I Will Never Love Anyone The Way I Love Food

I’ve recently been on something of a diet (though I hesitate to even use that word, as it immediately conjures up images of all-juice regimens and laxative tea) and it’s just the worst thing ever. Even though I’m not really doing anything except eating a little less and moving around a little more, it’s still cutting out so many things I love so dearly. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to feel more energetic, fit into my clothes better, and feel prepared for summer, but I miss bad food so much. There are those that say, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and to them I reply, “Clearly you have never had jalapeño poppers.”

The thing is, when you are limiting calories or cutting certain things out of your diet entirely, you start to realize how much of it you miss — how much it just enhances every day life. Watching a movie? Without some Sour Patch Kids or popcorn, it’s just staring at a screen with moving pictures on it. How am I supposed to feel like a Viking if I can’t saw into a bloody steak? Could you imagine blowing out a few candles on top of your birthday cement block? Of course not! It has to be made out of delicious, delicious cake — which society and Pinterest are now proving can be made into any shape the heart desires, as well as served on sticks like sugary corndogs. The possibilities food bring are just limitless, and there is truly a gastronomic delight for every occasion.

But I feel constantly in a battle with my undying love for food. I know a lot of the stuff I like is bad for me, and I know it is gluttonous to want to try all of my favorite candy bars deep-fried at least once in my lifetime, but I can’t help it. Food is more than just for eating, too, it’s also for looking at in my spare time. I love browsing food porn blogs, watching the Food Network, and even just reading cookbooks for pleasure. And I know there are many people who would say, “Come on, what a waste of time, it’s just nutrients you’re putting into your body to survive,” and they’re right, technically. It’s probably stupid to be so obsessed — especially when I’m not even what one would consider a “foodie.” Sure, I like all the bullsh-t combinations of jicama foam and artisan goat cheese on a reduction of blah blah blah, but I also will sit down in front of a bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and demolish that thing like I’m making way for a new apartment complex. I would eat Popeye’s spicy fried chicken until there were no chickens left in the country and I had to wait for new chickens to grow up. 5 Guys’ Burgers make me feel like I’m a child again, and anything is possible.

And obviously I know it’s something that needs to be done with moderation, and I get just as mad as anyone else when I see parents who constantly feed their already obese children junk food, taking away the one time in their lives where they’re ever going to want to run around all the time of their own volition. I know that food, especially the maybe-slightly-less-than-nutritious-food that I like so much, is a double-edged sword. But I would rather fall on that sword and be skewered like an overfull BLT than to give up the awesome stuff entirely. I know many people who consistently deny themselves the errant burger, or slice of pie, or scoop of ice cream. And yes, they are skinny and toned as hell. They look like they could be backup dancers in an infomercial for an exercise tape. But you know what? I see them listlessly poking away at their mixed green salad at every lunch, and they are sad. They are sad because there is a part of them that knows that bbq ribs taste like winning an Oscar, and they can’t be a part of it.

So I have decided that, while working out is always a good thing and I should do that as much as possible (within reason), there is only so much food that I am willing to give up. Sure, eating lots of fruits and veggies and drinking water is more than doable, and great for my body, but I am never going to find myself at a restaurant and pass over the potatoes au gratin to get a pile of spinach. Never. And if that means that I will perpetually be a little bigger than I would otherwise, or that I’ll never have that stupid little v-cut on my hips that is apparently a requirement to succeed in life, so be it. I don’t care, frankly, and as long as things are being done in moderation — life is too short to turn down the éclair. TC mark

image – pointnshoot

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • Anonymous

    Amen

  • http://www.facebook.com/careuhsellxo Angela Joyce

    I can now say with full confidence that Chelsea Fagan is my spirit animal.

    • Guest

      my spirit animal is a sloth but i still really like chelsea fagan and her writing

      • Anonymous

        OH MY GOD I LITERALLY JUST TWEETED THE OTHER DAY THAT MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A SLOTH IF I WAS BEING HONEST WITH MYSELF. i love you both <3

  • Anonymous

    god, I love you.

