According to a new survey, the average woman still spends an obscene amount of time obsessing about calories and worrying about her weight. Over the course of a 67-year lifespan, we lose about one entire year of our life to thoughts of whether or not you should have that side of french fries and what they might do to your ass. And imagine if you live to be 100. If you still can eat solid foods/care about how your body looks, the lost time would be staggering. These stats are completely unsurprising, but when you really think about it, is worrying about dieting really worth losing an entire year (or more) of your life over? I say NO. Think about all the other things you could be doing with that time: like filibustering or volunteering at an animal shelter or writing a novel. The takeaway of the survey says, “Counting calories is a part of modern day life.” I don’t think we have to accept that. [Daily Mail UK]
This weekend I was riding the A train, as I do nearly every day, and I received the first stranger comment about my weight in a long time. He had been sitting next to me for several stops and was talking to another girl with a stuffed Nintendo Mario character backpack near us, clearly trying to pick her up. I suspected he was drunk. I kept reading my book and said, “Excuse me,” as I walked past him when we got to my stop.
He loudly said to my back, “You should go on a diet,” as I was getting off the train. I had a pause waiting for the doors to open. Usually I ignore these kinds of things, but this time I turned to the 20-something white dude, looked him dead in the eye and said, “My body is none of your business, nor is anyone else’s.”
He started to rebut as I got off the train. I just kept going. I realized as I was walking away I said that not so much to change his mind but for the benefit of anyone else listening that might think it’s okay to talk about someone else’s body. Keep reading »
I was a full-blown feminist by the time I started college. I also had a full-blown eating disorder. As a teen I marched on Washington for women’s rights. I put out a zine called Wonder Woman. I played drums (and by “played” I mean I aggressively and skill-lessly beat the shit out of a floor tom, a snare and a cymbal) in a punk band whose songs included “Penis-Shaped Missile” and “Cute Band Alert.” I prepared all varieties of soy-based hippie stews for Food Not Bombs, though I don’t recall ever sampling any of them. And it wasn’t because of the soy. Or the hippie. While my dog-eared copy of Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth was proudly displayed on my bookshelf, my equally well-worn calorie counter book was hidden out of sight in my desk drawer.
I was terrified of gaining weight. I restricted. I binged and purged. I hated my body. Keep reading »
Living in LA is weird sometimes. OK, all the time. One minute, I’m minding my own business, eating kale and looking at babes or whatever and the next, I’m being fat-shamed by a wardrobe assistant on the set of a Dove commercial that I somehow ended up getting cast in.
I’d been curious about what exactly went on at these auditions that my entertainer friends are always running off to, even though I have no aspirations to model or act myself. I’m more the “borderline agoraphobic writer” type and actually, really kind of hate having my picture taken. Thing is, I have this little obsession with constantly trying new things – the more uncomfortable, the better. So, last year, when a friend that works in casting sent out an email inviting women to audition for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, I was 100 percent in. Keep reading »
I eat my secret cookies in the middle of the night. There is something clandestine, furtive about my stealthy trip to the kitchen, long after the world has gone to sleep. I am mostly asleep myself, I reason. This is hardly even happening. I can’t help it, it’s not my fault, I don’t even know what I am doing. These cookies don’t even count!
There is evidence in the morning — a cookie or two missing. We won’t speak of it. Who can remember what happened during the dead stretch between the dregs of the night and the pale creep of dawn? I can’t!
But wait a second.
What is really wrong with eating a cookie or two? What makes it an act of quiet self-deception? What about it requires sneaking?
I’ll be blunt. I mean, that’s why I’m writing this — to be blunt and confessional for a moment because I think that’s really the only way to address this sort of thing.
In my head, there is this eternal, infernal, absolutely obnoxious connection between food and failure. And you may find this next statement ridiculous, but: I think I’m actually pretty healthy about food. Keep reading »