I was at a female-only gathering recently where food was advertised to be provided. The fare ended up being Domino's pizza, bagged salad, and cookies. It was on a weekday, and many guests came straight from work. They were hungry, and the only filling food was pizza. What do you think people do when they're hungry and food is in front of them? They eat it no matter what it is.
Tangent: I really think people planning things like this should consider providing healthy, fresh options not only for those who want to be healthy or lose weight (which is probably the majority of people, particularly women) but also for those who have food allergies. (For instance, I'm lactose intolerant and don't eat pizza because of the cheese. Lots of people have gluten allergies too.)
But consider this: did you know that one slice of Domino's cheese pizza has 290 calories? Have you ever filled up on just one piece? Ha! Nope. When hungry, we always go for at least two. That’s 580 calories, right there. Have three and you're at 870! EIGHT HUNDRED FREAKING SEVENTY CALORIES. My calorie budget per day is just over 1,000. THE WHOLE DAY. So clearly, Domino's pizza is not a wise choice any day of the week or really ever.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about is a girl who was sitting at my table. A great, nice, talented girl whom I like. She mentioned that she wanted another piece. Quickly, anyone who heard said, "Then get another piece!" She responded "But I've already had two." They quickly fired back, "So?" And I hear things like this all the time: "Calories don't count here!" "You're thin; you can eat anything you want." "Calories don't count on holidays!" "Just do it, you know you want it." But calories do count. All the time. And the foods we eat and the choices we make affect us.
Why is it okay for us to encourage bad habits or behavior? How many of us are trying to eat healthier but still encourage ourselves and each other to eat things we shouldn't? It doesn't make any sense.
I felt silenced. Everyone else at the table encouraged her to eat another piece. I wanted to say, "No! Don't eat another piece. They're terrible for you—you obviously know that. If you're still hungry, wait and eat an apple at home. You'll feel better physically and emotionally." But no, somehow that's not socially acceptable. So she ate another piece.
Maybe it's because they know they don't have to deal with the consequences of another's bad decisions. If that's it, that's selfish. I mean, how many times have you binged a bit and your stomach felt like lead for hours, and on top of that you felt like you just ruined your goals and defeated yourself? I've done it many times, and don't lie—you have to. It's the worst. Why would you want to encourage that for someone else?
Three things I wish for in the future:
- that if we provide food we provide better food at social events
- that we all understood how much what we eat affects us
- that we could all look out for each other a little better in this arena