When I was fat, I felt truly embarrassed to eat in front of other people, sure they were judging my portions. And plenty of people made comment on what I ate, “do you really need all that?”, “why don’t you try eating less?” Blah,blah, blah. Family and friends tsked, tsked when I ate bread or French fries or, God forbid, ordered dessert.
Then when I started starving myself to lose weight, people cheered. “Good for you”, they’d say, once I’d ordered the salad (dressing on the side) and steamed veggies. Praise bathed me – my diet-y food choices and, of course, my weight loss.
But – when I got thin, things changed. Suddenly, everyone wanted me to eat with gusto. But – being thin was such hard work. For me to be thin, I had to starve. Weight always clung to me. I have a slow metabolism, I don’t exercise, I’m not naturally thin.
Yet, suddenly, now slim, I was considered rude if I didn’t eat. If I went to someone’s house and ate lightly, I was a bad or picky guest. If I asked for a salad with dressing on the side and steamed veggies, I was weird. I began to DREAD dinner parties.
(I will say that now that I don’t care as much about my weight, eating out and about is easier. But does that mean that soon I’ll be hearing, “are you sure you should be eating that?” again? There really is no winning!)
We live in a strange world of foodies and food channels and restaurants and cookbooks galore – and yet we’re supposed to be rail thin.
When I lived in Manhattan it felt like a personal war on me. Every storefront was either a restaurant, a liquor store, a bar, a supermarket or a bakery. Wherever I walked, food stared me down. Once, I had a panic attack as I walked through the cookbook section of Barnes & Noble – so overwhelming.
I recently read while filming (and thus eating all day), Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef, drinks some gross drink that includes Metamucil four times a day! yuck!!! And when filming ends she goes on a lengthy detox that prohibits flour, sugar, alcohol, etc. And she exercise constantly.
Eat and be thin. Really difficult. (I’d also like to say that I doubt that her male co-host, Tom Colicchio, drinks stool softener all day or goes on a deprivation diet after filming!)
Such a mixed message. I’m confused even writing this post.