  • http://www.happybelly.org.uk/ Maria S.

    Love it.  

  • http://twitter.com/jemmehlee Jamie ❤ 。◕

    Chill, just eat what you like D:

    You should watchPortia de Rossi’s interview on Oprah, she said just to eat what you want to eat and you’ll stop thinking about food in this life/hate relationship. Eat what you link you it will be all good =)

  • Melissa

    awwww, girl! soul sisters right here.
    :)

  • tray

    Barbecue ribs DO taste like winning an Oscar.  Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw:  a Tony.

    I want to win all the awards.

  • mclyrz

    You are like Liz Lemon. Is it weird that most of my fondest memories are trumped by food? “oh man that was a great wedding, they had an amazing cake!” “Yea I remember that baby shower; someone brought that delicious seven layered melt in my mouth casserole”

  • Craig Duncan

    The following excerpts depict the
    typical lives of chickens, pigs, and
    cows—quoted from David DeGrazia’s “Moral Vegetarianism from a Very Broad
    Basis,” Journal of Moral Philosophy,
    vol. 6, (2009): 143–165.

     

    “Hen X begins life in a crowded incubator.
    After moving to a shed, where she stays until mature enough to lay eggs, she is
    taken to a battery cage made entirely of wire, where she lives most of her
    life. (Lacking commercial value, male chicks are ground up alive, gassed, or
    suffocated.) Hen X’s cage is so crowded that she cannot fully stretch her
    wings. Although important for feeding, exploring, and preening, her beak has
    been partly cut off, through sensitive tissue, in order to limit the damage
    caused by pecking cage mates—a behavior induced by overcrowding. For several
    hours before laying an egg, Hen X paces nervously, instinctively seeking a nest
    she will not find. At egglaying time, she stands on a sloped, uncomfortable
    wire floor. Lack of exercise, unnatural conditions, and demands for extreme
    productivity—she lays 250 eggs per year—weaken her bones. (Unlike many hens,
    Hen X is not subjected to forced molting, the withholding of water for one to
    three days and food for up to two weeks in order to extend hen’s productive lives.)
    When considered spent at age two, she is jammed into a crate and transported in
    a truck—without food, water, or protection from the elements—to a
    slaughterhouse, where handling is rough. At her destination, Hen X is shackled
    upside down on a conveyor belt before an automated knife slices her throat.
    Because the Humane Slaughter Act does not apply to poultry, she is fully conscious
    throughout this process.”

     

    “Like most pigs consumed today, Hog Y will
    spend his life indoors in crowded pens of concrete and steel. At ten days he is
    castrated without anesthesia. Just two weeks later, Hog Y is weaned and
    separated from his mother before being taken to a very crowded ‘nursery’. There
    his tail is cut off, his ‘needle’ teeth are clipped, and an ear is notched—again
    without anesthesia. Due to poor ventilation, he constantly breathes powerful
    fumes from feces and urine. Upon reaching a weight of fifty pounds with the
    help of a growth hormone, he is taken to a ‘finishing’ pen, which has a slatted
    floor with no bedding. When deemed ready for slaughter, Hog Y is roughly herded
    into a truck with over 100 other hogs. The day-long journey is unpleasant for
    Hog Y, who gets into fights with other hogs while receiving no food, water,
    rest, or protection from the summer sun. At the slaughterhouse, Hog Y smells
    blood and resists prodding from the human handlers. They force him onto the
    restraining conveyor belt that carries him to the stunner. Hog Y is fortunate
    in that the electric stunning procedure works, rendering him unconscious before
    his body is dropped in scalding water and dismembered. (Although the Humane
    Slaughter Act requires that animals other than poultry and rabbits be rendered
    unconscious with a single application of an effective stunning device before
    being shackled, hoisted upside down, and dismembered, slaughterhouse employees
    report that violations occur regularly.)”

