Friday, December 31, 2010

Fat Dad, Nutritionist Mom

***trigger warning for fat-shaming, disordered eating and self harm***

Hello there!

I'm thlingan, a 21 year-old transgender college student and fat-positive thin ally. Samantha C. has invited me to contribute some stories of growing up and living with a thin, nutritionist mom and a fat dad. The focus for me will be on how my mom's treating my dad like a horrible food ogre affects our family relationships and what it's like to live with a nutritionist. In that vein, here's a glimpse of what it's like at my house... (Note: Instead of names, I put "husband", "wife", "thlingan")

A week and a half ago...

We're done eating dinner. My dad brought home some large holiday cookies a co-worker gave him (which earlier elicited scoffing-grunt noises and comments of "More cookies again!?" from my mom). We're all trying them and gushing about how delicious they are.

Me: These are amazing...
Dad: Seriously, I could eat like six of these n--
Mom: *interrupts my dad with a patronizing, judgey laugh* I know you could, husband... easily... Well, you--
Dad: ...but I don't, I don't...
Mom: --don't need to be eating six of them
Dad: I'm just saying they are really, really good cookies.
-only minutes later in conversation-
Mom: I really should just have eaten half of one, they're so big...

Days later...

The three of us are in the kitchen, my mom is reading some holiday dessert recipe and sings "'Tis the season for gaining weight..." in a belittling fashion...

Hours after that, I come into the kitchen hunting for ice cream, my parents can see me in the next room, where they are watching a movie...

Mom: You and your sister ate up all those peppermint cartons in like two days... jeez the two of you are going to be Two Ton Tessies...
Me: That is awful! That is belittling fat people and shaming them...
Mom: I was just kidding...
Me: No, that is being mean... You shame Dad just because he even WANTS to eat junkfood.. Newsflash --Everyone likes junkfood! It doesn't help for you to shame them for it...
Mom: *waving her hand at me as if to shoo me from the room, shaking her head patronizingly* Goodbye, goodbye

Next Day

Mom: Husband, you're having cookies again?!
Dad: I'm having a bite of some cookies...
Mom: "A few bites" doesn't matter! All that matters is the number of the scale...

An argument between me and my mother ensues...

Christmas Night...

As Jews, we were of course going to a Chinese restaurant after seeing a movie. We're sitting at a table in the lobby, waiting to go into the movie...

Dad: I'm getting an appetizer tonight...
Mom: *makes awful scoffing-grunt noise, seems about to make annoying comment*
Dad: I am.
Mom: *tone of voice implying my dad is being 'touchy'* Alright, get whatever you want...

Every. Damn. Day.


Dad takes out some SugarFat (SugarFat=term I want to use for any food deemed 'unhealthy')
Mom gives him shame-stare.
Dad: *pretending he genuinely has no idea what Mom's deal is* What! I'm just having a little bite...
Choose from 1 or more of the following Mom responses:
  • Eyeroll-scoff
  • Husband, you already met my arbitrary Horrible Food Ogre eating quota for today had some SugarFat/a huge meal/list of every-'bad'-food-he-ate today.
  • I'm sick of your 'little bites'!
  • You're always 'having a little bite' of everything!
Dad: I did not meet the arbitrary Horrible Food Ogre quota for today had a small SugarFat/list of every-food-he-ate today.
Mom: *scoff-grunt-stare*
Dad: *animal noise intended to be an impression of my mom's scolding*


Dad gets a little second helping after dinner.
Mom: Husband! You're having MORE? You already had HFO dinner quota all that DinnerFood. Why don't you just wait and see if you're hungry?


Dad mentions [Food-He'd-Like-to-Eat].
Mom: (Choose 1 or more)
  • Yeahhh, you don't need to be eating [Food-You-like-to-Eat].
  • No one else is going to want to eat that.
  • We're having [list of scheduled meals] this week. You're not going to make [Food-You-Like-to-Eat].
  • Are you kidding? We don't need to be eating a bunch of SugarFat.
Dad: Thlingan will eat [Food-I-Like-to-Eat] *secret aside to me* We're going to have [Food-I-Like-to-Eat]

I think the awfulness of the above examples is fairly self-evident. However, what seems particularly disturbing to me is my mother's blind assumption that my dad is fat because, without her policing, he would be a Terrible Cookie Fiend who orders tons of appetizers in restaurants and cooks only recipes where the primary ingredients are meat and cheese. Her attitude is always OF COURSE my dad would eat EVERY COOKIE IN THE WORLD, given the opportunity, and that this imaginary proclivity of his is deserving of sarcasm and shame-stares. She acts like she thinks thin people don't even like SugarFat and that my dad's enjoyment of it is some kind of taboo sexual fetish. Then, when faced with the evidence that two of her thin children are, in fact, fiends for SugarFat without gaining weight from it, she "jokingly" warns us that we are going to get OMGTEHFATZ. My mom just thinks that, obviously, since my dad is fat, he has no idea what his body needs and that he has a super-human desire for SugarFat.

