My family has traditions. Old ones, new ones… and nearly all of them attached to a special day – a holiday, a birthday, or another such special occasion that occurs once each year.
And like lots of family traditions, many of ours involve food. Foods we love [or perhaps do not love] that remind us of our history, our childhood, our departed relatives. The way Grams would put three kinds of cheese in her mashed potatoes, making them the most amazing mostly-potatoes I’ve ever tasted. The way Dad sprinkled freshly grated parmesan from his favorite Italian market into his soup. They are both gone but their memory lives on in our traditions. [Not all our traditions involve cheese… though now I’m wondering about the psychological significance of the first two I thought of both being ‘cheesy’.]
Holiday gatherings are a time to celebrate and enjoy those once-a-year treats we don’t eat any other day of the year. The cheesy potatoes. The extra parmesan. Mom’s rum cake. All without guilt. We cook, we bake, we eat, we enjoy. And why shouldn’t we?
In my family, pretty much every body type is represented. And I know whose genes are dominant in me. I cook healthy meals. I try to be active. I teach my children what’s healthy for every day eating and what’s a treat for once-in-a-while. I do not teach them deprivation and forbidden foods. I don’t believe in either of those things. If I have a mad craving, I satisfy it within reason —a tiny bag of chips and no more in the house calling to me from the kitchen. It beats letting the craving grow and grow into what will only be satisfied with an entire family-size bag.
It is possible to eat everything you love and remain healthy. In fact, many would argue [and I would agree] that not eating the things you love is potentially far more detrimental. Wanting and craving and dreaming of a chocolate chip cookie is going to turn into a giant binge… and it will become a regretful devouring of an entire batch of cookies because you couldn’t just let yourself have one or two the day you craved them.
Lighten up. It’s not rat poison. It’s a fucking cookie.
A guilt-free splurge on Christmas – one day – is not the end of days.
Go ahead and try that pie your cousin made. It looks delicious and she made it for everyone. She wants you to have some.
And while you eat it, please know that no one wants to listen to you blather on about how you are being so bad for eating anything other than vegetables… for cheating on your diet. Oh, but you’re not on a diet, you say. You eat healthy all the time and never have any bad foods. Ever.
It’s fucking Christmas. Calm the fuck down.
Does dinner conversation really have to revolve around what’s healthy and what’s not? It’s a fucking holiday meal – one of the only days of the year we eat this way. We know it’s not a fantastically healthy meal. That’s why we don’t eat like this every damn day.
Trust me – we do not need to hear how you can only allow yourself one spoonful of mashed potatoes because they’re so bad for you and you’re horribly cheating today by daring to put 7 drops of gravy on that pork roast, and fucking heaven forbid, eating some of Mom’s eggplant parmesan. We’re eating these things today, too. Your asinine self-centered comments suggest we are doing something wrong. And we are not. We know – you think carbs are the devil and no one should eat them ever… except when you eat them.
And dessert… holy fuck, don’t even.
‘Please cut that 1-inch square fudgy thing into 4 tiny squares… because I can only have a bite.’ My God. Shut your fucking hole before I cram the whole plate of fudge down your throat.
And, oh fuck yes, please demand a sliver of pie so ridiculously thin that it’s impossible to cut and serve. But hey, you can see through it. So there’s that. And didn’t you already say that today you were cheating horribly by daring to eat anything other than vegetables? Yes, you said that. About 65 fucking times.
For the love of God, please SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I said please.
What exactly are you cheating on? Because there is no fucking healthy eating plan that includes solely vegetables. We all know veggies are good for us. As part of a healthy diet. Not your entire diet.
And besides, it’s a goddamn holiday. It comes once a year. Having a treat occasionally is a normal part of a healthy diet. Forbidding and depriving is not a healthy lifestyle change. It’s ridiculous and extreme. If you want to teach yourself how to eat, you’re going to need all of the food groups, genius. You’re going to need a plan you can live with for the rest of your life, not for the next few days or weeks or months. Maintain a healthy balance. That is how one eats right. [Moderation. Duh. Jesus, everyone knows that.] Eating other foods besides vegetables is NOT BAD FOR YOU. And it’s not cheating.
But fuck all of that. I don’t give a shit how you live your life.
However… do not impose your goddamn insane restrictions on others.
Stop looking at other people’s plates like they’re doing something horribly wrong by enjoying a holiday meal. Stop talking. Stop making others feel guilty for enjoying some special holiday treats. And stop assuming that if someone has a big fat plate of food on Christmas, (s)he must eat that way all the time so s(he) is super unhealthy and you are so much better than her/him.
Because you’re not better. You’re an imposing bitch who thinks her every decision is the right one so the rest of us must be morons.
Stop telling us that tiny bite of chocolate is a huge cheat for you and you’ll have to be extra strict tomorrow to make up for it. Stop trying to convince everyone that you don’t eat like the holidays every other day of your life. We already know. We don’t eat like it’s a holiday every day either. No one does. You’re not special or superior. Stop implying that on every day except today, you are fucking perfect.
Fuck you. You could have a bite of chocolate EVERY GODDAMN DAY and you wouldn’t be unhealthy. Christ, get some deep dark chocolate and it’s actually GOOD for you.
So shut your piehole. Right after you shove in that pie.
P.S. – By the way, on an unrelated/related note, I almost forgot to mention… Aunt Dumbass is no longer a vegetarian.