Sunday, March 21, 2010

The line must be drawn here.

Yeah, I'm getting all Captain Picard/"First Contact" on your ass because I am officially DONE, DONE, DONE with the food policing and the dubbing of foods as "sinful" or "decadent" or "bad" or "good" and people turning their lives over to what the hell they place into the mouths.

It's Sunday and on a Sunday I like to lounge and channel surf. More often than not, I land on Food Network because I like food and I love to cook. They have a show called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate", featuring assorted FN hosts as well as people that are connected to food somehow - though I find it questionable why you'd have someone like Lisa Lillien, the Hungry Girl person on since she's built a career off being constantly focused on food and how "good" or "bad" it is and what you should and should never eat. In my fat, humble opinion, there's no place for anyone who sees food as the enemy, as an adversary, in anything to do with the enjoyment and consuming of food. But hey, she's thin and I'm decidedly not, so clearly SHE'S THE BIG BIG WINNER, AMIRITE???!

But I digress, kinda. The episode I watched was all about - bing bong - Guilty Pleasures.


Twenty-two minutes of *gasp* people eating things that have been deep-fried or involve cream or cheese or cream AND cheese and...the worst worst WORST thing of all...strap in and grab your socks and pull because it's about to get so fucking tragically real it's going to blow your hair back:


The only person who managed to not apologize once for his love of clam chowder from a place called Cabby Shack was Beau MacMillan. He was rapturous in his love of the chowder - and let me tell you, it looked fantastic if you're someone who loves a quality clam chowder. He said right out of the box that he wasn't going to apologize for eating or cooking with foods like heavy cream, cheese, or basically anything else that falls on "the naughty list". Everyone else - Michael Symon, Sunny Anderson, Michael Psilakis, Donatella Arpaia, Claire Robinson, and even my beloved Duff Goldman pretty much fell over themselves to talk about how TERRIBLE and AWFUL and LETHAL their particular "guilty" pleasures were. My head was already primed to cave in AND bust right on out again when Lisa Lillien appeared - I didn't know who she was until the big-ass HUNGRY GIRL caption popped up and I almost fell right the fuck out of my bed. This is someone who, on her website's front page, doles out "advice" on eating, trots out a disclaimer about how she's not a medical professional or a nutritionist, and caps her elaborate dance with:

But it's entertaining, helpful and enjoy it!

No, I don't think I will, but thanks for asking anyway! In fact, one of my dreamiest, fattiest, most corpulent dreams is to help people not to torment themselves about what they eat - it's that we'd live in a universe where people are allowed to believe and TRUST THEMSELVES ENOUGH to EAT FOOD. STUFF YOU LIKE. AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. You are capable of so much more than you think you are, which terrrrrifies the weight loss industry. You aren't a grown-up who takes care of your business but the second a “forbidden” or a “decadent” or a “sinful” food is anywhere within your view you morph into a gibbering toddler whose hand must be slapped and be told "NO BAD WRONG NAUGHTY".

Trust yourself. You can eat. You will not eat any innocent bystanders who happen to be close when the melty goat cheese in tomato basil sauce appears (spread appropriately on crusty bread instead). How much more energy do you want to spend berating yourself and policing yourself at every single party, at every single breakfast/lunch/dinner? How much longer are you going to put up with it?


kuligirl said...

I can't stand those people! Food is food is food. I used to be able to eat as much as I wanted, with out caring about anything!! Alas, I am now on new meds, which have changed how much I can eat, even if I'm still wanting more. :( (Note: meds not related to weight loss). So I still eat the KINDS of foods I want, even if the portions are smaller.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading this today:

"What do you eat when no-one's looking?"

There is some intense shame about eating stuff like peanut butter out of the jar, sugar cookies, and whole wheat bread in ketchup? Really tame things to be worried about people seeing you eat, heh.

I think most people who have this shame are not to blame so much though. I think women are trained to be ashamed of eating anything bad. I have a long history of being embarrassed of people seeing me eat, shop for food, sit in a restaurant, etc. It's dumb articles like that one from iVillage I blame

Anonymous said...

It is as if you read my mind. I made this very complaint on Fat and Sassy's blog just last week!

Once again I agree good food vs evil food is not what I want to hear about on the Food Network.

Bronxgirl1 Says:
March 14, 2010 at 12:21 am
I agree with you. Food channels should just be about the food. However this negative message about fat people and good food versus bad food seems to be eveywhere.

I was watching Best Thing I Ever Ate on food network the other day, and in each segment the person went on about how tasty but bad the food was or how unhealthy and tasty it was. I kept thinking to myself what does it mean when on the food channel of all places they are trying to talk you out of eating food. It is disgraceful.

living400lbs said...

...and, of course, the more guilt they encourage about eating sugar/chocolate/cream/cheese/whatever, the more they're going to crave it.


Anonymous said...

In puritanical America, thinness is a virtue and people have become afraid of real food. To become fat is a moral lapse which is shameful. People want good food, they enjoy it and they will eat it, but they have a fear of it.

Go to any potluck and take something terrific like Julia Child's Alsatian Tart (I make mine on layers of filo) and set it out. For those of you who don't cook, this is a terrific appetizer of carmelized onions, cream cheese and bacon.

Now watch the people who bring the low fat, tasteless store-bought Cucumber dip. Ultimately, it will be the people who deprive themselves of food who will end up eating the entire plate.

Food deprivation is considered a badge of honor in our society. And if you are fat, you are supposed to be a "good fatty" and at least be trying to lose weight.

It is seriously messed up.

Zaftig Zeitgeist said...

"I think women are trained to be ashamed of eating anything bad."

I had a thought about how dieting has replaced virginity as the latest way to control women, and wrote a blog post about it -

meerkat said...

Never disagree with Captain Picard!

the fat nutritionist said...

So much of this post made me lol, but especially this:

You will not eat any innocent bystanders

I am totally and unabashedly ripping this off from you sometime in the near future.

And, of course, thank you for the link. It has also been one of my dearest wishes for many years to help people make friends with food. So sad that it's so needed, but it's also so wonderful to do that kind of work.

Heather.Campbell said...

I understand completely where you're coming from. I've struggled with being "chubby", "overweight", and- gasp!- "obese" since I was nine years old. That's twelve years for this 21-year-old, twelve years of being told that I was wrong for the way that I am. Recently, in an attempt to live healthier, I saw a doctor and he told me something that I had never been told before- it is not my fault. I am not bad, and I am worth eating good food. I about fell in love with him. He also said that he hated the word obese and completely removed it from my medical record. I'm only about 5lbs into the "obese" range for my height, and he seemed livid that someone would say such things to me.

I say that women need to embrace curves, embrace food, and enjoy their lives! Of course, one should be aware of health concerns and avoid hurting themselves, but beyond that, why shouldn't we chow down?