Last night on Facebook, with visions of other, better have-it-together women sitting down to wholesome, filling meals across the land, I posted this as my status:
Will it be okay if I just have Oreos and milk for dinner?
I felt sort of bashful about it, and didn't think I'd get much response, but I did. I did! And the comments culminated in a resounding YES.
There were comparable confessions. Two had ice cream for a meal. One, cereal straight out of the box. And my mom (she's on Facebook, because isn't that the way of things now?) said sure, she'd had pie. One friend said, "I'll write you a note saying it's okay." Another said, "I say you go for it [because] life is short." A third said, "Such a sad day when we question our most pure and wonderful urges." Just this morning yet another friend had a Nestle Crunch bar for breakfast, and let it be known that she's my kinda girl.
You know what? I say we own it. OWN it, ladies.
Here's the thing. Most times I would rather have a Big Mac and fries than a salad. I like fat hunks of chocolate, and salt-and-vinegar potato chips (not together, actually, but now that I think about it...). Why not get something fried to perfection? (Dill pickles? Yes, please.) Why can't I stand at the edge of the kitchen and snarf down a bowl of cereal with itty-bitty fake marshmallows? And I know, up in the smart part of my brain, that carbonation and caffeine aren't good for my body, but dangitall I just love a fountain Dr Pepper, okay?
Here's the other thing. I know as well as the next woman that it's about balance. There are things we have to eat for our well-being. I happen to love steamed broccoli and sauteed carrots and grilled asparagus, blueberries and strawberries (but not raspberries), almonds, yogurt, things with those all-powerful anti-oxidants, (some) protein-packed meats, fish and rice, and I enjoy baking (and eating) breads and muffins with wheat germ and milled flax seed. And I'm pretty decent about drinking water.
I like to have it all, baby.
It's just I think we shouldn't deny ourselves. It's about portion control, and, I'll say it again, balance. I think if I'm hormonal and want a whole "sharing size" pack of Peanut M&M's for myself (or, say, Oreos and milk for dinner), then that's exactly what I need to eat. I say if, once in a while, I don't have the energy to cook a five-food-group meal (who does that, anyway?) then I'm alright serving up bowls of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (as long as it's spirals). [Although okay, I confess, guilt gets the best of me and I serve canned fruit, too. That just feels better.]
It's not about just health, it's about happiness. I wouldn't be happy eating only greens and grilled chicken with eight servings of fresh fruit all the time. There is something deeply satisfying about the Arby's drive-through, and have you ever anticipated the first bite of a brownie explosion with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream?, and I really dig greasy Mexican food. (Fortunately I'm blessed with good genes and a high metabolism.)
It is the small (delicious) things that make life worth living.
And that lead to the need for exercise. I gained five pounds writing this post, so I'm going to go take a walk. While I'm out, answer any or all of these questions:
Do you have allergies, intolerances or health limitations that affect your diet?
What is a "splurge" for you?
Do you indulge in your wicked desires? (I'm just talking food here, so let's walk away from TMI.)
How often do you make a meal out of something not mealish?
Do you exercise regularly?
Is there guilt?
Will you come over for milk and cookies?
How do you feel about the things I've talked about here?