What's truly bizarre is that my dad has actually lost a lot of weight recently. He had a minor stroke a few months ago (which the doctors said was completely unrelated to his weight) from which he is now completely recovered. After the stroke, my dad started getting really serious about losing weight to reduce his chances of having another stroke or other health problem. My dad has gone through a flerbillion cycles of losing weight and then gaining it back. He is now in the most persistent weight-loss phase I have ever witnessed him going through. Thus, my mom is pleased. So what I think is bizarre is that she still shames my dad for even liking SugarFat and treats him like he's some insufferable pain-in-the-ass whose behavior she's forced to police. Like.. what does she want? For him to be a Food Vulcan who eats only for sustenance and takes no pleasure in SugarFat? That is clearly unreasonable.

My mom is perhaps unusual in that her obsession with fatness is genuinely unrelated to beauty norms. She dated and married my dad while he was fat, he's been fat their whole marriage and I've never once gotten the message from her, subtly or explicitly, that fatness makes someone unattractive or that beauty is a good reason to lose weight. In fact, my mom even believes that some people can be fat and healthy. However, she also believes that anyone who is fat and has certain health problems (like my dad) MUST lose weight to improve those health problems. Thus, supposedly, central to her obsession with my dad's weight is his health. While I believe that my mom is genuinely motivated by concern for my dad's health, I think she's also motivated by fat hatred. If it were just about health she wouldn't treat him the way she does. To demonstrate my point, consider the following:

My mom's Why-My-Dad-Is-Fat Theory is this: My dad is ultra-stressed out all the time and also never really learned healthy eating habits. As an outlet for his stress, he eats tons of SugarFat, causing him to gain weight. This weight gain will ultimately lead to a premature and horrible death. Now, if we assume this theory is accurate, does my mom's behavior make sense? To fat-hating folks, it probably makes sense: she needs to correct him on his eating because obviously he doesn't have the self-control to regulate himself. In this hypothetical situation, my dad's eating habits are self-destructive and slowly killing him. In the media, out in the world and in my own house, fat-hating folks are constantly claiming that obesity is literally the same as being addicted to drugs and that it's an epidemic of death equal to a fatal disease. My dad's at an age where a lot of these supposed fat-related deaths tend to occur. If the anti-obesity folks genuinely believe the dire claims they say they do, you'd expect their behavior to match up, especially when it comes to people who they think may die in the next few years. So, let's consider whether my mom's behavior would be considered health-motivated and reasonable if my dad was actually engaging in potentially fatal, self destructive behavior...

Revisiting my mom's Why-My-Dad-Is-Fat Theory...

My mom's Why-My-Dad-Self-Harms Theory is this: My dad is ultra-stressed out and depressed all the time. As an outlet for his feelings, he cuts himself. Although he is not actually suicidal, there is reason to believe his self-harm will slowly kill him.

My mom's Why-My-Dad-Is-Anorexic Theory is this: My dad believes his worth as a person is tied up in whether he meets certain beauty standards, he's stressed out, feels like his life is out of control and deals with it by controlling what he eats.