     

    “Although it is natural for cows and their
    calves to bond strongly for a year or more, Cow (then Calf) Z is taken from her
    mother shortly after birth to begin life as a dairy cow. (Male calves are taken
    to begin their short lives in veal crates.) Never receiving her mother’s milk,
    which would help her fight disease, she lives in a very crowded drylot devoid
    of grass. (By contrast, some dairy cows are confined for most of each year to a
    single stall.) Her tail is docked without anesthesia. Cow Z’s diet is heavy in
    grain—not the roughage that cows digest easily—causing metabolic disorders and
    painful lameness. And like many dairy cows, she often has mastitis, a painful
    udder inflammation, despite receiving antibiotics between lactations. To
    maintain continuous milk production, Cow Z is induced to bear one calf per
    year. Each year, when her new calf is taken away, Cow Z looks continuously for
    the calf and bellows for hours. Daily injections of bovine growth hormone—which
    has been banned in Canada and the European Union—stimulate additional growth
    and productivity. Her natural life span is twenty or more years, but at age
    four she can no longer maintain production levels and is considered ‘spent’.
    During transport and handling, Cow Z is fortunate: Though deprived of food,
    water, and rest for over two days, and frightened when prodded, she is not
    beaten. At the slaughterhouse her instincts, unlike hogs’, allow her to walk
    easily in a singlefile chute. Unfortunately, the poorly trained stun operator
    has difficulty with the air-powered knocking gun. Despite stunning Cow Z four
    times, she stands up and bellows. The line doesn’t stop, however, so she is hoisted
    up on the overhead rail and transported to the ‘sticker’, who cuts her throat
    to bleed her out. She remains conscious as she bleeds and experiences some of
    the dismemberment and skinning process alive.”

    • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

      You must be charming at dinner parties.

      • Craig Duncan

        Much more charming than your lazy ad hominem, which, I admit, is a useful argumentative strategy and rhetorical maneuver when dealing with an uncomfortable issue like this. It is much harder, Emil, to discuss how the fetishization of “food” in the article masks the violence of ontologizing living beings as though they are mere commodities. Much easier to let the radical anthropocentrism of the piece go unchallenged, isn’t it?    

      • http://twitter.com/PatrishCee patreeeesh

        Lol you must have a lot of fun in your free time

      • Craig Duncan

        Notice that, in my first post, I merely quoted some excerpts from an academic journal article which describes, in terms quite vanilla I might add, what it’s like for these animals to become “BBQ ribs” and “BLTs” and so on. There is no exaggeration here. These are merely descriptions of what happens to the vast majority of animals that we kill and consume on a day-to-day basis.

        Also, note the double-bind: If one raises the “animal issue” in this context, it’s dismissed outright or challenged as being out of place. If one raises it at the dinner table (and usually one only does because she is asked about her dietary habits), it’s seen as being inappropriate. And now, even though this a comment on “thought catalog,” it’s construed as something only someone with lots of “free time” would bother to question. Whereas the article, in all its spectacular superficiality, is not questioned at all.

        This is all very interesting to me, because I’m doing doctoral research on this topic, and thought catalog has proven time and time again to be the perfect place to view how the norms of dominant culture are embedded in unlikely places where people who might otherwise consider themselves “open to different perspectives” attempt to silence the very presence of the Other.

      • Guest

         Can we all agree that  Emil Caillaux’s reply was amazing!

      • Melissa

        lol, wow. this duncan guy is somethin’ else.

      • GS

        I don’t see it as out of place or inappropriate, I just don’t care. Cuz there ain’t nothing like a pulled pork sandwich.

      • Jkhmn80

        PETA. People eating tasty animals

      • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

        Methinks the gentleman rides on too high a steed for these simple lands. It would be preferable if he were to safely dismount.

