I already thumbed through that book I was telling you about and looked at different subjects to write about and I am sorry. I’m a jerk. I won’t do it again. It’s just…I haven’t even started this writing endeavor and I’ve already failed you! In looking at this book, I know that I could personally choose whether to write fictionally or non-fictionally about ANY of these topics, even though sometimes they want me to specifically describe something that has happened to me. I can take myself out of the equation. Ain’t no thang.
My first topic, though, is simply “Diet”. It should be known that the second I saw that I rolled my eyes and sighed the “well of course” sigh of most women I know.
Fucking diets. Fuck you, diets.
You want a good diet? Don’t save much money, quit your job, get rid of your car, and move to a city where you have to walk pretty much everywhere or rely on public transit. Use money sparingly because you have tons of bills to pay my friend. Eat lots of cabbage. Get frustrated looking for new jobs and wander the city for hours in long pants since you keep forgetting it’s summer and you have one pair of shorts and they’re dirty. Drink lots of coffee and water. Pass many restaurants that one day you’ll be able to afford but not today…not tomorrow either. Read books about the food service industry and learn that, technically, you are obese, even though you know you’re chubby but you don’t feel unhealthy. Now, you feel gross. Congratulations. You will probably walk further and purchase more “good for you” foods are the grocery store that may go bad in your fridge sooner than you’d like, causing you to mentally ream yourself because you spend like two dollars on that, and that’s two dollars that could have gone towards other things. You’ve lost like 4 pounds by the end of your first week and have this inflated sense of “man this is easy, I’ll just keep this up and…ooooh pizzzzza….”
Don’t forget to drink one strong Gin and Tonic at the end of the night to remind you that not all hope is lost.
I feel like I’ve been dieting forever, but then I realize that it hasn’t always been me. I’ve watched my mom diet since I can remember. Every fad diet, she was on it. She weighed food religiously, drank only shakes, had those weird tiny frozen meals, ate nothing but fish…for years.
My goal in dieting was never to go to extremes but sometimes I get frustrated. There was a time when I was at the gym every day. I was eating a smattering of peculiar things (weeks of beans, eggs and cabbage, plus tofu and veggies, minimal rice) and while I saw results, I was still quite overweight for my height. I worked harder. Ate less. Avoided my beloved cheese. Not much changed. I got a physical: I was perfectly healthy, could run for a while without keeling over, had kickass cholesterol. But, you know…that whole overweight thing? That pretty much cancels out everything, doesn’t it….
For a while I threw caution to the wind and ate whatever I wanted because, I’m not shy, I love food. I believe that meals should be eaten and tasted and enjoyed, not just for sustenance but for peace of mind. If we all ate simply out of necessity, we’d have bland, boring food. But I believe in cooking as an art and as a gesture of appreciation for those you are cooking for, even if it is just yourself. It’s the difference between popping chicken breasts in the oven for 20 minutes (or so) because you need protein versus popping chicken breast with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin in the oven for 20 minutes (or so), whipping up some creamy mashed potatoes and sautéing some brussels sprouts in garlic and oil because they taste really good, remind you of something you love and make your brain happy.
Believe me, I understand that moderation is key. I comprehend. I get it. I didn’t always understand, though, so it’s taking a lot of habit-breaking to get there. It’s not that I eat a lot of fatty things all the time, by the way. I could probably shame the biggest names in food eating contests in a “who can eat the most apples and carrots” contest. I can recognize that my brain is wired to think like this: “Wow, this food is amazing. I might never have it again. Let me eat as much of it as possible so that, if I never taste it again, I will still have had a decent amount of time with it.”
Why? I have a few theories:
1) Food at family gatherings was a LOT different from what we’d have for dinner, most of the time. Here’s and experiment: Take a kid to Brooklyn and have a bunch of old Italian ladies cook for her. She’ll never want to leave.
2) We didn’t really go to restaurants a lot since we didn’t have a lot of money, but when we did it was neat and I got to try things I’d never had before…and assumed I would never have again, since they didn’t come from mom’s kitchen.
3) I got in trouble a LOT as a kid. Not like, basic “you’re grounded” stuff but a lot of weird random punishments. As is normal, though, I was sent to bed without dinner many times. This lead to my sneak-eating habit, until the lock on my door was turned the other way so that I’d be locked in my room all night..but it was ok because I had a stash.
In general, I’m pretty happy with me the way I am. I know that there is a good balance to how I feel and how I look, and the fact that I want to be healthier and thinner because it is something that I want is great. It’s not for anyone else, really.
I want to be thinner just to see what all the fuss is about.