In either of the above two situations, would scoff-grunts, shame-stares, eyerolls and belittling be considered appropriate responses when someone shows signs of a self-destructive behavior? If you noticed someone with anorexia not eating, would it be reasonable to give them an I-Can't-Believe-You're-Being-So-Obnoxious shame-stare and then say, voice dripping with disdain "Jeez! You already skipped breakfast today, now you're not going to eat lunch?" or "I know you would eat just lettuce for a meal." If I'm meant to take seriously the claim that my dad's alleged compulsion to eat too much could kill him at any minute, most likely within the next few years... shouldn't I be horrified at the way my mother and other people treat him? Supposedly he has this stress-induced compulsion that endangers his life, but instead of sympathy and understanding, instead of acting like the situation is tragic or serious in any way, people basically just scold him and act disgusted. I am of course not arguing that people SHOULD act like my dad's fatness is tragic, since it's not. What I am saying is that, on some level, the obesity-panic people, including my mother, can't really believe what they claim to believe. Or, if they do, they're cruel hypocrites. Rather, I think people who behave this way toward fat family members, including my mother, are mostly just policing fat people for Being Fat because that is Bad and Gross. I basically feel like my mother's reaction to my dad's eating things is nearly indistinguishable from her reaction to the fact that my sister and I are unmanageable slobs. Furthermore, my mother isn't some horrible exception and her behavior doesn't represent any big departure from the message of mainstream fat policing. I want to make clear I'm not singling her out as being particularly awful because, sadly, she's not. She's just another example of the norm. As a result, ultimately, I think, the message I receive about my father from fat-shaming concern trolls is that a person I love is slowly dying in front of me, but that I shouldn't take it seriously or empathize with him because he's fat.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Current Most Annoying Commercial

So there’s this line of commercials for a no-calorie sweetener called Truvia that drive me completely up the wall. I’m going to link to one in particular, but with a warning that this jingle will not leave my mind and that’s part of the reason the campaign makes me so mad, so know what you’re getting into. Thankfully this post came up in a quick google search to not only confirm I’m not the only one who hates this, but to give me a transcript for those who don’t want the jingle stuck in their head. Thanks!

I loved you sweetness
but you're not sweet, you made my butt fat.
You drove me insane,
self-control down the drain.
We're over I'm so done with that.  

I found a new love,
a natural true love
 that comes from a little green leaf.  
Zero calorie guilt free
no artificiality,
my skinny jeans zipped in relief
it's name is truvia
I had no idea
no more sprinkling my coffee with grief.
Truvia: Honestly Sweet.

Possibly the worst part is that I like the rhyme scheme enough to break up the text this way. It’s a very clever little song, and I hate it.

First thing: what is the “self-control down the drain” supposed to be? It shows her eating an entire piece of cake, albeit kind of fast. Is her mistake supposed to be in wolfing it down in a few bites? In finishing an entire piece (gasp!)? In eating cake to begin with? I don’t know, but as someone with a history of binge-eating episodes, even if the commercial never intended to bring up that idea (which I’m sure it did, as of course all we fatties binge) I felt the experience very trivialized. I’m going to write about that experience another day – I’m still on vacation, and in too good a mood this week to bring that back up.

But even more than the idea that I should feel guilty for eating real sugar because it will make me fat, there’s something about the metaphor of sugar as a bad boyfriend that….well, I can’t find a more technical way to say this, but icks me out.

The commercial sets a dichotomy between real sugar – who seems sweet but actually hurts the singer and was psychologically abusive – and Truvia, who puts her back to “normal”. For some reason, that’s the thing that I hate most about the commercial. There are others in the line that focus more on the sugar aspect, and they’re still annoying but not so creepy.

Sugar is not abusive.

Eating things made with real sugar does not in and of itself make you fat. And eating fake sugar doesn’t in and of itself make you thin. And frankly, gaining a pant size is not at all the same thing as being emotionally abused.

It’s more of this weird advertising correlation between sweets and relationships when they market to women. It’s just weird. And it’s so blatant. Really, Truvia, I promise that women who really binge, women who are actually fat, even women who are as thin as your model there, don’t treat sugar like they treat a significant other. It’s creepy. Stop it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sleep Morality

A brief comment conversation with Katja over at  Family Feeding Dynamics (Thanks for the shout-out, by the way) got me thinking about something that’s not exactly fat-related, but involves similar natural variation among people and shame for not conforming to some arbitrary ideal, and that’s sleep patterns. 

We’re all supposed to be able to slot into a 9-5 workday, up somewhere between 6 and 8 and presumably back in bed by 11 or 12 to get about 8 hours per night. That’s the framework, and everyone (at least, everyone I knew growing up) was supposed to be able to fit themselves into it. Sleeping in on the weekends was grudgingly allowed, but sleeping past noon was too far, and Mom would come in and wake me up. In later years, if she didn’t still wake me, she’d just make jokes about my waking up at “the crack of noon” and remind me that when I got a job, I’d have to stop that.

