I have been participating in the Incendiary Food performance art, and it has really raised some issues for me.
When I first read fearfuloptimist
's post that started the whole thing, I was a bit taken aback. My first reaction to her was to be taken aback. She was admitting to eating candy! Pie! Junk food! With no apology, no remorse! Didn't she know that people would be judgmental? Didn't she know that she was opening herself up to criticism?
And then I realized that that was exactly why she was doing it.
I thought of myself as fat-positive and self-assured, until I started participating in Incendiary Food. Every day, I've had to self-edit so I won't explain, so I won't apologize. ("I really don't drink this much, usually. I'm just eating up the Halloween candy, it's not like I always have Snickers bars for breakfast. I had to buy that scone, it was a charity bakesale. And it was a really little one.")
So, this has been a very good exercise for me. Straightforward, no excuses, this is me and this is what I eat and it's nobody's business but my own.
It has also been fascinating to see what other people eat.
I have seen that most people who are logging their food at incendiaryfood
routinely skip a meal or two.
I have seen that most participants (with a few notable exceptions) never eat the USDA recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables. For a sedentary 40-year-old woman, that's 1.5 "cups" of fruit and 2.5 "cups" of vegetables -- you actually need over 2 cups of raw greens to count as 1 cup.
I have seen that most participants here are a lot more into their food than I am. It's lovingly described and praised, in detail.
I have seen people who self-identify as too thin and "not eating enough", eating more calories per day than other people who beat themselves up about eating SO MUCH and being fat.
(As near as I can tell, the biggest eating differences between those who self-identify as fat and those who self-identify as thin, are that the "fat" ones skip more meals and eat fewer vegetables than the "thin" ones.)
Occasionally I see someone whose eating habits look like mine, and I want to embrace her. Sister! Fellow eating spirit! You too snack frequently and generally have toast in the morning! You too munch on leftover Halloween candy, and don't know where the heck your apples were grown! Come on over for dinner some night, and we'll have chili mac, with ice cream for dessert.
(Cross-posted to incendiaryfood