A very real and guilty pleasure

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About a month ago I was whinging to my guy friend Conor about how fatty and gross I felt. Because I plan to spend a significant portion of the finer weather in Toronto toasting my skin to golden perfection and using my body shamelessly to score free drinks, being flabby, pale and disgusting, just isn’t going to cut it for me.

It’s great to have guy friends to complain to. So practical.

I love my female friends from around the world. I have amassed an international crew of wonder women, all of whom are brimming with support, love and flattery when you need it most (like the day before your period).

But here’s how the conversation would go with a female friend about feeling obese and shitty:

Me: Uhhhh I am so yuck. Look at that cellulite! I feel so fat!
Female Friend: What are you talking about?! You are gorgeous. That’s not fat that’s just yo’currrrvvves gurrrrl. (Just to clarify…none of my girlfriends talk like that unless washhhted)

Here’s how the convo went down with my dude-friend:

Me: Uhhhh I am so yuck. I feel so fat! (you don’t tell your dude-friends about the cellulite….some things must be kept an illusion…you see nothing…nothing…*whispers* nothing)…
Dude-Friend: Yeah? You should go on a diet, hit the gym. Download this myfitnesspal app – tracks your calories.
Me:……………………………………….

Well considering said dude-friend has dropped a shit tonne of weight and looks like he could rip apart a mountain goat in half with his arms, I’m going to go with: Yeah sure.

So I downloaded the app and realized how much shit I was eating. The app basically guilted me out of all the delicious things I love because I realized how many hours of exercise I would have to do to work off one handful of Salt and Vinegar chips. I can’t say if I’ve seen any drastic changes in weight in under a month (what the actual fuck?! I’ve been to the gym like 7 times this month and haven’t eaten a wheel of Brie everyday – why am I not a size 4!?) but it’s definitely made me make more informed choices about what I’m eating. It also stops me from randomly snacking or mindlessly eating. The app holds you accountable for every thing that goes in the front end, so you can look back at the day and ask yourself what the hell you were thinking (550 calories for a bagel with extra cream cheese?! Waaa-what? But I had like… 5 of those…)

So you’re probably wondering how this tale of calories relates to the title of this post (because you are a smart and thoughtful reader who is always asking the tough, hard hitting questions).

No I am not addicted to exercise (ahaha I WISH) and no I am not addicted to calorie counting (it’s more of an annoying part of my day, like teeth brushing or makeup-taking-off…ness).

Around the time of the App download I stumbled upon a sub-reddit (if you don’t know what reddit is then you don’t work a job where you stare mindlessly at a computer screen for much of the day) called “Fat people stories” and from there I found “Fat Logic”.

I had no idea that such a thing as “fat logic” and “thin privilege” even existed. There were all these killer new buzzwords that I wasn’t a part of. And by god if I was going to let the internet exclude me.

From what I understand, fatlogic is a mindset where people who are big justify their weight by saying things like “I have conditions that don’t allow me to lose weight” or “This is my genetics” or even things like “Men don’t like skinny bitches, they like gurrrrllllls with cuuuuurves” (oh hey its my friends again!)

Even though I would not consider myself a Thin person, I have “thin priviledge” because I can fit into movie seats, plane seats, and can usually shop at “normal” stores (although you’ll find my size way at the back of the rack because of my rack! badoomdoomtsh). There are obviously lots of tumblrs to check out that delve into these issues and this is where the fun part comes in.

Oh how catty and bitchy the internet can be! (Paris claps her hands in glee and secretly scoffs another handful of mini-eggs while side-eyeing her smart phone…does she log them or does she just pretend they never happened?!)

