Food Insecurity with Diane Summers
As we approach a holiday season that’s highly focused on food, we’re thrilled to be joined by Diane Summers, MS, RDN, CEDS-S, CD, a highly experienced and nationally registered dietitian specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, for an insightful exploration of the multifaceted issue of food insecurity. Drawing on her 19 years of expertise, Diane delves into two essential frameworks through which to understand this critical topic.
The first framework begins with a stark reality: 12.8% (17 million households) in the US face food insecurity, with disproportionately higher rates for Black and Hispanic households, as reported by the USDA. Food insecurity is defined here as the uncertainty or inability to acquire enough food due to insufficient funds or resources.
This conversation also explores a second framework, inviting us to examine food insecurity through the lens of our culture’s pervasive obsession with altering bodies through dieting and restrictive eating. A note to listeners that this conversation does mention disordered eating but does not go into detail.
Diane, along with Dan and Rachael, navigate the delicate terrain of recognizing the privilege of having access to enough food while also acknowledging the potentially unhealthy relationships many harbor with food. The discussion touches on the impact of societal norms, trauma associated with growing up in a diet culture, and the subsequent internalization of food as an adversary.
This episode provides a thought-provoking and compassionate examination of the complex issue of food insecurity, with insights into the societal, cultural, and personal dynamics involved.
We hope this episode leaves you with food for thought, emphasizing how the interplay of fear and shame significantly influences our ability to listen to our bodies, understand desires, and make choices that promote well-being.
- Listen to our previous conversation with Diane Summers in Food, Kindness, and Our Bodies
- Resources cited in this episode: Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond; USDA Food Security in the U.S. Statistics, 2022
About our Guest:
Diane Summers, MS, RDN, CEDS-S, CD is a nationally registered and state certified dietitian with extensive experience treating eating disorders at all levels of care for 19 years. Diane has treated the full spectrum of eating disorders and concerns. She is recognized as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist & Supervisor (CEDS-S) for her expertise in treating eating disorders and training other professionals in the treatment of eating disorders. She is a member of The Association for Size Diversity & Health (www.asdah.org). She is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor (www.intuitiveeating.org) and Narrative Focused Trauma Care practitioner. She works with clients and consultees around the world.
Dan: Well, undoubtedly for most families, Thanksgiving is a season of delight, coming back home, a large sumptuous delectable meal. So of course, what the Allender Center do as we invite you into your Thanksgiving feast, but to talk about food insecurity, doesn’t that feel…
Rachael: We’re just your resident trauma-informed folks trying to make sure there’s space at the table for a lot of the things that will go unnamed and unaddressed, but no less at the table.
Dan: Yes. So we are going to talk about the glory of food, but given that there is glory, truly, God given glory to food, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there is a war with at times against the reality of the pleasure, the delight, the honor of being able to eat and to eat well with others. So that’s what we want to reflect on and we could not have a better guest on than what we would refer to as our resident nutritionist, Diane Summers. And Diane, you’ve been on before, but again, for the audience, you are a professional nutritionist, but you’re also essentially a remarkable therapist who works in the intersection of the human heart and soul and the complexities that occur with regard to food. Is that a good beginning introduction? What would you want to add for folks?
Diane: Yes, that’s great. Yeah. My specialty is working with folks who come from a background of a war with food and their bodies and movement and injuries that have occurred at the micro and the macro level. So all the way down to family of origin to the broader culture and to help them return to peace and freedom, enjoy in their dynamic with food. It’s an awesome job. I can’t believe I get to do it.
Dan: Well, it is such an important category that I think we have again, had you on a number of times, and each time it stirs so much for people. So as we step into this category of food insecurity, where does the words “food insecurity” take you? What would you want us to be thinking about with regard to that?
