sad-chocoHeyyyyy guys, you know that last post I wrote about food? Yeah. I feel so bad, b/c I did not mean for that post to stir up such a reaction. I wrote it when I was really stressed and tired, so my barely-there eloquence was right out the window. I meant for that post to be about how dudes are ignorant. It was also supposed to be about normal, healthy-esque dieting and/or ways of eating (not making a habit of dessert is not dieting, it’s just a healthful thing to do if you don’t want diabeetus), not about disordered eating, even though many of you pointed out that it’s near impossible for the ideology of femininity and the reality of like, biology, to coexist without creating huge clashes. And clashes there are. Hoo boy. It looks like we all have a fucked up relationship with food, and I should have thought a little bit more about how to be sensitive to that fact before I cobbled together that stupid post. However, it got many of us talking, and that is a good thing, even if the topic is a little bit unhappy. SO, I’d like to make up for that post by opening up a dialogue about how food and “dieting” can sometimes have a positive affect on our lives and our bodies. My two picks for the upside of downsizing, after the jump!
Part of the point of the previous post was to point out the inherent differences in the way men and women view food. Yes, women are made to view food as “the enemy”, while guys are all “Mmmmmmm. Homer loves donut.” But you know what? In some ways we ladies are better off then dudes are in this game. To me, that women don’t typically eat chicken wings and pizza with abandon is actually a healthier way to view food. Some of the prevailing dieting wisdom is actually pretty decent advice. They’ll tell you to remember how you ate and were fed when you were a kid, and that that is usually a place to get back to. I don’t know about you guys, but pizza, chicken wings, cake, cookies, ice cream, and the like were special occasion foods. We only got to eat like that on holidays and birthdays, but the rest of the time it was mom’s 9 bean soup and other healthy home cookin’. Currently I’m trying to get back to that standard in my life, not just because it’ll result in being maybe a little smaller and healthier, but because I kind of miss the specialness of such things. Like, when I became an adult it was all “woo woo, ice cream for dinner!” but now that I’ve settled in to this pattern of eating anything I damn well please whenever the hell I want to, holidays and special occasions have kind of become less-than. It’s hard enough when you’re no longer a kid and Halloween sucks because you can’t trick-or-treat, and Christmas sucks because you can no longer picture Santa and Rudolph chillin’ on your roof while you drift off to sleep on Christmas eve. Add in the fact that the holiday TV programs you waited for all year are now sitting in your DVD collection and the “special” foods you only got to have a few times a year are available to you pretty much all the time, and the holidays are pretty much sapped of all their magic. I hear tell that you get the magic back when you have kids and get to tell them the Santa thing and buy them Halloween costumes and such, but I don’t plan on having any myself. Hell, I’m still just a big kid, and I want my holiday fever back!! I think being a woman, and having a history of that stupid control of food thing will make it easier for me to relegate certain things to special occasions only, while my Mr has never heard of “cutting back”, so I’ll just let him hoover down candy corn all year round. More instant gratification for him, sure, but he’ll never understand the unbridled excitement I’ll have when I see the first Bouche de Noel of the season on the bakery shelf.


Also, I think it’s a positive thing that women aren’t like guys in that they eat whatever and don’t think about any of the consequences. And I’m not just talking about aesthetic consequences. Most guys have this get-it-before-it-gets-me-and-when-it-gets-me-I’m-screwed attitude towards food. The gift of the male metabolism (or the gift of less beauty standards, or at least the gift of not really giving a fuck) is a double-edged sword because yes, they get whatever they want whenever they want it, but a lot of guys never learn to eat with their health in mind. My stepdad is totally this way. He hates veggies and still refueses anything the color green. He never learned to cater to this facet of his health, and now it’s too late for him. Right now he pretty much eats meat-and-potatoes and just takes really expensive cholesterol meds. Not an optimal way to deal.

veggiepizzaOn the flipside, many women (uh, my coworkers and girlfriends, at least) do seem to make choices that are healthier, or at least straddle the fence between health and weight-loss, as these paths do indeed run parallel to each other. Unforch, size IS usually the dominating factor in the equation, but that we eat turkey bacon and homemade vegetable whole-wheat pizzas instead of Domino’s is, believe it or not, a good thing in the long run. Not only is low-cal, low-fat, low-sodium eating better for our heart and lungs and waistlines and all that, but it also shows some creativity in problem-solving. I was overweight in high school, and one day I just got fed up. I didn’t want to starve myself, but I couldn’t keep on eating unhealthy food and hating the way I looked. In a way, “dieting” opened up a whole new world of food options for me, as I used to just be an all-junk-food eater. That I had to find ways to make food that was good for me while still being tasty was a challenge, but also exciting and fun. I know it’s a cliche’, but converting my favorite foods like nachos and pizza into recipes that would not send me down a fat-pants-shame-spiral made me feel like some sort of Creative Genius of the Kitchen, and so my cooking skill level was enhanced while my confidence was boosted in ways I didn’t know “dieting” could facilitate. You know, I don’t even consider the way I eat a “diet” anymore. I cook healthy, light-meat, veggie-centric dinners every night, take the leftovers as lunch, never drink sugary drinks, and don’t overdo the desserts or snacks. That’s all there is to it. My “diet” is just habit at this point, and one I can feel great about. Not only have I not gotten back up to those size 10 pants, but even better is the fact that I know my nutrition is solid. Diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis are more standard in my family than the Cajun Loudmouth Syndrome, and they strike my relatives down as early as age 35. But, you know, when fried chicken, butter, Coca-cola and Reece’s peanut butter cups are your four major food groups, it’s no big surprise. I’ve seen my family deal with poor health, I’ve seen the mass of bills and prescriptions, seen relatively young people struggle with lethargy, obesity, brittle bones and insulin shots, and I know that I am not going down that path. The annals of poor health are scarier to me than the number printed on the inside of a dress, thank you very much, and avoiding that never ending labyrinth of doctors and specialists is reason enough for me to believe that the moderated eating practiced by many women is made of WIN. “Forbidden Donut” indeed, Homer.


Any of you have happy/positive thoughts about food to share?