As I sit in a lovely apartment in lively Leidseplein chomping down on a BiFi XXL that I plan to follow with a chaser of Fanta Lemon and Mcvities Ginger Nuts (now even more gingery), I am reminded of two recent observations of Americans and food.
In this instance, I am forced to include myself under the American label, because the observations were made by tourists to America, and that I am not.
Yesterday’s chance encounter with the Italian and his A-1 sauce reminded me of teenage cousin visiting from France, whose first visit to America, New York, is made notable by the fact that there is food everywhere and not just food but unhealthy food in large proportions. Worse, we, his hosts, spend almost every minute fixated on what we are going to eat next. After all, meals have to be planned and we can’t let our guest go hungry.
It’s not that these are new revelations to me. I’ve known that. The difference is that I now see how American I have become in my pattern, quantity, and quality of food consumption, and these criticisms are becoming more personal.
I grew up with fat chick mentality. Powder and my thighs have long been best buddies. But I look at old pictures now and I wasn’t really fat. Even now, I don’t consider myself slim, and technically I’m indeed overweight by BMI standards, but strangers and some acquaintances, friends, and family insist on calling me tiny and petite. For a minute there, I was believing it and beginning to embrace my rolls, jiggle, and cottage cheese thighs.
But these two encounters have made me realize that the only reason anyone would think to classify me as petite or slim is because we are surrounded by obese and morbidly obese children and adults. Of course, compared to them I’m “a skinny chick”. Reality though is that I am indeed a fat girl and need to stop eating as if I’m fattening myself up for a purpose.
So once I’m done with my snack above, and the ice-cream, Dutch fries, doner kebabs, and fine European chocolates to come, I’m going to address the issue head on.
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