Archive for August 22nd, 2010

Food is Pleasurable

That is a kitty ear in the corner of the picture.

My kitty is adorable and likes getting on my lap, especially if the laptop's already there.

One of the things that bugs me most about the whole “fat people must eat all the time” fallacy is that it leads to a general opinion that fat people have no sense of taste. Obviously, if you’re shoveling Hot Pockets down your gaping maw every five minutes for the entire time you’re awake, then you could care less what those hot pockets taste like. But I enjoy food a whole hell of a lot, and it has nothing to do with my being fat.

The stereotypical image of a thin woman is someone who doesn’t ever really eat. She obsessively tallies calories and punishes herself with guilt and verbal abuse when she puts even a toe out of line by eating a chocolate bar or (goodness forbid!) a pint of ice cream. And yet, I’ve known thin women who don’t eat much because they just don’t feel the need to, as well as thin women who can eat more in one sitting than I do, and so this stereotype is not one I associate with all thin women. And it’s a good thing, because I find the idea of someone willingly living like that to be unfortunate.

I am not going to get on my high horse and say I always eat healthy foods. That would be a lie. I am also not as physically active as I could be, but that is my prerogative at this point in my life. And it’s none of my business what other people eat or whether they exercise or not. Hell, it’s none of your business what I eat, but since I’m volunteering the information rather than being interrogated about it, it’s all good.

What I don’t understand is willfully punishing oneself for enjoying food. Food is one of the coolest things about being a human being, in my own humble opinion. Not only do our bodies do this amazing thing where they change the sustenance we take in into chemical energy to keep themselves going, but we can make it a good experience! We can combine an almost infinite variation of flavors to create meals that are tasty and satisfy our basic energy needs. How awesome is that?

We could be plants, you know. Taking in sunlight through our skin and photosynthesizing it into energy. No pesky chewing or going to the bathroom, just expelling oxygen when the process is done. Sure, it’s more efficient in the end, but it’s also boring. Can you imagine what life would be like without taste buds?

There are people who can’t taste things. People with brain damage, or nerve damage in their mouths, or something else that makes it impossible to taste. I don’t know if I could cope with that. If every food tasted the same, if there was no variation between meals, I’d probably see if I could just have them do it intravenously, to save my jaw from tedious chewing. Or just go on a liquid diet, since it would all taste the same.

And that’s not even counting the foods that bring back memories. While my family is as Caucasian as it’s possible to be, we ate a lot of Mexican-style foods growing up, and my favorite meal is burritos. It makes me think of home, of sharing a table with my family as we devoured our various combinations of fillings. That’s a double whammy of awesome sensory experience, right there. Not only do I get the deliciousness of the food, but also the memories associated with that food.

Food is pleasurable. There’s no way around that simple fact. All food is pleasurable, even if it’s not to all people. I don’t like mushrooms, but I can understand why so many people do. They’re pretty interesting things, and there’s so many different kinds to try. I don’t like spicy food because it hurts my mouth, but to someone who does like it, it can be divine. I love thai iced tea because it’s such a delicious mixture of black tea and cream, but I’ve had friends try it and say it tasted like a cigarette butt. XD

I can understand trying to limit one’s intake of certain foods, to a point. I don’t judge people for dieting, as long as they don’t preach to me about it or talk about how being fat is disgusting or how huge their thighs are (since I’m 99% more likely to be the fattest person in the room, no matter where I am). But I don’t really understand allowing guilt or other negative emotions to interfere with taking pleasure in food. Food is pleasurable. Enjoy it, while you still can.

Now I think I’m going to go have a bowl of cereal for dinner. XD Because I am in the mood for something featuring cold milk.


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