Diane: Well, I think to first start with the fact that food insecurity have a lot of different forms. Certainly lack of access to food is going to create food insecurity, whether it’s financial or it’s part of an abusive structure, just pure lack of access to being able to satiate one’s appetite is food insecurity. But also looking at the broader culture. We live in a culture that is saturated and idealizes dieting and fighting one’s bodies, and that creates food insecurity when there’s a sense of I can’t or I shouldn’t eat certain foods, and can literally invoke a similar panic to that which would be found when food is not accessible.
Dan: So as we’re dealing with food insecurity, the term generally is used for talking about people who do not have food, so they’re without food, and it is such an important category that just can’t be leisurely ignored. I mean, one out of eight families suffers significant food insecurity. And you can look at this from the standpoint that communities often have collective struggles with that the African-American community has 22.4% struggle with food insecurity, not having access financially or often geographic access to food. The Latino community, 20.8%. So there are communities, we know that rural communities suffer more food insecurities, even regionally, the southern portion of our country suffers more than, for example, the west or the northeast. So these are not matters that we can just ignore because we may not have the same issue. But I think a lot of families in terms of inflation, in terms of the rising cost of access to good food, oftentimes goes without or chooses food that has a degree of satisfaction but not actually nutrition. So these are wars that really relate in the broader sense to the category of poverty, which we probably won’t move much into, but it’s a really important reflection on how is it that we have many people who are suffering without food, but you’re also bringing the category that even those who have adequate food can be in a war with food. So we’re talking about food insecurity in both frameworks.
Diane: Yeah, absolutely. And I do appreciate that you’re naming our privilege in this meeting room of currently having access to food. And that is not the case and across the board for all peoples. It’s always heartbreaking to hear when folks are having to make a decision between getting their medication or buying groceries. It should not be that way.
Dan: No, no, not in any way, shape or form.
Rachael: And I think there’s just something I want to make sure at least as we move between these worlds is just because I know some people can hear even a word like poverty and move toward, well, shame on them for being poor or shame on them for not finding a way. And I want to make sure we just hold the horror that we live in a country filled with abundance and that there are many systems in place, racialized systems, political systems, capitalist systems that actually perpetuate poverty and make sure certain people stay in poverty and don’t have access in. So those are some complex systems. And I know Dan, that’s what you’re meaning when you say that. I just wanted to make sure I emphasize that for those of us who maybe grew up being told people that struggle with poverty, even though some of us have stories of struggling with poverty and know something of food insecurity, it’s just that reality that it shouldn’t be. So I just wanted to re-emphasize that. As you both said, it shouldn’t be that way.
Dan: A good beginning source for engaging that is a book called Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond. I’m not fully through the book yet, but I am deeply impressed. He is the award-winning author of the book Evicted, which looked at how we arrange living situations to create in some sense. And so-called underclass, that really is kept in that position because nobody wants the jobs that so often get dispensed that there really is not just an accident or not just a moral failure, but an actual structural systemic intentionality to keep certain people poorer and therefore dependent and therefore able to only take jobs that do not provide the kind of resources that are available in this country. So yeah, I think it’s mean, you’re underscoring Rachael, a very important asterisk that we will not step much into, but at least to underscore poverty isn’t accidental, and it’s certainly not a moral failure, but we have to look at the larger systemic whole. But even as we address that, we’re naming that you have known some food insecurity, Rachael, and I would say the same would be true for me.
Rachael: Yes, yes. Sorry. Yes. Let me affirm that. And I think in many ways, the other thing I would say is it could be very tempting, and we see this a lot in our trauma work. I know all three of us working with people that it can almost be like, well, because I haven’t known food insecurity of really knowing what it is to go without food, then what right do I have to seek help for other forms of food insecurity? And so I also want to say that’s not helpful. And we’re here today to have a really important conversation around the war that we have in our culture and in our families and in our own bodies. And so I hope people will do the good work of holding two things can be true at the same time.
Dan: So take us Diane, into where you see professionally and yet even in your friendships and even in the Allender Center where you have seen the reality of food’s insecurity.
