I don’t eat donuts. And some people just HATE that.
Here’s the thing. I’m a huge fatty. Morbidly obese by BMI standards. I hate donuts.
Because of these facts, people really seem to resent me when donuts are brought into the office at work. Why? Because I don’t like to play along with the game of “Hey, as long as the FATTY has a donut, it clears my conscience for ME to have one (or more)”.
Why don’t I eat something that everyone KNOWS fatties can’t seem to resist? Well, quite aside from my many years of working summers and evenings at a local Polish bakery and seeing how the things were made; which is quite enough to turn you off of eating them all on its own; it’s because I KNOW that donuts end up making me feel awful. In fewer than 20 minutes after eating a donut I KNOW it will feel like there is a lead bullet lodged in my digestion. Unless I am CERTAIN that I am willing to put up with the pain and suffering that eating even those cute little donut “holes” will unerringly cause; I just. don’t. eat them. End of story.
It isn’t a moral virtue that I somehow manage to “hold back” some ravenous desire to devour the world’s donuts. I don’t like how they make me feel. I’ve stopped the roller-coaster train that is weight-loss dieting and so I’ve finally come to terms with this fact: donuts make me feel not-my-best. They aren’t worth it to me anymore. In truth, there are quite a few things I no longer eat because the seductive allure of their inherently “sinful” nature has been completely removed in the years since I stopped dieting, making them once again plain old amoral food choices that I choose to avoid due to the way they affect my body’s system.
However, because of this insane world in which we live and its insistence upon diet-talk bonding behaviors; people don’t LIKE when I don’t follow the social rules and join the group-think, declaring myself “so Baaaaad!” and eating the Forbidden Sugar Fruit along with the rest of the hungry hordes.
Listen. It ISN’T some kind of “Oooo look at me! I’m so VIRTUOUS! I’ve got all this WILLPOWER to stay away from those rings of deliciously naughty goodness.” I’m not trying to get people to ask me how it is I can remain so pure and avoid this world-wide love for the magical donut (or cake, as the case may be, in Catherine Tate’s amusing bit about such diet-bonding behavior). I just don’t like the little buggers enough for me to want to pay-up, 20 minutes later, via an unhappily clenching stomach and painful waves of indigestion. It isn’t worth it to me anymore.
And yet, because I won’t lather into a frenzy over the idea that “Someone brought in… donuts! They’re in the KITCHEN! You should hurry before there aren’t any LEFT!” I get the distinct and almost hostile feeling that I’m not “doing it right” and therefore denying others their own ability to feel a bond-in-food with everyone over how decadent and naughty we’re all being.
Meanwhile, I just don’t know how I can be more assertive than to assure folks that “No, thanks I don’t want a donut. I’m sure. Yes, I’m really sure. Those things are, I’m sure, very delicious but they make me feel like shit. Yes, I’m sure I won’t have one. No, not even if YOU have one. Honestly, I don’t care if you want one! Eat it!!!!” Seriously folks, do you need the fatty to join you in your perceived food-sinning in order to feel like it is okay? As if only if you are eating less than (or as much as?) the largest woman in the room can you feel alright about your food choices??? Is this culture REALLY that bizarre with its food hang-ups?!?!?
I want to ask you: what sort of foods do you avoid eating that get you looked at with disbelief? Do you HATE the crunch of carrots and get raised eyebrows when you avoid them because they are the perfect “diet food” (or were, at any rate, before sugar-fears made them a “naughty diet food”)? Do you despise the way that cream cheese frosting feels in your mouth and get gasps of surprise when you don’t agree to partake in the wonders of a thus-frosted piece of cake?
Yet, how often does anyone actually respond to such gasps, groans, joking and amazement with the simple, “You know, my choice to eat this, or not, should not affect your ability to enjoy it! Go on and eat it, happily!”? I know I don’t think of saying that. But I’m thinking that I will begin to do so.
I am sick of feeling like somehow my lack of desire in joining folks in their merry Donut-Sin-Party somehow diminishes everyone else’s fun and food enjoyment. I don’t play that game anymore. And maybe saying that simple phrase above could help encourage others to realize that it ISN’T about what is on someone else’s plate or making sure that you’re keeping just a bit less on there than the fatty; it’s about enjoying what you’ve CHOSEN to happily eat from your own plate. Even if that choice happens to be NOT the donut that everyone else is coo-ing over!