JUNK FOOD BONDAGE

Can you be healthy and well-liked? Or, will people always roll their eyes at you behind your back when you decline dessert? Avoid the platter of cheese? Say no to the third glass of wine?

In the last four days I’ve decided to “get healthy” again. Since becoming pregnant I’ve fallen off the healthy wagon and its time to jump back on (I hope the jump doesn’t hurt where I had my C section – yep, it still hurts 7 months later : ( )

My father was just diagnosed with very serious Type 2 Diabetes. My uncle has it as well. As a result, I have a 1 in 3 chance of getting it myself. Time to eat better. And not just because I want to look better (although I won’t deny that’s a major motivator,) more than anything I just don’t want diabetes!

Today, at my friend Lee’s house we were having coffee and I turned down the chocolate chip muffins. I was that girl, the one avoiding sugary fattening goodness while the other girls dug in. I was the girl who, by not partaking in the treats, made the girls who did partake feel fat. I’m being glib but you know what I mean. And I haven’t said no to sugar in a long time. For the past two years I was the girl judging the girl that says no to treats. Just eat the damn cookie bitch!

Lets face it, eating sugary foods and salty foods (bad foods) with your girlfriends is a form bonding. If your friends eat badly it lessens your own guilt about eating badly. And a lot of us girls also bond by being self-deprecating. “I hate my ass.” “I hate my thighs.” “I ate a row of Oreo cookies last night!” “You think that’s bad, I ate the whole bag!” Ah ha ha! Ah ha ha! Ah ha sob! I would argue, its so implicit in ‘Girl World’ to bond over junk food that girls even lie about eating junk when they haven’t just to fit in.

I have a friend who eats ‘perfectly.’ Like, we went on a road trip in college, partied all weekend long, stopped for french fries on the drive back to school to cure our hangovers (as you do) and from out of nowhere she presented a tiny tupperware container full of low-fat cottage cheese with exactly seven almonds in it. WTF! Instantly, we all felt inferior. And its because of her willpower (cottage cheese for a hangover??) that she has the most amazing body you’ve ever seen. Good for her. But on some level we all secretly hate that she can’t just ever have a ‘chubby phase’ like the rest of us. And that’s not right is it?

When I was heavy into auditioning I felt I needed to be skinny (I don’t need to explain why do I?) As a result, I became very strict about what I ate: No sugar, no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no beer, almost no wine, no butter, low fat cheese… You get the idea. And I swear to God, I lost friends. The skinnier I got, the more strict I was about my diet, the more certain girls weren’t nice to me. Maybe they thought my efforts to be thin were anti-feminist, anti-woman and weak… Maybe I wasn’t as fun to be around because I couldn’t bond over junk food? Or, maybe, by not eating junk I made them feel badly for eating it…?

I really hope I don’t loose friends this time around. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, I’ve only been eating better for four days : )

What do you think? Do you ever secretly judge the girl that continually makes healthy choices? Are you that healthy girl? Guys, what’s it like for you? Do you have junk food bonding sessions with your friends? Have you ever eaten something you didn’t want to just to fit in?

Please share your opinions/thoughts with me! x

 

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One thought on “JUNK FOOD BONDAGE

  1. Hi Sally,

    I don’t know what it’s like in ‘Girl World,’ but for me, I was a junk food junkie for most of my life, wanting to have a candy bar or a Pop-Tart or a couple Ding Dongs after every lunch, and at least 2.5 scoops of ice cream after every dinner.

    I especially starting having more junk food once I began living on my own (14 years ago), and between 2000 and 2010, my weight steadily crept up until it got to 191 pounds, a terrible weight for someone who a) is only 5’7″ tall and b) whose father also had Type II diabetes, which puts me at risk for Type II as well.

    It wasn’t until a friend of mine took a picture of me at a barbecue, and posted it, that I noticed how badly I had let myself go. It looked like someone had PhotoShopped (there’s that word again) my head on to Chris Farley’s body. It shocked me into doing a few things:

    1. I cut way back on buying junk food of all kinds (cookies, chips, crackers, snack cakes, Pop Tarts, candy bars, even my beloved ice cream)–the simple reason being that, if you consume more carbs and fats than you can burn, and if you bought the sources of those carbs and fats, then in the end, you would have turned money into fat.
    2. I switched from regular sodas to diet sodas (note: I don’t know what you drink, but between 1982 and 2010, 99.9% of the soda I drank was the regular high fructose corn syrup-sweetened stuff)
    3. Every time I saw a junk food item in a supermarket sale ad, I’d log it in a spreadsheet as something I _would have bought_ under my old ways, along with how much the item would have cost, to get some idea of how much money I would save by not buying junk food. I estimate that I was spending at least $8 a month on junk food when I was at my worst.
    4. Stop eating lunches and dinners that are high in carbs and/or fats and low in protein. By that, I mean ramen noodles for lunch and macaroni & cheese for dinner. Sadly, these are staples for most cash-strapped students at American colleges and universities (sorry, I don’t know if it’s like that at all in Canada). Being a frugal person, I continued to have foods like that even after I graduated and moved on to “the real world” (ramen was a Saturday afternoon tradition for me until two years ago).

    Long story short, I lost weight–I’m down to 175 lb. today, and could stand to lose more once I do more exercise (the one thing I didn’t do on the list above because I was too heavy to do much exercise at all) and watch the carbs I consume (I still find it hard to eat meat without potatoes, rice, or pasta; and I love certain kinds of pizza as well).

    From one child of a Type II diabetic father to another, let me borrow a line from that much-loved Canadian* show, The Red Green Show: I’m pulling for you; we’re all in this together.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Rabinowitz

    *P.S. I’m not Canadian, but live in the Detroit area, close to the Canadian border, so we get a lot of CBC and other Canadian-produced TV and radio here. 🙂

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