Because I’ve cut down significantly on the junk food I feed my gullet, I have significantly upped the junk food I feed my mind. Fuck books and learning stuff, Fat People Stories is where it’s at. For me it is a fascinating place because I’ve never lived anywhere with a high density of obese people (there’s just no room in Hong Kong!). I’ve seen people who are pretty big, but never seen anyone in real life who’s weight has severely negatively impacted their life, nor have I ever met anyone who is big who has tried to tell me that they are powerless when it comes to how they look. The bigger girls like me are like “so great that you eat salad every day…i’m personally not going to do that because I’d rather be fatter than you and eat this cheesecake and ice cream at every meal” and all the skinny girls are like “cool that you just buried your face in that pizza, I’m going to shop at Brandy Melville where one size fits most (bahahahaha) and look adorable in this shirt that says “cute” thats says “cuuuuuuulrghghgysgsbeurgh” stretched across your chest.”

I personally don’t care if you’re fat or thin. If there was a subreddit about “ThinLogic” where people told stories about people who were too thin trying to do sweet canon balls into the pool, or wear cleavagey tops – I would read those too and be totally engrossed as the writer wrote about the insanity of modern life.

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If everybody can’t love everybody because we all piss each other off… at least post it on the internet. Because I’m into it.

 

 

 

I want to be thin, but I really want to eat all this cheese.

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Ah the first world problems I face as a wealthyish (hahaha) educated (excuse me while I cry into my MFA in Creative Writing) white (yep) woman (yepyepyep).

I am bombarded by all these bodies on television and in Print media, where the girls are always tanned, taught and aerodynamic (how do they make their boobs not point down??!… wahhhh!) and I’m informed that this particular size and proportion is beautiful and another size and proportion is not.

And then every second thing I see around me is an advertisement for something delicious, like a triple quarter pounder with extra fat injected into the burger buns for added deliciousness.

What’s a girl supposed to do/think?

Deny herself all the scrumptious things out there? Yeah. Right.

Go to the gym and work out like a Durecell bunny on crack? HAhaHA. No but really…don’t make me go to the gym.

It’s tough and it’s not new and it’s not like this is a revolutionary conversation I’m having with myself over here.

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that these photoshopped “women” are cultivating bad body image in young ladies and giving young men an unrealistic expectation level of what a female body can look like (sorrrrrrry my thighs aren’t skinnier than my arms and my bum doesn’t look like a peach, but more like a blob of hardened oven grease…jeez).

So how to combat this? There are plenty of theories out there. Education on healthy eating and promoting nutrition (I’m looking at you United states of Corn Syrup).

And for young women especially, how can we work to change this subculture of fat vs thin. The number of eating disorders amongst young people is staggering and saddening (1 in 10 young women in the United States). What can we do? Promote more average body sizes in modelling and advertising, is one thing that has always played around on the periphery. More education? Support? All of that is useless when a bully is tormenting you, or someone or something makes you hate yourself and truly find yourself disgusting.

When I was last back in Hong Kong I found a journal I had kept right after a breakup with long term boyfriend numero uno. And do you know what I found? Pages and pages and pages of lists of what I ate that day v.s the exercise I did.

“6 x stair runs up ladder street. 1 Can tuna, one apple, 2 weetbix, 1 rice noodles in soup”
Good god it’s like I was living at a bland ashram when in fact I was living in a city with some of the tastiest cuisine in the world. And Ladder street?! It’s called ladder street because the steps are almost vertical (i’m making that up…there could fully be a different reason I am unaware of).

Why did I keep an obsessive journal like this, rather than tear stained pages working through my complex emotions of angst and heartbreak and having to find a new boyfriend with a car who can drive me around because I never learned?

Because that dude made me feel unattractive and I thought no one would ever love me again if I didn’t look a certain way.

Which is ridiculous because you should love someone for more than whether their jeans say size 6 or a size 16. And also I’m hilarious, so I’m okay.

But even if you don’t have that going for you, you still shouldn’t let a guy make you feel like you aren’t nice to look at. And if one does, then go tell your Mum or Dad or tell someone like me, and we’ll go kick his ass. Fucker.

And women of the world should never let some loser make them feel unattractive because have you seen a nut sack lately? I have, and man, those things are revolting.

There is nothing on my body (cellulite included) that is as gross as where the male body stores it’s reproductive sphere’s.

So yes I will be eating the rest of the Brie wheel today that I started at breakfast. Thankyouverymuch.

End Rant.