Me: [out loud] Um…
Me: [silently] Yes you idiot. I know how many calories are in everything. I’ve internalized the nutritional information of so many things that it’s practically written on my DNA. In fact, it’s impossible for me to even be in the same room as a menu without my mental calculator going into overdrive.
Him: Please tell me you’re not actually going to eat that.
Me: [out loud] Um…
Me: [silently] Despite knowing what a dietary disaster it is, I did indeed order this chocolate malt with the full intention of eating it.
Him: At least scrape the whipped cream off the top!
Me: [out loud] But I like whipped cream…
Me: [silently] I just finished a sweat-soaked 3.5 hour workout! And this is the first thing I’ve eaten all day! If you can’t eat a milk shake after all that, when can you?
Him: Here, have a bite of my salmon and broccoli instead.
Me: [out loud] I’m not hungry any more.
Me: [B-movie horror scream]
Shape magazine this month has an interesting little factoid: women eat 486 less calories when they eat in the company of a man. Of course Shape has to make a dubious diet tip out of that: To keep a handle on those holiday calories, make sure you sit by men to eat! While that may be good dating advice, I’m not sure if it is good advice in general. Are they saying that to impress a man, one must suppress their natural appetite and eat like a bird? Or are they saying that being around other women makes us overeat? Either way, that is rather a lot of calories to be trimming off for the gents, ladies.
And yet, I have to wonder if this is true. In the above example I gave in to the guilt fest and ended up eating only three measly bites leaving the waiter and the rest of our party to wonder why on earth I would pay for a five-dollar dessert only to watch it turn into a science project on the various states of matter. But aside from that one instance (and yes even I find my passivity galling), in my experience it is much harder to eat around girls. Most men don’t seem to give the first thought to what’s on my plate and some even seem to applaud a girl who will really eat. Girls, on the other hand, can be awfully judge-y. Even if they’re not appraising your value based on your cream puffs (ahem), most of them are watching what they eat and therefore resent your brazen enjoyment of the dessert buffet. Of course if you don’t eat then it sparks a whole other kind of discussion in the ladies room. And that’s not even talking about the girls who will actively sabotage you with food.
Granted, these conclusions are based on stereotypes but while there are men who would make me curtail my eating in their presence (see above), I am more likely to be conscious and therefore limit what I eat in front of women. All of which makes me intently curious as to how it is for you.
Given my love for asking strangers intrusive personal questions and my love for online polls, the following should not surprise you:
(If you get this post through e-mail or a feed reader, please click through to see the poll.)