Diane: Well, in terms of our broader culture and the ways that there are pressures to alter and change our bodies, I mean, that is pushing people constantly to dieting processes. And the thing with being raised in a home with a parent or guardian or both who are fighting their bodies is that kids are very perceptive and they watch and pick up on everything. And so even if parents who are at war with their bodies and therefore maybe limiting their food intake or engaged in a dieting process are not putting that on their children, children see it and hear it and watch it and are absorbing those structures. And it’s so important in this to just hold tenderness towards the dieting parents because we do what we do until we know something different. And it’s such a predominant cultural structure to… it’s almost like expected. You should be always trying to change your body. And the larger of a body you’re in, the more you should be trying. It’s really a horrific structure. So when parents are engaging processes just holding that with a ton of understanding and tenderness of this is what they know and oftentimes has been enforced within the medical community with a lot of fear added onto it. If you don’t do this, you’ll get cancer, you will die. I mean, just so much fear mongering around weight and size that can make people literally terrified to not engage in a dieting process. And little minds and bodies are of course going to absorb that. And then I certainly see it all the way to the other end of the spectrum where withholding food or literally giving children the contents of the trash can, that these are actually really exquisite and horrific forms of abuse, too. So withholding something that is a basic need such as food can be within some family systems that are quite sadistic can be certainly forms of trauma and abuse, and then the whole spectrum in between, for sure.
Dan: Well, Rachael, would you put words to your own sense of food insecurity?
Rachael: Yeah, I’m kind of thinking and bouncing between the two, because on one hand I could say we always had food. There wasn’t a sense of my parents were able to provide us food and we were a part of a church community and larger communities where that kind of scarcity was not my experience. I don’t think we were always getting the most nutritious food, but it was also the eighties. So just lots of sugar and lots of junk food and different things. What’s interesting is in both ways, as I became an adult and went to graduate school and did not have access to a lot of resourcing and didn’t have credit cards for a certain season and had a lot of pride around not wanting people to know, I had, not wanting my parents to know, having weeks where I have $10 until I get paid and I’ve got to make that stretch and I don’t really know how to cook. So I have some very visceral experiences of what it is to be going without and not having the wherewithal of even knowing the system enough to know ways I probably could have gotten access to food if I needed it. So I had that on one hand. And as far being in my body in this world, I was a long distance runner, and if anything, I was one of those kids who was eating so many calories just to try to not have my muscles being eaten. So I would say fortunate in some weird way that I was not growing up in a place of, I was worrying more, am I getting enough calories? Do people think I have an eating disorder because I’m very skinny because I’m running competitively in long distance forms. However, when I got married and became a stepmom, I have had to deal with… Diane, I would say, maybe you can help me understand more of this.. I am one of those.. and I am married into a collectivist culture, a Taiwanese culture where food sharing and family dining is a thing. And I’m very much finding, I have a lot of food insecurity that shows up. There’s not going to be enough for me and feeling very like, that’s mine, that’s my food. Or leave enough for me. I have a lot of panic around is there going to be enough food for me? And so I’ve been doing some work of where did this come from and what is this connected to? And your family also, they make sure everyone has enough food that’s part of how it functions. So yeah, I have a lot of questions there where that’s arisen from. Then of course, now as I’m aging, and I maybe would say other places I’ve known something of food insecurity is I had a lot of autoimmune disorders that came in my early thirties where my thyroid, I had hypothyroidism and that had gone undiagnosed for a long season, and I had small intestine bacterial overgrowth probably from eating all the sugar I did when I was a kid, and all the antibiotics I had and all the trauma, just like the things that would disorder your gut. And so I went through a season where the ways in which that was being addressed was a lot of very particular, what’s the right word? Like food, diet, all this restricted diets, like foods you can’t have. And that genuine feeling like if I eat that, it’s going to make me sick and it’s going to be part of what’s causing me to lose hair and have really bad acne and feel so terrible and feel fatigued. And in some ways I had to do a lot of work to reorder and restore my gut health. And I’m grateful I had good care providers who knew that the movement and where we needed to go was to get my bacteria and everything realigned so that I could take in the nourishment I meant for and enjoy a good relationship with food. And were helping me put words to this terror you’re experiencing around food. But it was real. And I had a long season where I couldn’t eat most of the things that were at a common table. And so even the social isolation and grief of I’m having a different experience with food than everyone else at the table, I know that can be very real. There can be very real health concerns. And I would love to hear your thoughts, Diane, as a nutritionist on how you approach those stories with people where they’re really trying to help their bodies, but in some of the ways that’s being done, it can really lead to a scary relationship with food and a very utilitarian relationship with food that brings a lot of depression and anxiety.
