Andro Chkhvimiani

May 8, 2021

5 min read

The Metanoia of Food

Whenever I find myself in a dark place, I tend to think of myself as a hungry customer, who wants to get a delectable bite of a double quarter pounder burger with cheese at McDonald’s, or maybe even a kid, sneaking out of his bed at night to get a taste of the cookies he wasn’t supposed to eat. Whenever I take a bite of something I crave the most, my body tends to sparkle up, as the feeling of pleasure disseminates throughout my mind. Food acts as fuel to my happiness, which fights off the negative thoughts that darken my mood. For me, this nourishment is the key to my happiness.

Put yourself in my position, coming home from school, tired, exhausted. You put away your bag, as you linger into the kitchen, a small smile cracking up on your face. You grasp the handle of the fridge, as you open it and feel the cold air hit your face. “What should we eat now?” you think to yourself, skimming through the fridge, looking for something edible, yet appealing to your eyes. You manage to settle upon a few chicken nuggets, which you heated up in your microwave. You take a bite of one of them, as you feel the chicken meat, covered in a crispy breadcrumb, fried in the fresh cooking oil, and dipped in scarlet red ketchup. Crunch. You hear your teeth slicing through the food, as our ten-thousand taste buds pick up the flavors, and your senses transfer them to your nerves. Poof! You suddenly experience an abrupt change in your mood, as you slow down your chewing, closing your eyes, as your positivism emerges back. You keep up with the cycle: Crunch, chew, chew, Gulp. It all goes by rhythm, and before we know it, we feel happy.

But what does the term “happiness” stand for? For some of us, happiness is all about the time spent with your family, or maybe it’s about performing your favorite hobbies and hanging out with your friends or even having a benevolent relationship. However, how do these types of received happiness differ from the happiness that you get by eating food? To find out all these, I have a question to ask you — Do you know what happens in your brain whenever you experience jollity?

Our brain contains chemical compounds such as neurotransmitters, which balance our hormones that are derived from our substantial nigral and ventral tegmental parts of our brain. There are various hormones that relate to the types of happiness that I’ve stated. Oxytocin is a hormone that gets released whenever we feel an attraction or love. Adrenaline gets released whenever we are doing physical activities. On the other hand dopamine, serotine, and endorphins are the hormones that we release whenever we consume a portion of food. The term dopamine stands for rewards, which symbolizes food as a way to be happy. Endorphin, on the other hand, is about painkilling. Whenever we release this substance, it decreases stress levels and makes us feel better. The serotine, on the other hand, is a term that means “confidence”, which also takes a major part in our mood changes. Some researchers say that food isn’t a good source to gain happiness from, but considering the three hormones that I’ve stated, which are serotine, endorphin, and dopamine creating a combo hormonal balance, it’s quite impossible to refute the fact that food hormones don’t take a major part in our mood.

Now that we have a better understanding of how our brain reacts, I’m going to say that there is nothing better than food. Nevertheless, some people have a thought that over time, food becomes an addiction like a drug, and we tend to isolate ourselves from people and gradually develop depression. But in reality, there isn’t such thing from both my and other perspectives. Imagine family dinners, parties, cafes, cafeterias, what do they all have in common? You guessed it, something to munch on. Food is what brings people together every day, and can improve your relationships with people. Without food, the cafeteria at school would be just a place where people would sit down, and the term itself would lose its meaning. Last year, I proceeded to make an observation of the tables in the cafeteria. I sat down with my classmates, which mainly consisted of males. We all had our lunch on the tables, but there were exceptions from the table. I wanted to observe how communicative the people with no food were than the ones who had. By my observations, I noticed that people with nothing to eat were losing interest quickly, and were the first ones to leave the table. By these observations, I can easily say that I can’t imagine

While some may not agree with this and even say that getting happiness from food is a weird trait of people, we are all different. While some may find happiness by either playing games, hanging out with friends, or being alone, there are some categories of people who tend to find joy in eating, so why do some people regard this behavior as weird? Maybe because they haven’t experienced the taste of an enormous cheesy slice of pizza or the taste of the juicy, mouth-filling liquid from khinkali. While some people look at us as weird, we don’t consider ourselves like that, we’re just different from some people, which makes us unique. In fact, when we eat, we are giving ourselves self-love because we allow our bodies to gain satisfaction from the food that we enjoy. We can refer to food in this situation as a sign of expressing love. If you feed your family, you’re giving them love, if you feed yourself, you are giving yourself love.

Whether it be spicy, sweet, sour, or bitter, we all have different opinions on different types of foods. While some people prefer candy, some may prefer jalapeno. It’s a matter of interest that every human has, but those interests are individual and unique. However, the catch is that some people link this habit of eating to eating disorders, but that statement is false. People like me use food as a way to cope with stress and get happy. This is a normal function in our body, which increases desire when our dopamine level is low. On the other hand, people with eating disorders are either staying away from food or constantly shoving their mouths with excessive amounts of food. For example, anorexia is an eating disorder which usually women experience rather than men. The most common reason for anorexia in women is body shaming themselves for not being perfect enough like women on social media. In order for them to make themselves a figure that most people crave for, they tend to stay away from food. Turns out, my “weird” way of coping with stress isn’t related to any eating disorders because, for some people, they don’t listen to themselves, but rather look up to people who judge their appearance.

With all these categories of people like me who escape distress by eating doesn’t make them weird, but rather special. They shouldn’t be viewed as different because we are all special in our own ways. It’s just how we feel about food and what makes us happy. Rather than people who listen to other people’s judgments, we tend to listen to the needs of our bodies. So if you think that being something that you aren’t is something to praise, and taking care of our joy is considered weird, then you are the kind of person who needs a visit to McDonald’s for some juicy cheeseburger to get you right back on the mood!