Friday, 15 January 2010

Guilty Eating

I often find that the biggest problem with being fat is that I feel guilty for enjoying my food. I mean, I really love food. I love cooking with it and experimenting with new recipes. I love trying those new recipes. I love lots of different flavours and yes, I like some foods that are bad for me. I think that bacon sandwiches should be the eighth wonder of the world and yet, because I am fat I feel guilty for that.

It’s especially bad when other people are watching you either enjoying your food or eating something that’s a little bit naughty. The other day, for example, I came out of a three hour exam and I was hungry, having not eaten for nearly five hours. I passed a vending machine on the way out and decided to treat myself to a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar for lunch (carefully noting the number of calories for later). I ate them as I walked home (and enjoyed them very much thank you) but I could feel the judgement of the people I passed. I could feel their eyes on me saying “there’s a stereotypical fat girl stuffing her face with chocolate, she should do something about it.”

I honestly don’t know if their eyes were saying that, I didn’t dare look up from the pavement. But it is a terrible thing to live in a world where you feel you’re judged fro eating what you want just because you’re fat. It’s horrible that I feel I can’t enjoy any food, but especially not chocolate and crisps, in a public place for fear that people are judging me. I know what they’re thinking; it’s my love of food that’s the reason I’ this size at all. And while that is part of the problem, it’s not the whole story, and since they don’t know me they don’t know the whole story.

For all they know I could have spent all week carefully controlling my calories and exercising and that chocolate bar was my one treat for the whole week. They don’t know, but they still judge. They didn’t know that my breakfast that day was very healthy porridge, nor that I was soothing stressed nerves. They didn’t know, yet I would be prepared to bet money that at least one of them was judging me for it.

I wouldn’t dream of judging (or prejudging) a black person, nor a gay person. Why is it that we live in a world where it’s okay to judge fat people for things they do? You wouldn’t walk up to a black person and say “did you know you’re black, I think you should do something so that you can stop being black”. Why is it that thin people can do that to fat people? Why is it that thin people can judge them from afar?

As long as I am happy with the way I am what business is it of a stranger how fat I am? And to be honest, even if I’m not happy with the way I am, it’s still none of their business. And if I happen to be enjoying a chocolate bar that’s my business and none of theirs either. To any non-fat people who might be reading this; please don’t judge us fat people for enjoying our food. Overeating is only half the reason why most of us are fat, and thin people telling us we can’t have tasty food only makes us want it more.

So, I’m going to make myself a cup of tea, and enjoy a biscuit with it, because I’ve been good today. One biscuit isn’t going to make me any fatter, and not eating it won’t magically thin. So I’m going to enjoy my biscuit, guilt free.

1 comment :

  1. I agree with you. I've struggled with weight for years. It's a challenge to maintain, and keep the pounds off. People do judge, and it sucks. To walk down the street and think "dude everyone is looking at me... I can't even drink a frigging soda once a week!"
    You aren't alone. Keep up this blog. This is a good way to stay motivated.
    What works for me is, I think of it as giving a one fingered salute. It sucks so bad that they are judging you. They shouldn't. But, you know what really is great? If you do this, and stick with it you will have challenged yourself, and met it. You can walk down the street with confidence now because you know what, you are on your way. Who cares if it takes two weeks or 6 months or even a year to lose the weight? It's going to take time, but thats okay. You'll make it. The point is you are DOING something. Those people who are judging you got nothing.
    One candy bar is okay. And this is one person who is supporting you, and recognizes that hey, it's HARD to change. Stick with it, and keep the faith.
    Keep up the work and I will be reading to see your progress.