But, of course, we all know that some people are morning people, and some people are night owls. Since I was a baby I preferred sleeping late and going to bed late. I seem to function best when I sleep about 2-11am, with 9 hours late into the night and late into the morning. I can get up if I have to – this past school semester I was taking a 9:30 class, and was up at 8:45 every morning.  But I still found it very difficult to fall asleep before 1am. If I stayed up a little later to 2 or 2:30 on a weekend, then my sleep cycle would re-set itself to “normal” and not want to go to bed on Sunday night until 2 or 2:30. If I wound up with 7.5 hours sleeping, I’d be sluggish during the day and have to nap when and if I found the chance.

Napping, by the way, also comes easier to my family than to me. When I finally learned to nap this year, it meant a good hour and a half in bed to fall asleep and rest. Both of my parents know how to take ten minute naps that refresh them – I can’t be asleep ten minutes after lying down. Somehow, it just doesn’t work that way. But when I nap in my childhood home, I still feel like someone will wonder why I’ve gone all the way to sleep instead of “napping” like they do.

When I mentioned all the sleep trouble my 8:45 wakeup was causing when I visited for thanksgiving, she told me I’d have to learn to like coffee when I got a job, or get a “vampire job” that would let me sleep in. Now, I’ve learned since going off to school that actually, not every job in the world is 9-5. Retail needs people to be there 12-8 or 2-10 or any other range of late-start shifts, and it’s in fact one of the reasons I don’t so much mind the thought of getting a retail job when I do graduate college. But the term “vampire job” is so obviously pejorative, like people who don’t work 9-5 are lesser than people who do, and their jobs are lesser.

It struck me as an odd coincidence in the way that peoples personal health habits and natural variation can be rigidly confined and people made to feel lesser for them. We have some of the same stereotypes – if you sleep late then you must be a lazy person, even if you’re not getting any more sleep than anyone else. And if you do happen to need 9 or 10 hours instead of 8, you must really be lazy. Why can’t you get up like everyone else and get a normal job?

Well, why can’t I just drop 80 pounds and be a normal weight like everyone else? Because people are different.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's the little things

I used to perform in school and community theatre groups, and while I hope to get back to it one day, haven't been cast in anything since leaving high school for college. This is, I have no doubt, due largely to my size. I'm a fat soprano, which leaves me surprisingly few parts for how relatively rare the soprano 1 voice is.

The way it works is, the soprano part in most modern musicals is given to an ingenue character - the pretty (thus, thin) innocent girl who tends to get the largest part in the show, unless there is also a leading lady in the cast. A lot of modern musicals that use more rock-style music give their ingenue a mezzo-soprano voice instead, slightly lower than my range and more geared toward belting. Examples: Cosette in Les Miserables; Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera; Joanna in Sweeney Todd; Kim in Bye Bye Birdie. These are the parts that I can sing, but don't look like.

There are the Leading Lady parts, which, at 21, I'm too young to be considered for, and in all likelihood too fat for anyway. These women carry the show, and tend to have a middle-range voice, often with a lot of belting. It's hard to describe too many of them, as they vary. But examples: Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd; The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods;  Norma in Sunset  Boulevard; Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie

There are then enough roles that are suitable enough to be played by a fat actress, although mostly this is if the casting director doesn't have enough thin ones. Those known as character parts can be fatter; and character parts tend to be comic relief, and if not mezzo-soprano then alto. They're also more likely to be male parts, which doesn't help me, although some male parts are simple enough to transpose onto a female actor. Examples: Ursula in Bye Bye Birdie; Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls. These latter two categories are parts that I might look like, but can't sing.

I've also been wanting a lot lately to learn how to dance. I've watched a fair bit of ballet, and I've been getting decent enough at yoga to know that it's fun to move my body that way and to feel graceful, and the idea of dancing with a partner and flitting across a stage is magically fun. The trouble is, I'm not longer a 6-year-old girl. And I'm really afraid that there might not be any chance for me to take real dance classes - not just a casual swing or ballroom just-for-laughs kind of class -without being unwelcome for my weight. Ballet in particular but dance in general isn't known to be very friendly to the fat.

It sucks that no one will cast me in roles that I can sing, and it sucks that I don't know if I'd be able to learn something fun without being shamed and driven away. These are hardly the biggest problems facing the fat acceptance movement, but they're little things that add up for individual fat girls.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Temperature Analogy

This has been kicking around in my head for a while.

