Thanksgiving is OVER! OVAH! And yes, most of us, myself included, filled up on too much food and polished off leftovers for days and days afterwards. The holidays and food go hand in hand.
Then suddenly, everything you eat is big deal. This is one of the things I miss about my teenage twins being little. What five-year old cares how many pieces of cake they eat, or how much gravy they slather on stuffing? (Or dressing depending upon where you live). What 10-year-old asks how much sugar is in the ambrosia, or gives a damn that they have eaten more food in one day than they ate in a entire week?
Suddenly, the teenage years come – and girls become worried about how much food they are eating. What kind of fun sucking irony is that? Then, they have their dad on one side saying, “Just eat your damn dinner,” with a chicken bone hanging out of his teeth – and me on the other saying, “Why are you so worried about your weight honey, you look fine.” (And then, I lose my appetite because I become worried in my head that my girls are headed to an eating disorder or something)
Sadly, I remember those days. When eating a lot wasnt a cool thing to do.
Boy, my husband must have been surprised when we first lived together. For years, we would go out to eat and I would slide half my itty bitty salad his way declaring that I was full. (I wasnt.) I would cook dinner and eat a portion fit for a kid, and never, ever, put tall glasses of sweet tea to my lips. It was water or beer. And when it was beer, I spent the next few days fasting and working out and flushing all the toxins and water weight from my body.
Then I got pregnant and threw all the insecurities about gluttony out the window and felt great joy when I could sit on the couch and use my belly as a plate prop. Even today, (not pregnant thank God) I am eating food off of his plate, going back for seconds, drinking tea like Si does on Duck Dynasty (although I swear he has a little something extra in his cup of tea), and nibbling down bags of chips and cookies and anything else I can get my lips around. And I’m not fat. I just eat when I am hungry and eat whatever I want to eat. And sometimes, I even eat when I am not hungry - (TAKE THAT Dr. OZ)
Apparently however if you are a teenager, it is not cool to eat. At least not in front of people. The horror that someone they know might actually see them eating bacon covered chocolate, or walk into a Waffle House as they are about to inhale their Chicken Melt and double hash browns.
This is why my teenagers come home from school starving everyday. Because during their regular scheduled LUNCH (which I think is a synonym for eating) they only nibble like dainty bunnies on their homemade sandwiches that I slaved over at 6:30am. This is why the first thing they do when I pick them up from school is rummage through their lunchbox desperate to find the cheese puffs I packed them. This is why when we go to a movie together, we order the ridiculously expensive NEVER ENDING tub of popcorn bleeding with butter that we shove into our mouths continuously as if the world is running out of corn to pop.
But if they were there with friends, they would suddenly have an aversion to popcorn and would be worried about the calorie content of butter. (If they only knew that stuff they drip on popcorn is a far cry from butter! HA!)
Seriously: Note to men, boys and male people. GIRLS EAT! And GIRLS EAT A LOT. In fact during certain times of the month, I believe most women could take their male counterparts out in an eating contest.
Come to my house when my kids have a bunch of female friends over and you will see without a doubt that girls love to eat, and will do so in excess and without worry - when they are alone. Go to a girls night out, and you will see that women know how to eat.
I still think the whole thing is ridiculous.
Why is it that eating food is considered unladylike? Why is it that eating is not cool. Why is it that young girls (and even older ones) are worried that a hearty appetite will make them seem anything but desirable. And more importantly, where are young girls getting this message.
Listen, my kids see my ass eat! And eat well. I have never food shamed them, or told them they couldn’t have seconds. I have never made an issue out of their weight, because they don’t have a weight problem. Is this some sort of leftover form of false femininity that says eating heartily is unattractive? Is it because of Barbie? I mean, she doesn’t eat because she is plastic, but still? What gives?
I have a confession to make. I am woman! I have daughters. We all have vaginas. AND WE EAT LIKE FRIGGING PIGS!!!!!!! What of it? I’m eating right now, as I type this.
Eating is a natural part of life. It is a sustaining part of life. No one should feel embarrassed to eat in front of others. Now pass the cake, or whatever it is you got!