ChocolateRose

For as many people as there are on the planet, there are probably twice the amount of ways to show somebody that you love them.

Traditional people can love you with cards or with flowers.

Kids love one another with a tug of the hair or punch in the arm.

Friends send you funny memes that only you will really “get”.

Parents leave hidden messages in lunchboxes.

Some love via text.

Some love through a song.

Some promise everlasting love with a ring.

How do I love?

I love with food. Sure, I love other ways too but food has been a constant sign of fondness for the larger part of my life.

For a woman conquering a weight issue, this can be a challenge.

I love to love people via culinary gifts. I adore watching the full bodied reaction of somebody enjoying a cupcake I’ve created with my own two hands. The relaxation of their body. The smile on their face. The lick of a finger. The deep sigh. For that moment, you made their life smile.

I’m no one way street though. I don’t just love people with food, I let them love me right back in the very same way. Just this week a colleague went to London and brought me back Cadbury Crème Eggs because she knows I have an unnatural affection for them.  All lined up in a pretty little row at my keyboard, sat four magical foil-wrapped eggs, with that realistic, slightly creepy, egg white center and yellow yolk. A gift of friendship was well received with a yelp and a “squeeee!”

What do you do when gifts of friendship and love threaten to hamper your weight loss goals? What happens when your Mom makes your favorite dessert because she knows how you love it but it doesn’t fit in with your day? What do you do when love leaves you a five pound box of chocolate? You can’t just throw out perfectly good food! What about all those starving children… yes, we all know where that sentence leads us. The children are still hungry but your thighs aren’t exactly thanking you either.

I read the most brilliant analogy on a website once and it has stuck to me like glue. The key to battling food love is to accept it.

Graciously.

Some people will always love you with food.  They will always send you home with leftovers because they know it’s your favorite. It’s how they love. Accept the gift, graciously. You do deserve that gift of thoughtfulness.

But what about those goals of yours? Therein lies the secret key that you've been searching for.

Receive the gift, but realize what the real gift actually is. They’ve given you the gift of love, thoughtfulness, caring, kindness and consideration. They’ve wrapped those deep seeded emotions, specific to you, in gorgeous packaging – love wrapped in brownies. Fondness tied up with a noodle bake bow. Friendship disguised as crumbly cake… whatever food it is you love… they’ve wrapped their emotional bond to you in that food. Now you’ve graciously received that gift of love and accepted it.

It feels really nice, doesn’t it?

With a clear conscious, because you graciously accepted the gift, you can now throw that wrapper away, just like you do with other gifts. Throw that brownie/noodle/cupcake “wrapper” away. Throw it away knowing that the gift of love was received loud and clear.

The empty wrappers will join my foil covered Cadburys in that great waste disposal in the sky but man, I can still feel the love!

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