Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Food Shaming and the Middle Age Spread

No, that doesn't mean we give hummus a stern talking to about its nutritional make up.

It is those (almost always) unwanted pounds that seem to creep on after 40 and make themselves at home, like a mooch who doesn't know when their stay has expired.

Mine started creeping on a couple years prior to my decade shift. A couple pounds here, a couple there. A few of those pounds I could attribute to change in muscle mass, thanks becoming a Massage Therapist. But the rest of those pounds? Let's just say they tagged along for the ride, slowly picking up friends as they went.

Today, Best Guy and I met for lunch. We went to a local coop that has a great hot-bar and pre-made section. He hit up the hot food bar and I made my way to the sandwiches. This place makes a great sandwich and they had one of my favorites available. It was a little on the large side and probably made to share, but I wanted it.

We were sitting down to lunch, his reasonable portion and my giant sandwich. A little more than half-way through I looked at him and said "I think I'm going to eat this whole thing." and then on the heels of that: "... and this is why none of my pants fit." BG very wisely said nothing. He has a strong sense of self-preservation and it has served him well.

It was shortly thereafter that I realized two things. One, back when I gained loads of weight post-college, it was because I was eating extravagant portion sizes (for every meal, plus snacks) and then saying things like that while in the same time in complete denial that one had anything to do with the other.

The second thing that I realized is that making myself feel ashamed for my choices does absolutely nothing except make me feel bad about myself, which drives me straight to food for comfort. Which turns into the Shame Spiral of Evil.

If I want to eat a huge sandwich, so fucking what? If I want to eat that bag of Doritos, who the hell cares? If I want a ginormous salad for dinner, what of it?

Living the Western world, I am graced with an exceeding amount of plentiful. Stuffing my face and then shaming myself for it indicates that I am ungrateful for all I have and gives the finger to all those who would literally kill for the quarter of that sandwich I was too full to eat.

Maybe I am carrying extra poundage I would prefer to shed. In other places in this world, I would be considered healthy and of Great Means. Perhaps the only thing I would be shamed for is not sharing my great wealth.

I have the ability to change my eating habits if I want to. I have the luxury of keeping them as is if I choose. I have choice, I have means, and the only shame there is would be my continued inability to be grateful for all that I am blessed with.

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