Diane: Yeah. For sure. Because food, is so integral to life and our relationships and our experiences multiple times a day. So it makes a lot of sense that when you’re prescribed really specific or limited diet to try to treat a condition as well meaning as it may be, and we probably won’t get into the efficacy of that or not, but more of just the impact that it has on you, that for a period of time you were very limited and had that sense of if I have something that’s off plan, in essence, I could be harming myself, which is really terrified because the thing you wanted most was to feel better. And so to feel like you could have a misstep and had to follow something that limited what you could eat, that in and of itself creates food insecurity for sure. And that on top of certainly having had the experience of having to stretch $10 over a week, I don’t know for sure Rachael, because I wasn’t in your body at the time, but I imagine there were a lot of times that you really felt your hunger.
Rachael: Yeah, oh, certainly. Or when I’m like, okay, I can go to Taco Bell. And again, I almost feel it’s very vulnerable to share this because again, I actually think if there had not been such a stigma about needing to be a part of community and sometimes needing help, I probably would’ve had a very different experience. But because I didn’t want my parents to think I wasn’t being responsible and making bad decisions, and I didn’t had a lot of humiliation and shame around it. But yeah, I would go to Taco Bell and be like, okay, I’m going to spend a dollar on a bean burrito, and that will get me through this half of the day. But if you’ve ever eaten a bean burrito from Taco Bell that it also does a number on your body. So it was like, how do you be frugal but also get some nourishment and nutrients so it’s all there together.
Diane: Yeah. You were being really resourceful actually. Yeah.
Dan: Hugely. And again, do you not find, Diane, that most of us have some degree of war with food? Do you find that to be a common ailment or do you think it’s somewhat unique?
Diane: I mean, it’s the water we swim in. It’s the air we breathe. All you have to do is walk through a checkout, stand in the grocery store and see some sort of messaging on a magazine, and it can threaten your security with food. The belief of my body should look like that can literally trigger somebody to walk out and want to binge because the threat of a pending diet to change their bodies. And so yes, it’s everywhere. It’s everywhere. And Rachael, one of the things that you’re naming is the piece of, I appreciate that you’re bringing up having to utilize Taco Bell. And what happens with this, right, is when resources are low, fed is best. We just want someone to be fed. And then you add on all the food judgments in our culture of, oh, you shouldn’t eat sugar, you shouldn’t have Taco Bell. And that heaps on the shame then when somebody is working so hard to just feed their bodies to then feel like they’re doing it wrong. And so that good food, bad food mentality just exacerbates maybe the shame that’s already in place of I don’t have resources to make myself a meal.
Dan: So shame and food you see, to be deeply linked.
Diane: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Right, cause if we didn’t have shame around Taco Bell in our culture of a sense of, oh, that’s not an okay food, then that experience of going to Taco Bell would’ve been less conflicted. It would’ve been like, yeah, figured out a way to get dinner in a buck, right? Yeah.
Dan: So do you again, the fact that for most of us there’s some intertwining of shame and food beyond the diet culture, beyond the implications, why? I know it’s such a basic question and also unanswerable, but I still want to put you in the bind. Why do we have so much shame over food?
