Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eat the damn cake

Were you ever part of a group of women standing around a food spread? A pot luck, buffet, shower, whatever? And did you stand there eyeing everything up and wondering how many trips you could make because you didn't want to mix too many foods on one plate? Did you have your heart set on a slice of chocolate cake or some cannoli or perhaps the strawberry shortcake? Did you dive in and enjoy every last morsel?

And did you find yourself in the minority?

Women like compliments. They like to hear that they're pretty, they're skinny, they have a great sense of style. And yes, I am a woman and I like compliments, too, but skinny, no, that's not forthcoming anytime soon. My luck is pretty pretty hair. :-) Get a group of women around food and it becomes something far too bizarre for comprehension. Most look at it all and say "No, I can't, I'll just have some carrots" when you know damn well they've got a packet of Oreos in the bottom desk drawer to gnaw on later when they think nobody is looking. (Anyone who's ever worked in an office knows you can smell Oreos a mile away.) They often say these things loud enough so someone standing nearby will say "Oh, go on, have some cole slaw. You're not fat, you can burn it off later." Said woman will preen and think perky thoughts and maybe--just maybe--indulge in a bit of the sinful. Mission accomplished: Someone noticed her and said something nice.

Ladies, eat the damn cake. Eat the pizza. Slop down a massive pulled pork sandwich and side of slaw because you want to. Wash it down with a Mr. Pibb. Food is not the enemy. That cake--it won't give you The Cancer. It won't Go to Your Hips. That plate of tired veggies? You know, the one with the fat-free, sugar-free, however, not chemical-free dip? That, my friends, *is* the enemy. Those artificial colors and flavors and preservatives? Do you even know what the hell you're eating?

No, you don't. But think carefully. Are you sluggish? Tired? Skin not looking so good? Do you hoard Lean Cuisines when Acme has a buy-one-get-one sale? Do you have boxes of 100-calorie snack treats in every room of the house--just in case? Do you wonder why I'm so damn happy--even though my size 12s are getting a bit snug?

I eat food. Real food. I make sweets from butter, sugar, chocolate, cream...all from scratch and full of yum. Homemade soup on the stove every Sunday morning for lunches during the week. Bins in the fridge full of apples and lemons and limes and herbs and vegetables. Ice cream? Sure, in the freezer. Next to the fresh hot dogs I picked up from the farm. Got meatballs rolling around in there, too. And chicken and Illuminati pizzas. I have an entire drawer in my fridge dedicated to cheese. I love cheese.

This does not mean I can eat all of this with reckless abandon. I practice some restraint and I do try to exercise so neither I nor my heart explodes. I know when I've had too much at breakfast and eat accordingly the rest of the day. But I eat the cake. And the meatballs, with a side of pasta and some freshly grated cheese. I have a wedge of manchego with a pear and some crackers for lunch. I drink wine and beer. And I enjoy it all. I feel happy. My skin benefits greatly from the olive oil I use in mass quantities and my hair is shiny. My joints work. Do I need to lose weight? Sure, I'm 41, I've got a long life ahead of me and two kids I want to torture well into their golden years. But I'm miserable after I eat prepackaged, processed crap. Too much salt, chemicals, the works, it's just not food anymore. It's barely sustenance and, to me, that's a life that's devoid of pleasure.

Ladies, eat the damn cake. And shut the hell up.

1 comment:

Jenn Who Will Eat Cake and Walk 6 Miles Afterward said...