You know what makes me sad? A family sat round the table, talking, eating and the mother/sister/female lead in this scenario is eating a different meal. A low-fat, low-joy plate of nothing. It’s worse when in a restaurant setting. Please excuse the over-generalisation, but women ordering and enduring a pitiful meal is something I’ve seen a couple of times lately.
They order a small plate, clear it in seconds, attempt to refuse a dessert, but because they’re still hungry, eat an entire piece of fudge cake then spend the rest of the night feeling guilty about their food choices. Women seem to be constantly dieting, fretting over everything they eat, or, the other direction, eating everything in sight with a reckless “f*ck it” attitude that never really satisfies. I lived this way for years and it’s exhausting.
I like to think I’ve found a happy medium now. Most meals, I eat nutrient-dense wholefoods in healthy amounts, and I love it. I love eating this way because it makes my body feel good on the inside. But once in a blue moon, when I’m at an Italian restaurant with friends, or round the table for Sunday lunch, I’m going to tuck into a plate of pastry or roasted potatoes or Eton Mess and I’m going to enjoy every morsel. Because to me, sharing food with loved ones is one of life’s greatest joys, and I don’t want to give that up for the sake of . . . what exactly? For a hot body? My rare fattening meal isn’t going to change that, only consistency and exercise have that power. For health reasons? Tell me what’s healthy about excluding myself from others or fearing certain foods.
That being said, I read an article recently about “earning” your balanced diet. You’ve got to be honest with yourself with what you’re actually eating and be able to notice if you rare blow out is becoming a weekly, or daily, thing. I can’t say yes to every opportunity to eat something high calorie, not if I want to maintain a weight and outlook that I like. Everything in moderation is an admirable mantra, but that includes eating your greens, your good fats, your complex carbs, fruits, veggies as well as the chocolate cake and spoonfuls of peanut butter.
We can control the food choices we make. But don’t choose healthy food over time spent laughing with loved ones. Calories are a small price to pay to share an evening with the people that mean the most. And besides, who doesn’t love pie?