I have terrible eating habits. Most people will take one look at me and deduce that is the case. After all, I didn’t get to be this size eating salads, right? But that’s not what I mean. I have been a workaholic since childhood, which is bound to happen when your mother enlists a set of high standards, resulting in your becoming an overachiever and perfectionist, all of which inevitably leads to not eating right.
Well, I choose work over eating and tend to skip meals. I snack on the run rather than actually take the time to sit down and have an actual meal. Most days I only have one meal – breakfast or dinner, it truly depends on my schedule. (And if I am really honest, I can say that I take huge portions during those one meal days as a way to make up for the meals I missed.) Yet, there are those rare and special days where I will make an effort to eat three meals, and I usually preface these meals by justifying the act. Even alone I will say something along the lines of “I’ve had a long day, I deserve this, ” or “Well its not like I’m going to eat tomorrow/for the rest of the day.” It can a cookie or something “healthy” like a kale salad with cranberries and chicken (a new favorite of mine); it doesn’t matter. I have to justify it and usually out loud. Never mind, that I, like every person in this planet, have to eat to survive and function. Clearly it is still ingrained in my mind that because I am bigger I must inherently apologize for partaking of food at my size.
Last week a friend of mine pointed out the fact that I do this. Constantly. At first I didn’t take her seriously, believing it was a joke. I then started to pay attention only to find that she was right. I began to wonder how long has this been a thing? When did this habit become second nature? Was it when I turned 13 and was told that I should start taking my appearance seriously because I was becoming a woman and men don’t find gorditas(fat girls) appealing? Was it back in middle school when I got fed up will being bullied for my size and decided that it would be best to go without food? Was it after a shopping trip with my great aunt who made a point that I needed to controlar la boca (control my mouth) and not eat so much?
When? When did it start?
I could sit here making my head and heart hurt by going through every possible instance that could have brought on this habit OR I could decide when it ends. I choose the latter. I am now the last fatshamer I have to conquer. This habit does nothing for me save for reminding me that I am expected to apologize for existing and I refuse to feel bad for myself just because I don’t meet (Westernized) beauty standards. Just like everyone else (straight sized or plus), I deserve to be allowed to live and make my own choices. So, yes, I will have that cookie with my salad and I’ll enjoy it too, without additional commentary.
What about you? Have you ever had a moment that you’ve justified your meals and/or your size?