Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You can have my calories when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

I've been reading Junk Food Science quite regularly, and on the author's recommendation, I picked up "Never Too Thin: Why women are at war with their bodies". I've learned what I suspected: Much of the "conventional wisdom" about diet and weight loss is pretty much bunk, and being fat does not mean you are going to die earlier than a thin person.

I was recently thinking about the constant back-and-forth information we are receiving about food and diet at almost every minute of every day. Imagine my surprise when, probably years ago by now, "they" declared fruit juice practically poisonous because it has sugar in it. Never mind that it has vitamins and tastes good; every calorie must be squashed out of existence. Not long after, we had foul-tasting "diet" juices with aspartame. Yuck.

Soon, fruit itself was declared obscene and indulgent, because, again, it has sugar. Never mind that fruit is one of the most basic food sources for thousands upon thousands of animal species. Never mind that our bodies are well-equipped to consume and digest fruits; they contain horrible, evil calories, and they MUST BE BANNED. You'd think "they" would have been satisfied, but the most ludicrous was yet to come.

I was actually told by a nutritionist (my lame doctor from a while back made me go, for no other reason besides my vegetarianism) that I should also avoid CARROTS, because they have sugar in them! I was stunned by this idea, because it seemed that the only basis for classifying foods as good or bad seemed to be whether or not they contained calories at all! It feels like this isn't going to stop until "they" have snatched every last calorie from our mouths, leaving us to eat or drink nothing but wood chips and water (bottled, of course, as we must provide the bottled water manufacturers with income).

Can we just stop the nonsense? Animals need calories to survive. Hunger is a natural, normal thing, and I am sick to death of the foodphobia that we currently have going on in our culture. IT IS OKAY TO EAT FOOD! It is okay to enjoy food! Hunger is an unpleasant feeling; I consider it to be a type of pain. If someone told you that, to be healthy and socially acceptable, especially the socially acceptable part, you had to put rocks in your shoes and then walk a mile every day, would you do it? Or would you tell them to stop being stupid and get a life? So why do we accept advice that tells us that we must live in hunger in order to be healthy and socially acceptable? Why do we punish ourselves with unsatisfying or bad-tasting foods when we are really craving life-giving calories?

Creating polarized food groups (bad/good foods), we create an endless cycle of self-denial and self-punishment. When you eat a celery stick, but you're really craving a fresh-baked dinner roll, you aren't going to be happy with the celery. You are still going to crave the roll, and many people will go ahead and get the roll, only to be angry with themselves for their "weakness". Why have so many people allowed themselves to be programmed in this way? Why do people honestly believe that eating even basic foods like bread and fruit are moral failings?

Look, you're not in this world for very long as it is. Life should be lived and enjoyed without guilt and misery over the simplest things that harm no one. Is your eating a blueberry muffin harming anyone? No, it isn't, unless you enslaved some poor little European grandmother to bake it for you at gunpoint. Use guilt for appropriate things, like when you really did hurt someone else. Guilt is there to teach you to behave better toward other people, and it sickens me that it's been co-opted for stupid shit like having sexual thoughts (thanks, religions of the world) or enjoying even the smallest bite of food.

Eat, live, be happy. And have some guilt-free sex, too, okay? Do it for me. I command you.


M. said...


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I think the only reason bread and other things like that are unhealthy now is that they are made of such processed crap. The good stuff, made with tasty grains and whatnot, has always been healthy.

I recently gave up fruit juice because people told me it was evil, that it lacked all the fiber of fruit and so it was just junkfood. But guess what? Because we can't afford a lot of fresh fruit, thanks to the high cost of food, I was lacking in those nutrients and became sick. Fail on that. I also craved it like nothing else, and drank a lot more milk to replace it.

I'm going to get more juice today, I think.