My college nutrition teacher was skinny. I think it is a requirement that dieticians be skinny in order to keep their credential up to date (ok, probably not, but it SEEMS like it ought to be).
But she really went overboard with the skinny thing. I mean, aggressively skinny, "I will slice and dice you with my razor-sharp hipbones" skinny. She wore these clingy skirts of thin material that would have looked tragic on anyone with more than 10 percent body fat. She would lean up against the chalkboard with her knee bent and one foot on the wall behind her, hipbones sticking out in front of the rest of her body. The class would just sit there in stunned silence, feeling fat beyond belief.
She told us we could earn extra credit, an almost-certain "A" grade, by following her diet plan for the duration of the class and reporting to the class about our weight loss. I figured that standing up in front of fifty 19-year-olds would definitely inspire me to lose weight in a way that nothing else would, and I was right.
I followed her diet plan - small portions of food, except for vast quantities of green vegetables - and exercise plan, and I lost weight, I think 17 pounds over 18 weeks. Not bad. I had to completely obsess about food the whole time and count everything that went into my mouth and exercise like a fiend, but I was willing to do it for the A and to not humiliate myself in front of the class.
But midway through the semester, we were discussing my diet plan, which was complicated by the fact that I am a vegetarian. Someone asked about cheese pizza and she totted up the calories in a slice of pizza, then said brightly, "See? She can have a slice."
A SLICE? I CAN have a slice? That sentence just made my blood boil. Just the way she said "can" like she was granting all the fat people in the world this wonderful blessing of a slice of pizza.
Maybe it bugged me so bad because "She can have a slice" is just one letter off from "She can't have a slice" and I hate to be told CAN'T. It is almost a primal feeling that rushes up when I am faced with deprivation.
"Tell me what to do!" I thought. As soon as I got off the diet I began to eat like mad and that really hasn't subsided. I am fatter than ever. I know I am thinking about this all wrong. If I figure out how to eat much less joyfully, I will let you know how I did it.
But tonight, in honor of my nutrition teacher and her hipbones, I am sitting here eating 3 slices of frozen pizza, some broccoli (WITH mayo, not the reduced-fat kind either) and a glass of red wine.
Long live pizza. Long live my fat booty. I hope it doesn't hurt her too much to sit down on her anorexic butt.