"Oh, I'm being so bad!"
I can't tell how many times I hear that at the bakery over the course of a day. It's mostly women who say this, although it's not exclusively women. I keep asking myself: how did dessert get defined as bad or sinful or off-limits anyway?
I'm aware that the history is rather complicated, and I've read many books looking at the subject. It all seems to stem from the premise that under-eating is somehow virtuous, and over-eating is a sin. After all, gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly sins, but dieting is nowhere to be seen. I find the religious overtones fascinating, too: desserts as sin and exercise as atonement. It seems these religious sentiments are particularly associated with Christianity (although living in suburban America, Christianity is the dominant religion wherever I've lived). I mean, have you ever seen a fat Jesus?
Yet with all of the evil and wrongs and despair in this world--the oil spill in the Gulf, the wars, the economic difficulties--we most frequently refer to "bad" in context with dessert. It's cake! Eating it doesn't make you a sinner or a saint. It just makes you an eater of cake.
So when yet another women gave me her order ("One cannoli and a red velvet cupcake, please!") and then lamented, "Oh, I'm being so bad!" I looked at her and said the following:
"Ma'am, you said please and you're not stealing anything. How could you be bad?"
She looked at me.
And ruefully admitted: "I guess not."
"Oh, I'm being so bad!"
- binge eating disorder
- biology of EDs
- body image
- disordered eating
- eating disorder
- Grand Theory of Eating Disorders
- narrating anorexia
- normal eating
- obesity hysteria
- weight gain
- weight loss
- Carrie Arnold
- I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.
Drop me a line!
nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote
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