Woman eating a cupcake
Photo: Thinkstock/Photodisc
Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth explains how your cravings don't always mean what you think. How to uncover their hidden meaning. 
I've been thinking about chocolate cake recently. To be precise, I've been thinking about what happens when a piece of bittersweet, flourless Chocolate Decadence Cake arrives at a table where a few friends and I have agreed to share the dense, sweet dessert. Eyes light up. Glints of mischief appear on people's faces. Oohs and aahs are exclaimed. The whole environment becomes vibrant, joyous and thrillingly alive.

The waitress puts the cake down in the middle of the table, and for a moment there is a feeling of reverence, of hushed silence, as if we were all experiencing a holy event. Forks are lifted. Eyes are cast down. Breathing stops.

Will it taste as divine as it looks? Will it be as good as the last chocolate cake we ate—or the first? Can we get a fork in there fast enough to procure a satisfying morsel, or will our beloved friends take such big bites that there will be none left?

In The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne wrote that for Winnie the Pooh, "Although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called."

Pooh might not have known what those food cravings are called, but I do. They're called desire. They're called anticipation. They're called wanting—and if we let ourselves feel them, have them and love them for their own sake, we set ourselves free.

Discover the difference between wanting and having

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