Thursday, April 11, 2013

Puttin' on the Ritz

I grew up steeped in ideas about good foods and bad foods. Eating good foods (or even better, no food at all) made one a good girl, virtuous, and - eventually, presumably - skinny. Eating bad foods made one a bad girl, gluttonous, and fat with all the most negative connotations of fatness that society allows.

I've worked hard to unpack and (to some extent) unlearn these attitudes. I had a moment today when it really reared up. I realized I feel guilty/bad when I eat Ritz crackers. I remember being told they were full of fat and they were not something we ever had in the house growing up.

I wonder... are they really nutritionally that bad? I almost looked at the Nutrition Facts panel when the thought reared its head. But what would that prove? They are not made of air and cardboard, and they are a processed food, so a glance at the facts and figures is not likely to prove they've got the same nutritional content (or lack thereof) as a handful of celery sticks and shut up the guilt that way. Nope, that's staying within the problematic paradigm. It's not about whether they're "bad" or "good" at all. I've gotta use my intuitive eating and HAES skills and shut that sh*t down.

Fact: In an ideal world, I would've brought a lunch, but I didn't.
Fact: The options to go out and purchase near work, and the time it would take to do so, did not work for me today.
Fact: I need to feed my body. Unplanned fasting is not an acceptable option for me.
Fact: I had Ritz crackers in my desk drawer because they're something I'll eat even when I feel crappy and/or don't feel like eating.

Therefore: Ritz crackers were the right choice given the parameters in place today.  

Take that, tape loop in my head!


  1. Do you have the one about how "bad" it is to feel like you want to keep eating after eating a "good" meal, when the plain fact is that the "good" meal was not the meal you needed to satisfy your hunger?

    Back when I dieted, I used to beat myself up over "falling off the wagon" by eating "bad" food every so many weeks when the cravings drove me bonkers. Then I looked at my food diary and realized that I craved fatty food at the same point in my cycle every month. Right now, in fact.

    Tonight I made a pot of vegetarian chili that was very low in fat (only 2 tablespoons oil) so that I could also serve a bowl of sour cream and a bowl of grated Mexican blend cheese (very melty!) and let everybody adjust the richness of their meal as they liked, not just me. And I am satisfied. Take that, tapes!

    Jennifer Hansen

    1. Yup, I know that one. My version is more like, "I shouldn't be hungry right now. I just ate X minutes/hours ago." What the h*ll does 'should' have to do with it? If my body says it's hungry, it deserves to be listened to - and fed!

      Wow... I haven't ever kept a food diary but it blows my mind that you were craving certain foods at certain times of the month. Maybe I should try that sometime... not to diet, just to understand my body better.

      Love the idea of a meal where everyone gets to make it their own, to suit their own tastes/needs/moods!

  2. Hi Amanda, Sorry to hijack your comments - there are no contact details on the blog. Could you drop me a line please - i'm taking over notes from teh fatosphere from bri king and there are some changes happening at the end of the month (June!) that i'll need to let you know about.

    You can use fatosphere at gmail dot com.

    Ang :)