Imagine that you’re going to the doctor for a routine check-up. You’re overall very healthy, all your numbers basically look good, you’re moderately active and eating well. You’re quite happy with yourself. The doctor takes your temperature when you arrive, and discovers that rather than the average of 98.6 degrees, yours is 99.7.

The doctor tells you that you’re running a slight fever, and for a second you’re confused. Then, you realize that some information must be missing from your chart. Since childhood, your healthy resting body temperature has always been a little bit higher than most people. There is no illness, only an extra degree on the thermometer.

The doctor shakes his head. If you’ve always had a high body temperature, then that just makes it more imperative to change it now, before it’s too late. It’s not healthy to run hot all the time, you always have a slight fever. You must cool off. You’re prescribed at least an hour, daily, of sitting in short sleeves and shorts outside (now that it’s winter) to try to bring your temperature down. In the summertime, if the treatments haven’t worked by then, you’ll have to substitute an ice bath. It might cost a fair bit of money or at least effort to have enough ice to bathe in for an hour each day. It will be difficult and painful, perhaps a lifelong battle to bring it down. But this is about your health.

Did you protest that you’d be not only making yourself uncomfortable, but possibly jeopardizing your health by purposeful daily exposure? Wouldn’t it just make more sense, considering you’ve always been above the average temperature, to consider 99.7 your “healthy”, and 98.6 in fact a sign of slight hypothermia?

Why are you in denial about your health? Why do you want to sabotage the doctor’s efforts to help you?


It’s obviously not a perfect metaphor. But no doctor in their right mind would insist on forcibly lowering body temperature, when it’s well-known that some people just run hotter or cooler than others.

Why is weight so different?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vaguely Belated Intro

So, I started a blog.

Now what?

I started reading Fat Acceptance blogs a few years ago (gosh, already?), and they changed my life. They made me aware of things like Health at Every Size - the idea that regular exercise and nutritious eating is good for you whether it affects your weight or not. They told me I wasn't alone in finding it tremendously messed-up that I began dieting at eleven years old, in a doctor-approved attempt to at least maintain my weight, if not lose some, rather than keep growing.

I still remember how pleased and proud my doctor was the first year I weighed in as not having gained any weight. She asked excitedly what I had been doing, how much I had been dieting, that I must be working so hard and it's finally paying off. The truth was, I was eating just about the same as ever. I just reached my adult weight and stopped there for a while. At the time, I was so proud of myself and worked hard to keep "maintaining" instead of gaining. I look back, and I wonder why my doctor expected me to keep ballooning out at the same rate I was going during my puberty growth spurt for the rest of my life.

You can probably already tell I don't have the chops to make this a scientific blog, or a really thoroughly-cited one, or a news commentary. What I do have are a dumptruck full of anecdotes and maybe some theoretic musings that have never quite seemed appropriate to leave as comments on other FA blogs. It might be that this starts up, I get out everything I had to say, and it peters out in a month or so. And if it does, I suppose that's fine. If it doesn't, if I could be any kind of real voice in the movement, if I could help someone like me figure out that some of the things that have happened to them are not okay, then I want to be part of that.

I started my journey to FA with the absolutely incredible, if on indefinite hiatus, Junkfood Science by Sandy Szwarc. Its archives are stuffed full of science, skepticism, outrage and hope.
Junkfood Science led me by way of this eye-opening post on the hidden effect of workplace "wellness" programs to the blog of Carrie Arnold, ED Bites, which I've been reading ever since. Carrie is a recovering anorexic with a fantastic wit who not only chronicles her own recovery process and life challenges, but a weekly round-up of scientific articles about food and eating disorders, and some gorgeously smart and incisive posts about Obesity Panic.
By way of Carrie, I found Rachel Richardson's The F Word, and through her, the sadly now-defunct Shapely Prose.  At some point, and I'm sorry to say that I can't remember when, I was led to First, Do No Harm, a collection of horrifying true stories of the real-life effects of fat prejudice on fat peoples' health. I know that there are other FA blogs out there that I just haven't managed to start reading yet, but given that only one out of five of my regular reads has updated in the last month, it felt like adding another voice, even if it's only mine, would be worth it.

Thank you to the movement for existing, for the people who wrote all the things that made me re-think and gave my my brain back. I hope I can do well by someone new.

The Last Straw, OR, the Blog Namer

I am on my winter break, visiting home. I am twenty-one years old and a senior in college.