Diane: Well, multiple reasons, but I mean, in the context of food insecurity, we’re in this bind between my body has an appetite, my body has a need for food. It’s very primal. And no matter what the source of food insecurity, if there’s an inability to meet that appetite, especially cause we live in a very… Rachael, you named this at the beginning, not everybody but this, pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. So if I’m not able to navigate that, it’s my fault or it’s my appetite that’s wrong, versus it’s the system that’s wrong, it’s the system that I’m stuck in that’s leading to lack of resources or the diet culture system versus that’s what’s wrong. Not our appetites, not our desires for food. If we think about this in a more benign category, I’ll use this example a lot with clients around our need for air. So as a kid, I dunno if either of you ever did the game in the swimming pool where you held your breath under water and see who could hold your breath the longest, and you’re looking through your goggles at everybody who’s going to pop up first, and when you pop up out of the water, nobody takes just this slow, gentle breath. You take this just gasping breath because that’s actually a primal response to a lack of air. Well, it’s a primal response to a lack of food or lack of access to food to want to inhale because food is at the level of survival like air is. But we don’t have shame around taking a gasp of air, but there’s a lot of shame in our culture around feeling like, or actually just inhaling a large amount of food in response to not having had access to it.
Dan: Brilliant. I think that is so helpful. And at least in the world I grew up in, the refrigerator was often empty because my mother didn’t cook and she didn’t eat much. I would say she was a very high functioning anorexic. And in that, the one who did prepare food, my father, prepared it only in certain seasons. So there was a taste of such goodness. When he would cook, when my mom cooked, if she cooked it all, it was really a ragged, wretched, can-opening soft peas, burnt ham on one side, and often white uncooked on the other. In other words, it was moderately if not extremely nauseating. So when I knew that we were going to have, which we had often Swanson TV dinners, it was like, fabulous. It’s awful, but at least it’s better than whatever my mom would prepare. So evening meals bore the uncertainty of the food itself, then add, at least as I’ve told my story number of times, the dinner table was my ground for performance. It was my task at the evening meal to create enough intrigue by my storytelling that my mom would not be in rage, my father would not be helpless. So dinners have not been exactly the environment in terms of both the food itself or the process by which we came to eat. And I think there are just as I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of people over a lot of years, but not within the primary frame of nutrition. Food does not come up until we begin talking about the dinner, the dinner table, the dining room table, and then the stories of, in some sense, it was a war zone for a lot of people. And so when you have the war zone over the particular food process, then it just is, it’s like the stage. And that’s how a lot of clients have put it. The dinner table is the stage where the dramas of the family play out in a heightened degree of accentuation. Is that what you find? Or is that just my own experience?
Diane: Well, I mean, the dinner table too is where most family members are at that experience, whereas other meals and snacks, not everyone is together. So the dinner table has a way of gathering, gathering people, and especially if there hasn’t been contact throughout the rest of the day, it’s where everything can come out. Absolutely. I hear in your story just the lack of dependability of you had no idea what you were going to show up to. It could be something really pleasant. It could be something that tasted really disgusting to you. There could be a sense of relief in the sense that it was Swansons. And so there’s, the thing with frozen meals, is there typically dependable? So even though it might not have tasted good to you, at least you kind of knew what you were going to get.
Dan: I knew the applesauce where it was going to be, and the peas weren’t mushy, which was so true of canned peas, at least the ones that we devoured.
Diane: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you were holding so much going into the dinnertime, the lack of consistency with food and how good it was going to taste or not would’ve been enough for a little kid to hold. But you add on top of that, that you also had to perform and you didn’t even know what your nourishment was going to be for the performance. That’s so much stress.
