There seems to be a cultural movement afoot, a shift to embrace healthy living and a departure from all things deadly – beautiful and satisfying though they may be. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with losing a few pounds and adding years to one’s life. But in our haste to eliminate waste (or more appropriately, taste), have we forgotten the things that define us as Americans?
For every Mega Super Fitness that opens, there’s a new gastro pub or wine bar going in across the street. Don’t get me wrong, fitness is definitely important. But so is embracing and enjoying life. What’s the point of living longer if you’re miserable while doing it?
In that regard, let me state my position as that of pro-life. That is to say, let’s live life and enjoy it while we’re here. Let’s go walk for an hour and when we’re done, we’ll enjoy a glass of red and a bacon-wrapped filet.
Food is one of the simplest ways to derive pleasure, slightly behind the most obvious one (but not always). To bite into something that literally melts in your mouth elicits a feeling of bliss akin to winning the Super Bowl. At least that’s how I imagine it.
Almost as satisfying is watching someone enjoy something you’ve prepared, especially if it’s an original creation. And sharing that experience with others is close to a religious experience for me.
Now, I’m a big man and I enjoy food. I wish I weighed about 100 lbs less than I do and I’m working on it. But I also recognize that I’m a foodie and there’s nothing I can do to stop it; it’s engrained in me. So therein lies my dilemma – do I embrace the food or do I embrace the health? I gotta think there’s a middle ground, some shade of gray where I can move to and become mayor.
All I really ask is that we temper our pain with pleasure. Don’t give up on the pig so easily, especially when he tastes so good. By all means, do that 45 minutes on the elliptical, but don’t deny yourself that chicken fried steak and cheese grits if you really want it. Give and take people, good with the bad, yin with yang – balance.
In the mean time, I search for truth and try to make other people feel okay with the decisions they make. My feeling is, bacon is good. Ham is good (especially if it’s from Spain). Fried pig ears are good (don’t knock ‘em until you try ‘em). If God didn’t want us to eat pigs, he wouldn’t have made them so tasty.
So let’s belly up to the bar, get a glass of wine (or bourbon), share some laughs and fried pig parts, and be merry. After all, life is good!