The year I graduated high school was the same year my brother graduated college. My mom sent us to Hawaii to stay with our cousin Mike as a graduation gift. It was incredible in every way. The water was luscious, the jungle enchanting and we explored so many magical spots I'll always remember. The first night we arrived, he split open a pineapple and dished up a big plate from which we delighted in the juicy fruit topped with whipped cream. It was the best pineapple I'd ever had.
Over 10 years later, I stood in my narrow strip of kitchen, cutting a pineapple that was pre-peeled and cored. I played with the idea of only having a few pieces, but knew I wanted a whole bowl. I flip-flopped over how much to have, and felt guilty about eating it at all. After years of packing my brain with healthy eating methodologies, I gathered a gazillion exhausting beliefs about what was "right" and "wrong" with every food imaginable. Even though I really didn't want to, I'd come to believe that eating fruit was bad. I thought back to that pineapple in Hawaii and felt how wonderful it was, how much I enjoyed it without any notions of it being anything other than delicious. It felt fresh and healthy, even with the whipped cream!
I longed to wash away my years of trying too hard with food, absorbing every book I could about what other people decided was healthy. Contradictions and restrictions filled those pages and imprinted my being with mourning for the days I enjoyed more foods with less thought about them. I wanted that freedom again. I wanted to eat a whole bowl of pineapple for breakfast. And so I did.