It’s about ten o’clock at night. I’m hungry. Not famished, but hungry enough to be uncomfortable. I’ve been so since perhaps 9 or 9:30, but it’s difficult to tell. I’ve been fighting a migraine since around 3pm, and the medicine has only just kicked in well enough to let me focus on other feelings instead of just pain. I am relaxed. I think about what I’d like to eat. I’m not craving anything sweet – something I take as a personal victory, after a few years trying to work on eating more intuitively and with the spectre of what may have been Binge Eating Disorder in my past. After a few years of living on my own, with access to my own kitchen, I’ve learned to eat substantial food when I’m hungry instead of trying desperately to fill up on sweets in the belief that real food is off-limits after dinner time.

What I really want is a potato. A small one, or a half of one sounds good. Little bit of butter or sour cream. Sounds perfect. Dinner was around 6, after all, and I’ve only been eating sporadically during the day. Banana for breakfast, small sandwich and apple for lunch, cheese and crackers, chicken and canned potatoes for dinner. A baked potato would be even better. Even if I’ve been napping a lot today, I’ve been spending a lot of mental energy on this migraine. I’ve been oddly weak the last few days, anyway, and nearly fell over on yoga poses that I’m normally better at yesterday. Even a little bit shaky afterward, and it occurs to me that I might not be eating enough now that my meals are being structured by the family again, and not my personal schedule.

So I get up. And I make the mistake of not trying to sneak food, waiting there hungry until my parents go to bed and I can eat in peace. No, my mom is still up, and in fact making herself a snack at the same time. I believe a peanut-butter rice cake, but unlike her I don’t pay obsessive attention to other peoples’ food. My dad is nearby, chatting with her.

I reach for the potato-baking dish from the cabinet. “What are you making?” My mom asks. Her voice is cold, accusatory, maybe even scandalized. What am I doing taking out food-preparation materials, when she’s also preparing food?!

“I really feel like a potato,” I answer. I cross the kitchen, put the dish down. Start to reach for the vegetable.

“NO.” She scolds me like a small child, her voice firm if not actually angry. “You are not making a potato at this hour, that’s a meal, not a snack.”

Well, a half a potato with a little butter is traditionally a side-dish, not a meal; in this house, a baked potato with meat, cheese and sauce piled up on top is a staple meal, so maybe I can see where she got confused. I don’t feel like arguing the point. “I’ll eat half. Maybe I want a meal, I’m hungry.”

Dad comes closer, he and Mom looking worriedly at each other. “You did have dinner.”

I look at the clock. “Four hours ago.”

My mom mentally throws her hands up in the air, and stresses to me, “It is not healthy to eat this much.”

I wash my potato, and put it in the microwave.

She has no idea that I was already planning fully on cutting the potato in half, and just felt it preferable to store half a baked potato in the fridge to storing half a raw potato on the counter. She (hopefully) wasn’t counting my calories, and I don’t know that she knows what I ate for lunch. She doesn’t put any stock in the idea that I might be legitimately hungry. She doesn’t seem to find the disconnect in preparing something for her to eat, and scolding me for doing the same. She looks at me as though I must be some kind of horrible food ogre for being hungry this late and wanting something warm and substantial instead of a rice cake.

When the potato is done, I cut it in half, store the other half, and top it with a little butter and garlic and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It’s delicious. Simple, filling, not too big but not too small.

But I spend the rest of the night mad. And worried, and shamed, and fat. I’m hungry a few more times, and convince myself maybe it’s just gas. I shouldn’t have eaten beforehand and I certainly shouldn’t pile in more food now. What if I really did eat too much – those cheese and crackers that held me over from lunch to dinner must have been a bad idea. I don’t trust my body to tell me when it’s hungry – after all, sometimes when I’m sick I can mistake the feeling.

But I’m mad that my parents think that their 21-year-old daughter’s food choices are still their business, and something they can tell me not to do and expect me to listen. I’ve been worried about my mom – since starting Weight Watchers a few years ago she’s gotten a little obsessed, and I heard her talking about skipping breakfast for her weigh-in just this afternoon. I’m simmering after a debacle with a fat-shaming poster up in my dorm room at school, and with calorie counts on the menus in New York City, and with memories of being eleven and on a diet.

I’m seriously stuck considering that I might just be a Horrible Food Ogre who has no idea about how to eat, if I dare to be hungry at ten at night.

It's 4am. I'm still mad. 
And I want to start a blog.