Recently I’ve had some conversations with female friends about body image and dieting. The common theme seems to be that “diet” really IS a bad word and that societal expectations of women’s bodies are still way off the mark in terms of reality and health.
I really like this post from Margaret Cho (who I happen to really did, anyway. If anyone can introduce me to her, please do.) I especially like the idea of throwing away food – if you only want a bite, just have a bite. There is so much guilt attached to food and eating, and in so many ways: First for wanting to eat, then for the actual eating; if you don’t clean your plate, guilt! If you do clean your plate, guilt!
Here is Margaret’s post about the “Fuck It’ diet, from http://www.margaretcho.com/blog/2003/11/06/the-fuck-it-diet/
I have lost some weight which has set off a strange wave of paranoia among people that I have either had my stomach stapled or shut off with a rubber band, or am on some freaky raw food diet or whatever.
What happened was that I was fucking sick and tired of dieting and working out. I fucking was sick and tired of buying clothes that were too small for me so I could ‘thin into them.’ I was fucking sick and tired of eating 5 to 7 small meals a day. I was sick and tired of no carbs. I was fucking sick and tired of thinking about food and not thinking about food. I was fucking sick and tired of my trainer and any type of exercise. I went to a nutritionist and I lost a lot - of money. I never left his office without dropping at least a grand on bullshit. Shakes, pills, supplements, food substitutes, exercise programs. I said “FUCKING FUCK THIS FUCK IT FUCK IT SERIOUSLY FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK FUCK FUCK IT!!!!”
I stopped going to Fred Segal and getting the one thing in the whole store that fit me. I started buying clothes that fucking fit me, like now. I put away all notions of what diets meant to me, what I was supposed to eat and not supposed to eat. I altogether lost the thought process that carried me through my life - my dieting and exercise regimen - and started thinking about the people I loved, hated, tolerated, laughed at, laughed with. There was a lot of time to read. I wanted to watch old movies. I ate a lot of shitty food. I gained some weight and it was scary. But it didn’t really make a difference. Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it. I stopped exercising, and started writing. I played with my dogs. I looked at shit on Ebay. I started to eat what I wanted - and kept doing it. Not a food vacation - not a respite between diets. I just was going to eat eat eat eat eat eat and fucking eat some more.
Then, I kind of started to get weirdly thinner. I get it now. Because I don’t care about food, it is there when I want it, I don’t crave it and want it and think about it. Since I can have everything, nothing is that important. I don’t need to eat a whole cake because I can eat a whole cake every day every meal if I want and I don’t care. I don’t prepare to eat because I might be hungry later and ‘they’ won’t have what I have to eat. When I am hungry, I eat. You know, that is what the weird diet is.
Here is what I usually eat every day. In the morning I have a bowl of cereal with two kinds mixed, granola and LIFE. If I am in a hotel, I have granola and yogurt, croissants, one chocolate and one regular and then a big cranberry juice. I drink a lot of water, and a lot of lemonade, regular COKE - no diet anything ever. After that, I usually eat a peanut butter cup or something like that. Then I get to work, which is writing usually, recording sometimes, interviews, etc.. I get hungry later around early afternoon, and so I eat what I think is a good thing at the moment, which could be mac and cheese, or pizza. I eat as much as I want, but it is usually too rich to eat all of it and since I am not dieting and I don’t need to cram the forbidden food in before the diet starts up again, I eat as much as I feel good eating and leave the rest. I leave a lot on the plate because I need not clean my plate. Why? I don’t have to. And the value of not having to finish all my food, probably has been the biggest contributor to my healing around food. I used to feel like I needed to eat all of it, all and then some, but actually, it doesn’t feel good to do that. It doesn’t taste good. I can have more when I am hungry again. I eat dinner late, usually with friends. I like appetizers. I will order 3-4 types, so I can have a variety of edible treats, instead of an entrée. If I order entrees, it would be more than one, because I deserve to eat what I like. I never eat leftovers. I never take anything home. I never eat anything that doesn’t taste heavenly. I never eat when I am not hungry. I never let myself get too hungry. I never deny myself a fucking thing because I have denied myself enough for 1000 lifetimes and there is no more denial for me in the way that I live. I deserve all the mozzarella sticks, all the fucking chocolate, all the fucking pizza, all the chicken a’la king, and I deserve to leave what I don’t finish on the plate.
So there you go. Big secret diet. Love. Love and the audacity to actually waste food.