I want to share this awesome article I read at Rookiemag.com called Eating: A Manifesto that author and blogger Clare Mysko shared on Facebook today, which could be best summed up by this paragraph in the piece:
“Could we stop feeling ‘guilty’ for wanting an effing brownie? Or a plate of fries? Could we stop actively seeking permission from our friends to go ahead and ‘be bad’ and order the cheesecake? Could we all just go ahead and order whatever it is that we feel like eating, instead of saying, ‘Oh, I feel like a pig, you guys are just getting salads’?”
We all know “that girl” … hell, six years ago I WAS that girl. It makes me sad to think it’s true, but I’ve uttered all those words/had all those thoughts (and verbalized them — ick) … and then some.
Of course, at the time I didn’t think anything of it. But now, on the outside looking in, I realize just how annoying I was to go out to eat with. No one wants to hear a thin/skinny girl explain (read as: justify) why she’s eating a salad, why she isn’t having dessert, how many calories she burned at the gym or needs to burn to “make up for” indulging (all things I have definitely said in the past). It’s trigger-talk for some, makes others uncomfortable, and is pretty much not fun for anyone else to hear.
What’s funny is now that I’m not skinny — or even thin — I don’t make apologies for my choices and I try not to draw attention to what I order (though I usually do because I still tend to order things how I want them … some things never change). Now, if I want the brownie, I eat it. Just not all of it–at least, not at once 😉 And I don’t usually discuss it.
I truly wish all women could adopt this way of thinking … not to eat ourselves to oblivion or to eat unhealthily all the time but rather to just eat, and enjoy a meal/dessert/drink (what have you) without guilt. Some think it’s being disciplined to eat well … and for some, it IS about discipline and feeling good — I totally get that, I do! When I eat clean, I feel clean.
But it can be taken to the extremes and orthorexia is very, very real and prevalent — especially in the running/healthy living/competitive sports communities. (Am I alone in thinking this way? I see it traces of it there all the time, even on blogs I read and love).
And group-think/justification seems to go hand-in-hand with women. Be honest … Have you ever changed your order based on what others were ordering (either choosing the healthier or less healthy option)? Pretend you see my hand raised; I definitely have done that … It’s sort of like tacit peer pressure, and women do this to themselves … for better or for worse.
I’ll close with this ending of Krista’s post because I think it’s freaking awesome … and because I know with absolute certainty I couldn’t have understood this three years ago.
Kirsta says: “It makes me insane. I want this to end. I want women to allow themselves to want food. I want women to be hungry and ask for what they want to eat without apologizing. I want women to stop looking for permission from others before they eat something that is not a carrot or spinach. I want my friends to get the chili fries if they want the chili fries, and not say something like, “It all goes straight to my ____” (hips, thighs, butt, etc.). I want to see a girl sink her teeth into a huge cheeseburger and fries and not cut the burger in half to save some for later. I want my mother to allow herself more than one small square of dark chocolate per day. I want women to take pleasure in food, without punishing ourselves for wanting it. Hear me, womenfolk: I want all of us, everywhere, to stop apologizing, stop rationalizing our behavior, and just eat the damn brownie already.”
How about you? Did you relate to this article? Why do you think it’s so hard for women to just eat and enjoy?
5 thoughts on “Eat the Damn Brownie”
I so agree!
Yes. This. I cannot stand when a friend posts on FB or Twitter something like, “Ugh, was so bad for lunch today, ate X” (fill in perceived evil food). And when I’ve said something about it, they usually have an explanation, “Oh, I know X isn’t bad on its own, but it’s just that I also had X today” or “I didn’t go to the gym at all this week” or “I know I’m going to have cake at a party this weekend.” I don’t care WHAT the excuse is. Just eat what you want to eat and if you know you’re going to feel bad about it afterwards, don’t eat it or adjust your attitude or keep it to yourself. (I swear, the concept of “keep it to yourself” has all but completely disappeared with social media.)
One thing I’ll add – you wrote that no one wants to hear a thin girl/woman explain herself. I would say no one wants to hear a heavy one, either. I don’t think size matters – just stop justifying your food to everyone else and deal with yourself.
Candice, that’s a really good point–no one wants to hear ANYONE discuss their food choices, thin, heavy, in between. It’s food! If you want to discuss buying a *car* … OK. That’s a legit, big decision. But what you’re going to eat/avoid at dinner? No thanks. You’re right, the whole keep-it-to-yourself notion has disappeared with social media. I am SO glad I did my overexercising and obsessive/restrictive crap before it became part of our lives because I know I would have been “that” girl … begging for praise (“I worked out TWICE today … bye bye fat, hello skinny jeans” – I know I would have been obnoxious like that and it makes me embarassed to think it, but I know it’s true. I would have made a status about a brownie; a tweet about the decadent dinner I DIDN’T have while I ate salad instead or mileage I did on the elliptical/treadmill). While this can be motivating for some, it really is triggering for others and annoying for many. Thanks for sharing.
I’m “that” girl. I don’t talk about it but I know everyone notices and it’s as hard for me to be so aware of what I’m eating as knowing that everyone around me is too. And, I DON’T want to talk about it. Trust me. But, I see it and I’d honestly rather never eat out to avoid the looks that I know I’m getting. I have small occurrences every now and again where I’ll eat “bad” but it’s very rare. Love the excerpts from the article, though. I hope to get there someday. 🙂
Oh Stac, you’ll get there … you will. Even recognizing it’s something you are working on is huge. I know how hard it can be to NOT discuss when your brain is going a mile a minute thinking it … but what’s interesting is I learned along the way that most people honestly don’t care what anyone else orders — they’re concerned with what’s in front of them. But there are some [particularly women] who really DO pay attention (I was one of them, for sure — I saw what others ate and either wanted to emulate or be “better” — I shudder at the thought now; it sounds sooooo self-righteous. I wasn’t eating clean for a marathon or even to feel better; I was doing it to show how disciplined I was … sad). And talking about it it draws attention which likely otherwise would have gone unnoticed. I don’t think anyone ever needs to “bad” — it’s more the idea of, IF someone is going to “indulge” … just do it. Anyway, I have faith you’ll get there. XOXO