        Really, though. Chelsea has written a subjective, emotional ode to a personal preference, (which could be easily summarized to “I LOVE FOOD IT IS DELICIOUS OM NOM NOM” but that brief analysis would take away from the lady’s exquisite ability with words). You then proceed to share with us 847 words (which, by the way, exceed the 825 words of Chelsea’s article) on the process by which animals are currently exploited for human consumption — a point which, to say the least, is beyond the thesis statement presented by Mademoiselle Fagan (again, see above for a brief summary).

        However, instead of providing commentary to David DeGrazia’s words – maybe discussing with us, simple-minded people who with glee consume a Big Mac without concern for the horrors that produced it – you leave it untouched. No footnotes, no armchair commentary, no words of your own. If you had, I would have applauded your efforts to add to the conversation and perhaps elevate it. However, as it stands it is pretty clear that you intended your “contribution” to speak for itself ex cathedra while subsequently shaming the author’s viewpoint as “not comprehensive enough” to say the least. Not exactly the intentions of someone who wishes to converse in a friendly manner.

        On behalf of internet commenters and authors the world around, I would like to apologize to you, sir, for the simplicity of our conversations, for the frustration that must be stirred in your highbrow disposition by our mindless, unenlightened chatter. I hope that you are able to bear with us if and when some Thought Catalog writer decides to, in a fit of bias and ignorance, decides to write a decidedly uninformed soliloquy on the difficult plight of canis familiaris throughout the ages, likely with the shamefully unscholarly title of “I Really Love My Dog.”

      • GS

        Ha I was just about to ask this guy what the view’s like up there. Love this comment Emil.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667441091 Archita Trisal

        Is it wrong that that turned me on?

      • Lauparm

         Épouse moi Emil!

      • Craig Duncan

         “Really, though. Chelsea has written a subjective, emotional ode to a personal preference, (which could be easily summarized to “I LOVE FOOD IT IS DELICIOUS OM NOM NOM” but that brief analysis would take away from the lady’s exquisite ability with words). You then proceed to share with us 847 words (which, by the way, exceed the 825 words of Chelsea’s article) on the process by which animals are currently exploited for human consumption — a point which, to say the least, is beyond the thesis statement presented by Mademoiselle Fagan (again, see above for a brief summary).”

        — The point is, Emil, that this “subjective, emotional ode to a personal preference”–as if this were somehow a safeguard against it’s moral blameworthiness–entails the following: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Global ‘Livestock’ Production and Health Atlas 56 billion land animals are slaughtered worldwide each year solely for the purpose of consumption. That astronomical number does not include the following: “The number of animals killed in research in the U.S. alone ranges from 20-60 million per year, and an additional 6 million are killed in teaching and education. Furthermore, approximately 8-10 million animals per year are killed for fur, 135 million animals per year are killed in hunting, and 5-7 million animals per year are killed in pounds (Sunstein and Nussbaum 2004).” To pretend that this moral and ecological devastation simply doesn’t exist, or to act as though it doesn’t have any relevance to an article about that very act which perpetuates these disgusting figures, is deeply disturbing–that is my point.

        “However, instead of providing commentary to David DeGrazia’s words – maybe discussing with us, simple-minded people who with glee consume a Big Mac without concern for the horrors that produced it – you leave it untouched. No footnotes, no armchair commentary, no words of your own. If you had, I would have applauded your efforts to add to the conversation and perhaps elevate it. However, as it stands it is pretty clear that you intended your “contribution” to speak for itself ex cathedra while subsequently shaming the author’s viewpoint as “not comprehensive enough” to say the least. Not exactly the intentions of someone who wishes to converse in a friendly manner.”

