Friday, April 1, 2011

What You Eat in Private, You Wear in Public

Wow. Now that's a good quote. I saw it on one of the WW boards and I love it. Well, I hate it too, but only because it is a cold, hard truth...

I remember a day back in my high school Spanish class (around 1996-ish)...

We were watching yet another slide show from our teacher's travels to Spain or somewhere (I was 16 years old, I did not care.) and I was snacking.

Mom had been to the Great Harvest Bread Company in Greensboro the weekend before. She purchased these HUGE chocolate-chip-oatmeal cookies. Seriously. These things were the size of my head! They were soooo good. We munched on them throughout the weekend and come Monday morning, I had broken one in quarters, put it in a ziplock bag and stashed it in my bookbag.

I headed to school. I thought about that damn cookie all morning. I never could find a convienient time to whip it out, so I waited. Finally I got to Spanish class and Sr. Cowan had his trusty old slide-projector out. My time had arrived!

I slowly upzipped the front pouch on my bookbag and opened the baggie. Every so often I would reach down, break off a small piece of cookie and sneak it in my mouth. Then I would chew it very slowly and carefully, thinking no one would see. God forbid a "larger-but-not-super-fat-but-still-bigger-than-the-other-girls-in-my-classes" girl be caught eating a cookie.

Well, about 20 minutes into the class and my cookie, I noticed two girls looking my way, and laughing. I did not think much of it until I heard one of them whisper "Oh my God, she's eating fried chicken... she's been eating it the entire class"... this was followed by some not-so-quiet laughter as those two girls enjoyed themselves at my expense. Needless to say, I did not eat anymore of my cookie. I did, however, hear the phrase "fried chicken" several more times.

Hindsight: Yes, I guess a cookie (especially a GHBC oatmeal-based cookie) can and did look like the fried skin on a chicken leg.

For the rest of that class, they kept on snickering. I wanted to die. I wanted to yell out "It's a damn cookie, you assholes!" but I didn't.

Now, my points...

1) I still remember this story and it just so happens that everytime I see this girl on Facebook, I am reminded of it. Not anger, but shame. (Well, maybe a teensy bit of anger that they were making fun of me) Shame. I was sneaking food. Truth be known I probably went home that afternoon and ate a couple of whole cookies because I was upset about what happened. I do not remember. BUT I assume that because that is how I was and how I still am sometimes. (often, not sometimes, if we are being completely honest here...) I would not eat them in the kitchen either. I would grab them and head to my room, door closed, and eat my feelings.

POINT: sneaking food can lead to situations that 1) embarass the hell out of you if you get caught, or 2) (refering back to the title of this post...) can end up embarassing the hell out of you even if you dont get caught. The fat and calories (and even feelings & emotions) that you consume when you are alone, STILL COUNT. They are not free, just because no one sees you. Your body will show it.

2) I think we are products of what we are exposed to during our lifetimes. I do not think it all comes from early childhood either. I think we, as people, evolve and change as we experience life. This is not really weight-related, but I will say this:

POINT: Think about what you say or do when other people are involved. Consider that what you say/do may be remembered 15 or more years later. You may not remember what you said/did, but someone else probably will.

I am not playing the victim here. I am just saying that after 15 years, that I still think of that moment at least once a week. (and that's without FB!) I still have a lot of the same food habits too. It makes me sad. I have never told anyone but my husband that story. It feels kind of good to put it out there.

No, I am NOT going to go eat something right now. I wrote all of that (above) instead!

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