For her summer school class project, my friend started up a blog with the intention of discussing the complicated relationship women have with food. (For more of an introduction to the blog go here, or visit Gud Fudz yourself!) Promising to help and loving the idea of guest blogging, my attention lately has been on precisely this. Consequently, many of the blogs that appear here are cross-posted. Even though Blas(fem)y has no intention of focusing on food in this way, it does focus on me… and my focus right now is food. This means, for you, that many of the blogs will be of this theme, including my latest adventures into Breaking Veg, The State of Exception (both upcoming), and (posted directly following this one) Cravings: Giving in and Getting Sick. Aside from food, they also have the common theme of “breaking” a “rule” set for yourself. Should I feel guilty for wanting to have a salmon fillet? Should I indulge this? When does it become a legitimate craving?
A few things should be noted on my own standpoint of my vegetarianism and of dieting (not in the lose weight sense, in the lifestyle sense).
Firstly, I am a vegetarian for many reasons: ethical, environmental, health, ease (yea, I do think it’s easier being a vegetarian when you’re cooking for yourself), cost (again, when cooking for oneself especially)… oh and because I lost a bet so I had to be a vegetarian for a month. I had wanted to do so for awhile, but knew myself well enough to know that I needed a little motivation. So the month “punishment” was perfect. I never looked back. I learned how to cook (like actually cook, not like heat things up cook). Once the month was up, I would occasionally eat fish and when I was going on a month long trip to Istanbul, I worked some meat back into my diet, unsure if I could (and wanted to) be a veg there. (On a side note, you can be a veg there, especially if you have a little guidance or familiarity with the language. I went back to veg (mostly) for the last two weeks there, but I’m very glad I ate meat. I was afraid that I would miss out on an experience or that if I did eat meat before “preparing” I would get sick.) Once I got back from Istanbul I stopped eating meat again and this time meat as well. I’ve “cheated” twice, though I really hate that terminology…. which is the main point of this blog, the negativity surrounding “cheating” on your diet and the consequences of this negativity.
One of my critiques of any dieter is that it seems they so easily fall off the bandwagon. And not that it isn’t hard! Or that people don’t fuck up! Intentionally or unintentionally (I just found out the other day caesar dressing has anchovies, wtf)! Just that it’s actually seen as falling off the bandwagon. Or, rather, that people don’t seem to get back on to the bandwagon. They see it as a “well I fucked up; I’ll start again on Monday.” What happened to the saying, “if you fall off a horse, get right back on?”
Additionally, and here is my biggest worry, the guilt that comes with messing up a little bit.
Because of this, I think it’s important to indulge your cravings. For me this means, get a craving and don’t indulge just yet. Give it a week, or two, or whatever… and if I still have it, indulge! I think that, in this way, you’re able to maintain a healthier balance between abstaining (which can be unhealthy) and over-indulgence (which can be just as unhealthy as abstaining).
Then, after I indulge, I get right back on the horse.
Note: These issues will be further explored in the upcoming blogs mentioned above.