        — Actually, I prefaced the DeGrazia’s descriptions with the following remark: “The following excerpts depict the typical lives of chickens, pigs, and cows.” Your rather odd psychologizing of my strategy to do so, and the implications you draw from it, is nothing more than a “subjective, emotional ode to a personal preference” (see how underwhelming that defense is?). The irony is that your criticism that I was not “comprehensive enough” comes from the very same person who, initially, used a 7 word “contribution” (if you insist on counting) to undercut the issue I raised–which, at this point, you haven’t even begun to address.

        “On behalf of internet commenters and authors the world around, I would like to apologize to you, sir, for the simplicity of our conversations, for the frustration that must be stirred in your highbrow disposition by our mindless, unenlightened chatter. I hope that you are able to bear with us if and when some Thought Catalog writer decides to, in a fit of bias and ignorance, decides to write a decidedly uninformed soliloquy on the difficult plight of canis familiaris throughout the ages, likely with the shamefully unscholarly title of ‘I Really Love My Dog.’”

        — Once again, you proved my point: It was much easier to switch the spotlight over to me, and call me out as an elitist–which, as a black-male-atheist-homosexual-vegan, I have to say I don’t hear very often–rather than discuss the issue I raised, that there is a profoundly disturbing fetishization of violence in the piece that has been smuggled away. And the fact that it is so imperceptible, the fact that it can be glossed over so easily, makes it all too clear that we can and do mask an unthinkable amount of violence. And yes, “mindless, unenlightened chatter,” plays a crucial role in helping us to do just that.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

        tl;dr

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604840365 Joey Navarrete

        I hope you’re enjoying life Duncan, it’d be a pity to not to relish good taste of cuisine and to be tormented by it instead. 

      • Zee

        “Chelsea has written a subjective, emotional ode to a personal
        preference, (which could be easily summarized to “I LOVE FOOD IT IS
        DELICIOUS OM NOM NOM” but that brief analysis would take away from the
        lady’s exquisite ability with words).”

        HAHAHA.

        I really enjoyed reading the article, and then reading this comment.

    • sarahv

      Anyone else suddenly craving a cheeseburger?

    • Abarrio

      You’re not a GW kid are you? I took a class with DeGrazia and he was a total prick. Just saying…

  • http://www.facebook.com/melmochiminh Melmo Chi Minh

    I just read this while eating chicken teriyaki stir-fry out of a gigantic tupperware tub with a spoon that can double as a scepter. A scepter of love.

  • Guest

    I imagine you’re under 30. After 30, and 40 onwards, small things make big impacts.

  • Age

    As someone who is on a raw vegetable juice fast, hearing you talk about all this food hit the spot in my seemingly empty belly. It’s nice to look good. It gets me laid a lot more and my super healthy mom and sister are always proud of me. But at the same time, I don’t wanna be that jackass who watches everyone eat a fucking burger while I’m chewing leaves all the time. They tell us to live our lives and then they threaten it with diabetes and heart disease. Before I’m denied at the pearly gates, I’m gonna ask God what was with all the diseases that kept me from eating BLTs and dollar cheeseburgers 24/7.

  • Rachael

    I love this post

  • Waicool

    eat me

  • Anne

    This is awesome, Chelsea. It makes me think of all the 0 % body fat trainers who need to get boob jobs. Some people are surprised (“but you have the perfect body!”) whereas all I can think is that no one that fit could be very happy in their foodless body obsessed life haha.

    I know this isn’t true and some people legitimately only eat food to survive and don’t get the mouth orgasms that I do, but they are rare I’m sure.

    Cheese is essentially my deity. 

  • Domino

    OMG THIS MADE ME SO HUNGRY 

  • Debbie

    This Chelsea Fagan character is giving Kat George (remember her?) a run for all-time most cringe-inducing writer on TC. Sort of fascinated to see where this goes…

  • steinlette

    Mad props for NOT BEING AFRAID OF YOUR FOOD. Respect.

  • Hannah

    YOU GET ME!

  • Guest

    #YOLO!

  • Diana

    This is beautiful.

  • Dina

    I love you… Thank you!

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