Dan: I mean, just even naming what you’re naming, it just brings up, I don’t want to talk about this. Let’s go back to your food insecurity, Rachael. Well, the reality that, again, these things do play out and they can play out even over Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was the one meal that my father took 100% responsibility for, and it was staggering in terms of I anticipated that meal like no other through the whole year because there wasn’t just one meal. It meant there were leftovers. And I find that leftovers were one of the great thrills because as you put it, well, Diane, there was at least the consistency. There would be something filling the refrigerator. It would be, even if we didn’t have microwaves back in my day, there was still a way of warming it up and creating ongoing goodness. So one of the things that we’re inviting you as you listen to at least begin to ponder is what has food meant? Where has there been a war? How are certain meals set in a way in which it creates both a longing for, but also a remembrance? A remembrance of, oh, this was good. And what brings as you come to your table for Thanksgiving? Indeed, it is one of the loveliest holidays because it in some sense, culturally forms us, shapes us to be thinking about gratitude and the notion that we have food is a basis of gratitude, but we’re kind of pressing into where has there been shame bound to food bound to the meal or the dining room table that again, to be able to surface allows you at least to begin to go, wow, why is there such ambivalence about eating a big meal and making either statements about how full you are, or to a point where I’ve had to address the reality that when a Thanksgiving meal came, I would often get ill afterwards because I ate vastly more than my body could truly hold because of that food insecurity. So when you’re beginning to engage these, shall we say, these side dishes, the Turkey or ham or whatever you would have as your primary protein, when you come to it beyond, oh, it smells good, it looks good, it tastes good, what are you bringing? And I think that’s the question that we’re inviting ourselves and certainly you as an audience to where does that take either of you?
Diane: Well, I want to go back to you as a little boy because I love that you turned it to the broader kind of questions. But right when we’re sitting with these stories, we’re sitting with our younger selves, and I don’t know how there would’ve been any other response to food insecurity and having had such a lovely meal once a year other than to almost eat in a last supper experience because if it literally was an annual thing, this was the last time you were going to get this delicious food that your father made until 365 days later, and just the thought of it’s going to be a long time can literally spike our hunger hormones and suppress our hormones that create satiation. And so this isn’t just a mental piece of “I need to get it in now”. This is a physiologically driven response to, I won’t have this meal again for 365 days.
Dan: So satiation in some sense is influenced by level of trauma.
Diane: Oh, for sure. And the amount of threat that there’s been to sufficient access to and permission to consume the food.
Dan: And another way of putting that is our ability to read what our body really desires, what we really need and desire is so affected by trauma that we either are, again, eating in a way that leads to some level of pain because of fear or not eating because of fear. So the interplay of fear and shame really has a great influence over our ability to monitor in a way that literally knows how to listen well to what we want. And my sense is that a lot of the work you do is helping people reengage desire without shame.
Diane: Yes, absolutely. And to trust because to eat far past fullness on Thanksgiving, when you won’t give a meal like that again for another 365 days, and you’re an eight-year-old boy who can’t create it yourself because you’re barely tall enough to look over the stove. Yes. That eating past fullness and that even having followed you perhaps into adult experiences of exquisite meals, it’s just so understandable. It’s just so understandable. And so to be able to bless the appetite and to understand that makes sense that I was following my body in that moment. And why do we have these foods once a year? I mean, it’s just like they’re all in the grocery store. Why not have a monthly Thanksgiving meal? And I know that sounds funny, but these are the things that heal our stories, is actually having experiences that swaddle the brain and the body with sufficiency, oh, we’re having thanksgiving again in a couple weeks. We’re going to just keep pumpkin pie available throughout the year. These do not need to be just one time of a year foods. That for people who’ve had such harm in their relationship with food that just perpetuates it. So the idea of how can we swaddle with sufficiency, particularly around the foods that were so limited in childhood, that can be so healing,
Dan: Healing. Well, I just have to confess, I’m blown away. That simple thought, at least I will say, is as new as a new newborn baby. What? I don’t know, it’s anti-American, isn’t it to have more than… but the point is actually is it’s a violation of a normative structure that we’ve come to actually think is inherently good. I’ve just never had the thought, wait a minute, Thanksgiving could actually be a meal more regularly. And I think that’s where some of the movement for me in addressing this in a large portion, Diane, just due to your gifting and the wisdom you have brought to be able to say, I can go to that meal more so over the last number of years with grief, being able to honor, oh, there’s so much heartache for me as I go to this meal and I have better categories to know why that grief is there, but also, oh my gosh, this is a play day. But to have the further thought of, wait a minute, you can have a play day once a month, a Thanksgiving once a month, I’m going to invite my family to begin to consider that. Rachael, are you as stunned as I am?
