by Kimber Simpkins
I wrote my memoir out of a desperate desire to stop feeling empty all the time. I knew I had no good reason to be hungry, but that didn’t stop my belly from wanting more. I’d finish every bite of steamed greens, rice, and roasted vegetables—and even a bowl of hearty miso soup—so why did I feel like ordering a second round? The food was fresh and nourishing, arranged to please my eyes and taste buds. Why didn’t I feel satisfied?
I was friends with the Full Belly farmers at the market where I bought my lettuce and tomatoes. I’d even slept in the walnut orchard, listening to the coyotes talk to each other across the valley. Eating some of the most delicious, most thoughtfully tended produce on the planet, it was clear my lack of satiety was not the fault of the vegetables that filled my weekly CSA box.
Somehow I had missed out on the idea that pleasure needs to be invited to the table. The heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil piled high on the market tables deserved my full appreciation—in fact, they demanded it. I could pile the tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, and olive oil on the bread and do the same old thing of tuning into the distractions of my mind while my mouth automatically chewed and swallowed, while my inner critic honed its objections to all the fat and carbs. Or I could eat tasting the farm air between the sandwich layers, feeling my belly grow taut, and giving myself permission to feel full and worthy of nourishment. The missing magic was the sense that I deserved to feel satisfied, and not just from what was on the business end of my fork.
Full is the story of how I discovered a newfound trust in my body’s natural pleasures and learned to treat my body as if it were worthy of kindness instead of shame. Thanks—in part—to some amazing tomatoes. Those vegetables at the market? They’re more powerful than we know.
Full: Release Party and Reading
Thursday April 2, 6:30 pm
5433 College Ave, Oakland
Kimber Simpkins is the author of Nautilus award–winning Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul (release date April 2, 2015) and 52 Ways to Love Your Body (release date Jan 2016; both titles by New Harbinger Publications). Kimber teaches yoga in the East Bay and also leads workshops and retreats.