Friday, September 16, 2011

For the Love of Food

"I just love food too much to ever be skinny"

That statement. I've seen it a hundred, a thousand times before. The good news is that it often comes from those who have decided to accept their bodies and end semi starvation diets. The problem I have with this statement, however, is that it alludes to the fact that people who weigh more, eat more. People don't seem to realize that thin people often enjoy food as well. In fact that's sort of a basic part of human survival. Food tastes good so you seek it out. If we didn't really enjoy food, as a species, we probably would have died out by now. It's okay to love food and it's not just something fat people do.

I got into a small debate on reddit many many months back, in which a girl was lamenting about her sweet tooth preventing her from losing weight. I pointed out that skinny people eat sweets too. Of course, you know, one person's experience means everyone has to have that experience too! So I got replies of skinny people who swear they've never touched a sweet! I get that, I do. I know plenty of people who enjoy salty foods more than sweet foods. My husband will reach for a bag of pretzels or chips over a cookie any day. But then I had some wonderful skinny people jump in and say "so what if you don't? I eat sweets every day! Multiple times a day! I love sweets and I'm a size 4!". My point; it was made.

I get the impression that some fat people that they just love food more than thin people and therein lies their problem. I get the same impression from thin people sometimes. I've been told by friends who thought they were supporting me and other fat people that they "never eat at a restaurant with a skinny chef", the assumption being that the food must not be as good so the cook doesn't shovel it into their mouths like a fat chef with good food must. Don't get me wrong, that's not the only food assumption about fat people; plenty of people think that fat people will eat anything regardless of whether or not it tastes good.

In reality, however, the act of restricting leads many dieting fatties to fantasize about and crave food. When you have a craving that food tastes better and you enjoy it more when you eat it. If I eat a cookie when I don't really want one, it tastes good but not OMGFANTASTIC like it does if I'm specifically craving it. This is what I like most about listening to what my body wants rather than what I decide it should want, by the way. Food is much more enjoyable.

So the bottom line: fat people love food. Thin people love food. People love food. That's not what's making you five, 20, or 100 lbs heavier than you'd like to be. Enjoy your food, it's okay, really! But don't use it to add stigma or reinforce stereotypes about why fat people are fat.

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