never realized that I had a tension-filled relationship with my food and my perception of the female form. I have relaxed and I don’t need to work out every day. I’m also not surrounded by American values that tell you to work, work and then work some more. Things are just a lot slower.
It is a great feeling. And although, we may be a culture that is great at sports. Are we really a happy culture? I am starting to question this.
Also, can I say electronic music in Europe is out of this world?