Posted by Sherry , Thursday, November 11, 2010 Thursday, November 11, 2010
Don't you just LOVE when stories start out that way? In high school such a phrase was often followed by: “who is having sex with her boyfriend and needs to get on birth control but she can't tell her mom and doesn't know where to go to get it” which was then followed by YOUR mom narrowing her eyes at you, getting a little sweaty on the forehead. Which was then followed by you cocking your snotty teenage hip to the side whilst responding “NO! REALLY! Its my FRIEND! Not ME! I SWEAR, MOM!”
Anyway – I have this friend, we'll call her Olive Oil. She's skinny. Really skinny. Always has been, always will be. And she's beautiful. And a whole bunch of other things that are wonderful and lovely and covetous. Like, she never fails to give people the benefit of the doubt. And she doesn't like to gossip. What is UP with that?
You already hate her, don't you?
Here, hate her some more: She once bitched and moaned to me about how she was sad that after birthing two kids she could no longer fit into her size 2 jeans. SIZE TWO. This conversation happened while we were eating our Panera Bread lunches – my salad (dressing on the side!) and her foccacia bread sandwich (extra cheese on the side!) and NON-DIET Coke. She DID get some salad too, that day though. In her lap.
Then I took off my size 20s and wrapped her skinny butt in them and stuck her in the trunk of my car. It was all done with love though.
Anyway, we've known each other for a long time. She's seen me at my heaviest, she's seen me at my skinniest. She's seen me happy with my body and hating my body. What she's never seen me as though, is NOT on a diet.
She's been with me to Walgreens when I was spending my allowance on Metabolife. She's eaten my Everything Bagel after I'd taken off the turkey and cheese while doing Atkins. She's scrunched up her nose at my Slim Fast and tasted a bite or two (and spit them out) of my Jenny Craig turkey and rice soup. She's listened while I've calculated the amount of Weight Watchers points in my chicken fajitas and wondered aloud how I fit in all the exercise I do. After school I'd eat carrot sticks and she'd have McDonalds.
Somehow, amidst all of my dieting and her NOT dieting, I continued to get fatter and she continued to get skinnier. In the abbreviated words of our deteriorating youth: WTF?
So, Olive Oil has been having some issues with feeling dizzy and disoriented and lethargic. She's not yet seen a doctor but she thinks she's has issues with her blood sugar. Her hypothesis was that she had started doing some exercise but had not upped her caloric intake enough to account for the amount of exercise she is doing. Her current solution? Stop exercising.
I suggested EATING MORE, because, well, for a fat girl, that's as instinctual as buying the black one because its most slimming. Elliptical for 30 minutes = a night of eating buttercream frosting out of the can. IT'S MATH PEOPLE.
Then she said something so horrific, so foreign, so unbelievable, I ALMOST put down the miniature Snickers bar I was licking. She said: “BUT SOMETIMES I'M JUST NOT HUNGRY.”
Stop the press! My skinny friend DOESN'T LIKE TO EAT WHEN SHE'S NOT HUNGRY?!
“Are you sure?” I asked? “What about just ½ a cheese stick or maybe a handful of nuts? M&Ms? A Whopper Jr.? I mean, you're skinny, C'MON! Live it up!”
But she insisted. She doesn't like to eat when she's not hungry. Not even a little.
And for the first time in my life, I kinda 'get it'. I'm not totally 'there' yet but thanks to Leona, I'm starting to understand what its like to have a normal relationship with food. I can't say that I don't pop a chocolate or potato chip every now and then, even though I'm full from lunch. And sometimes just seeing that its 6pm makes me hear dinner bells. But they aren't ringing that loudly and sometimes I'm able to shut them out as I would a Michael Bolton song on an elevator.
Every fat girl knows that 'only eating when you are hungry' isn't some giant secret that the skinny girls are keeping from us. We know its common sense. It is just that, for whatever reason, we've been ignoring that instinct for so long that the sense isn't so common.
After 27 years of doing it, eating when you aren't hungry isn't just a bad habit, it's inherent.
They say “you learn something new every day.” What they don't tell you is how hard it is to UNLEARN something you didn't want to know how to do in the first place.