Food is not only our problem; it is our teacher. It is a reflection of an even deeper problem, an opportunity and an invitation to face that which underlies our compulsive eating. The only real problem--everyone's only real problem--is separation from God. Every step taken with love in mind is a step back to who we really are.
We need to put genuine love back into our relationship with food; not counterfeit love, not substitute love, but genuine love. Love and gratitude that food nourishes and sustains us. Love and gratitude that meals can build bonds among families and friends. Love and gratitude that food is something we can have the right to enjoy, once we learn to relate to it with Divine detachment.
Detachment means that we can take it or leave it; we can enjoy food if we are hungry, but we can leave it alone if we are not. Love, as always, is the key to making things right. By learning to love food, we will stop obsessing about it. And the obsession, not the food, is the actual problem.
Obsession, whether toward a substance or a person, occurs when we are open to giving and yet don't know how to receive. We keep grasping for more because we are not feeling anything coming back. As a child, perhaps, nothing was coming back, so now we keep trying to get more of something we are already convinced isn't really there. As we build a relationship with food that does give back, we will begin to experience a relationship in which love has replaced obsession.
The only way to attain healthy neutrality toward food is by learning to love it, and the only food we can really love is food that loves us back.
Does a hot fudge sundae love us, do we think? It's true that it can give us a momentary high, but so can crystal meth. No, hot fudge sundaes do not love us. They are full of sugar and processed chemicals that bring anything but love. Those things feed cancer, increase cholesterol, decrease growth hormones, weaken eyesight, interfere with protein absorption, cause food allergies, contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, impair the structure of DNA, create difficulty concentrating, reduce defenses again infectious diseases, lead to osteoporosis, and more. Should we call any of these things love?
This is not to say that eating a hot fudge sundae is forbidden forever. It is to say that as we move toward becoming our best, we won't want to eat a whole hot fudge sundae - the experience will not longer feel like love. Foods that love us in return are foods that contribute to our well-being.