It filled me with an unexpected RAGE. Not at the person who posted it (the pasta looked amazing!), but at our collective GUILT, whether implied or real.
Ladies, why do we feel like we need to justify eating? I don't think the average man feels guilty for eating a bowl of pasta; he just eats his pasta and maybe gets seconds if he's still hungry. But I've noticed that women, in general, feel like we need to make excuses for the things we consume — tee hee, a few bites of cake! we're so bad! — and that makes me SO angry.
I was at lunch recently with some lady friends. I decided I was going to have a personal-size mushroom and spinach pizza. The last time I was at this restaurant I ordered it, and it was delicious: ricotta cheese, glazed brussels sprouts, mushrooms and wilted spinach with mozzarella on top. YUM. As I set down my menu, the ladies I was lunching with had a conversation about whether or not to be "bad" and order the veggie sandwich instead of a salad.
The conversation did not make sense to me at all. On what planet is a sandwich loaded with eggplant and zucchini bad for you? Do we really need to justify consuming things that are not salad?
I am ashamed that I did; I had just come from tap class, and I used it as an excuse for eating what I wanted. I would have ordered the pizza either way, because that's what I wanted, but I hate that I pretended to feel guilt — the guilt that makes other women feel bad about themselves too — to fit in, and I won't do it again.
I refuse to apologize for my vegetarian pizza. I ate every last bite. And I suppose it's possible that someone judged me for it, and that is sick.
I am not a nutritionist, nor a health expert. But I am a believer in being good to your body. I am NOT a believer in deprivation.
When I was a kid, I saw an ad in a teen magazine, and it has stuck with me all these years. It was a black and white photo of a young Melissa Joan Hart eating a drippy ice cream cone. The copy read:
"Eat what you want, when you are truly hungry. Stop when you get full. And eat exactly what appeals to you. Do this instead of any diet, and you are unlikely to ever develop a weight problem, much less an eating disorder."
I wish I could find the ad, because it represented something really powerful that has stayed with me. I won't apologize for eating exactly what I want.
I won't apologize for eating. Or consuming. Or existing.
I do not need to justify eating a veggie sandwich. I will not feel bad for eating a bowl of pasta. I will not feel "better" about myself for choosing salad when salad is what I want. And I will not judge anyone for ordering something besides lettuce.
Eat what you want. No apologies.