Rachael: Well, you know what, it had me thinking about, because your language of swaddled in sufficiency is such a stunning phrase. And it had me thinking about, again, I’m fortunate to come from also an Italian culture, which is a very table oriented culture. A lot of life happens at the table. And where I’m laughing, Dan is, and at least in my experience growing up, we did create, it wasn’t the same foods as Thanksgiving, but we literally had a family gathering slash holiday experience for every holiday that was a part of my dad who was not a part of the Italian family, he married into it. I need at least two holidays that we get to do something different because it would be, I mean, just St. Patrick’s, even things that we don’t really celebrate culturally, it would be like we’re all getting together to have some kind of collective meal that’s going to have appetizers and then a meal and dessert. So that was a very common for me. And so two things I was thinking about is how much our relationship with food is so meant to be also relationship with others and when that’s a part of the food insecurity. So Evie, my daughter, I was paying attention to something in our early days of breastfeeding because the midwives and lactation consultants were like babies just biologically will know when they’re full and their bodies, you watch them constantly, are they getting enough? How long are they supposed to be breastfeeding? All the anxiety. And when they get full, they’re like little mouths quiver and they kind of take a deep breath and that’s how you’ll know when it’s time to switch sides and different things. Well, Evelyn was going, they’re like around 10 to 15 minutes. She was going like 30, 40 minutes on each side, and I’m like, she’s not getting enough. And finally we had to figure out she was actually over taking more than her little body needed because there was so much comfort and soothing she was getting in the sucking, because babies also can’t differentiate between sleeping and sucking. It’s a very eating and sleeping have very similar emotional experiences for them. And so I’m watching this little human being who is being swaddled in, what was the word you used? Swaddled in…
Rachael: Sufficiency. She’s being swaddled in sufficiency, and there’s no part of her little brain or body that’s like, and that’s good. That’s all I need. I’m good now I’m going to unplug. And I did kind of have to help her because she was also having really bad reflux. But we found the balance. But there was something, I was like, there’s something here for me. She’s getting sufficient nutrients and something about her very new little human body because it’s more is available. It’s like, and I’ll take more. Thank you mother. And so I kind of started playing with that. I think God was a little bit, and I have more for you, there’s more sufficiency for you. You don’t have to just settle for basic needs. So that’s where my brain goes down with this. Yeah. What does it mean to have feast days where if you’re eating foods that bring life and feel special and that you haven’t maybe always had access to in the presence of people you want to be at the table with, and even if there’s drama and human mess, because that will be there, you still would rather be at that table with them. So I’m going to play with that phrase, swaddled in sufficiency. I feel really grateful, Diane, for you to bring that because I do think it is how we create new neural pathways and how our hormones calm down in the sense of they get satiated and they feel like there’s sufficiency and there can be a new relationship. But thinking about Evie, I think that’s in some ways how we’re made, we’re made for abundance and to be swaddled in sufficiency. And it’s heartbreaking that for so many of us, for multitude of reasons that you’ve named, that’s not our primary experience, especially with food.
Dan: So as we wish you truly a very nourishing delectable and life giving Thanksgiving, we also invite you to the table of knowing that the gratitude that we offer to one another oftentimes needs to be returned to our own hearts and to in some sense know that as we go to a good table, what does it mean for you to be nourishing. Can I honor the grief and the desperation, but also the fear of not having enough or eating too much, and to know that there really is a power and principality, a world of the unseen world that wants to ruin the notion of banqueting, of what it is that we feast in. And with regard to the Lord’s table and the coming Lord’s table. So this Thanksgiving, don’t pretend let your body honor and may there be even in the midst of that sweetness and joy. So happy Thanksgiving.