“As human beings, attention is our only currency”
Hello, dear! What did you do for dinner last night? Pick up something quick to go, eat on the run, sit down to a nice dinner with friends or family, cook a little something? Do you even remember?
So many women I talk to don’t want to be bothered with cooking. Either busy or unsure or don’t want to make the effort. Then there’s the dishes to follow. It’s so convenient these days to just pick up a little something. And cooking just seems like such a chore.
But I want to make the case to you that cooking for yourself is one of the most practical, tangible, and fruitful acts of self-care and self-love there is. Rather than providing a temporary escape from your life (like a lot of things touted these days as “self-care” do), it gets you deeper in, it connects you to you.
I think most of you reading this grew up or live in the South, and in the South, when I was growing up and certainly when my parents were growing up, cooking for family or company was the highest form of showing love and creating connection. To this day, I absolutely love visiting friends or family and being cooked for. It just feels so much like care to me.
Now, there’s something quite inhospitable about being expected to stuff yourself to the gills to please your host/ess, but that’s a post for another day…
My point here is that taking the time to feed another has long been a way of directing our attention towards those we love. Of course, it’s not the only way, but since we all need to eat to survive, it is a lovely way.
What I want to encourage you to do is extend this attention, time, energy, and sense of honor towards yourself, because you, my dear, are worth it. You are worthy to receive every good thing. Instead of thinking of it as a chore, think of it as a gift. Be the one to give this gift to yourself.
Our western culture is so much a culture of the mind. Our relationship to our bodies is often at least a little (and usually very much) out of whack. We either are disconnected from it and don’t pay attention to its needs (until it starts to talk back to us in the form of pain or excess weight or age) or we are always trying to manage it or control it, make it fit some sort of ideal, by restricting food or punishing exercise, and all sorts of cosmetic efforts.
When what is really most often needed is deep rest, a dance party, and nourishing food that’s come from the earth only recently. Giving yourself and your body these gifts are such a rich way to re-connect body, mind, and heart.
A former yoga-teaching colleague of mine was fond of saying that “as human beings, attention is our only currency”. It’s true, most people will give money before they give time. It’s such a valuable contemplation to notice where we spend our attention each day and to check if that is truly in alignment with what we say we value. Women, especially, are notorious for giving their time and attention to everyone and everything else first and themselves last. And I know I tend to fritter away precious moments on things that aren’t so enriching only to say I don’t have enough time later. Work in progress, there.
And, I know that when you get to the evening worn out from your day with more to tend to at night, cooking can seem like a chore.
But, love, your body is this outrageously exquisite and complex animal that is the vehicle through which you get to see the sun set, hear the birds, feel your bare feet on the grass or sand, hug a loved one, understand and laugh at a good joke, taste chocolate, feel the bittersweetness of a loss. Your heart beats, you breathe, you learn how to do the most complex tasks without thinking about them. And most of the time, you either don’t give your body a second thought or are in a downright adversarial relationship with her.
So, try a little tenderness instead. And attention.
Learn what pleases your body, what feels nourishing and delightful to it, what sustains her in a way that she can then sustain you.
Cooking a good simple meal is not that difficult. A few basic skills, concepts, and tools will serve you very well. And, with an elementary knowledge of good quality ingredients, what you will prepare for yourself will be way more body-friendly than 90% of what you would get eating out. And more economical.
You are worth this love, you are worth this care, you are worth your time and effort.
If this is new to you, I encourage you to pick an evening and treat it as a date night for yourself. Put on some good music, decide what you’ll eat with care, and cook FOR YOURSELF with joy, as a gift. Light some candles, use nice dishes. You get the picture.
I’m happy to help if you need a few ideas. Just comment below and ask!
As always I’d love to hear your thoughts and how this goes for you.
Love, if you have difficulty seeing your body as worthy of your attention and kindness, I encourage you to consider chatting with me. You can download your free guide or get a small taste of 1:1 coaching through my Drop the Guilt and the Weight program. If you’re not sure what this coaching thing is all about and want to see what might be right for you, you can book a free 15 minute call with me.
May your days be truly delicious and satisfying!
Hi! I’m Laura Jarrait and I work with women who adore good food but feel like it’s running or ruining their lives. They don’t want to diet or quit socializing around food but are tired of feeling less than their best and guilty, obsessive, or confused about what they eat. I help them keep the pleasure and drop the stressful thinking and extra weight, so they feel confident, light and free — all without ending their love affair with food!
I would be thrilled to help you do the same! Get my free Beautiful You guide that teaches YOU how to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight or learn more about how I can support you in your eating, body love, or weight-loss goals.