I don’t typically think of myself as a terrible person.
Nor do I think of myself as someone who is really against human vanity and hates it when people try to lose weight. Obviously, I’ve done stupid diets myself. But when I read blogs where women chronicle everything they ate that day, I root for them to just give in and eat say, an entire cheesecake. Hell, three entire cheesecakes.
When I read one (which I wil keep anonymous because of some lingering sense of playground decorum – I don’t want to tattle on them) where a woman exclaimed “halfway through the day temptation reared its head! My husband brought me a vegan cupcake! I estimated that it must have 400 calories! That’s a third of my daily allotment!” And I sat there, hunched at my desk like Smeagol, muttering “eat the cupcake, eat the goddamn cupcake, eatttttttt itttttt.” I don’t want to spoil this for you, but she did not eat it. She responsibly cut the cupcake into quadrants and ate one of them and then put the rest in the freezer. And I literally pounded my little Smeagol fists on my desk in frustration.
Of course, she did the right thing. I mean, not the right thing in terms of the fun, cool, crape diem thing, that cupcake will taste like crap after being in the freezer for a few days. Still, the woman cutting up the cupcake is making responsible choices. You can’t argue with that. But I still sort of hate her and root for her to fail.
Maybe it’s because the text of these blogs is always relentlessly perky. Look for something like “I’m determined to be the best I can be!” and “I had a super-fun kale smoothie without TOO MUCH kale!” As though this business of dieting is fun, fun, fun! And making you, as a human, better, better, better! It is not fun, fun fun! It is not fun at all. It sucks really hard. If they were up front about the extent to which cutting a cupcake into quadrants sucks (hint: all the extents!) then I think it would bother me considerably less.
As would the fact that dieting is not about making you better, in most cases (unless you have been advised to do so by a doctor, in which case, it is about making you physically healthier). In most of these cases though, it seems to be about making your body more acceptable by societal standards. I’m perfectly willing to admit that sometimes I diet because of a secret nagging senation that if I am a size zero everyone will love me, but I do realize that is just the crazy talking. Being skinnier and being better: they are not the same thing.
But because diet blogs seem to be based around how you really shouldn’t put too much kale into your smoothie, it’s hard to read them while eating a grilled cheese sandwich without spitting chunks of gruyere all over the screen in disgust. We’re obviously not adverse to talking about dieting on thegloss. Because we do it all the time. But there IS something about blogs dedicated entirely to dieting that just seems a trifle self-congratulatory, right? I think the reason the bother me to the hilarious, ludicrous extent that they do is that the subtext is always “look at you, you fat pig, look at how I am doing things better than you.”
And, oh, goodness, that is depressing. That is enough to make me want to force-feed them carbs to show them that they’re not really better than the rest of us who see temptation and give into it sometimes like normal human beings. Of course, again, if a friend really wanted to lose weight, I think I’d be sympathetic, even supportive as long as the were doing it safely. But these people aren’t friends. They are strangers posting pictures of everything they ate on the Internet. And there is generally very little about their life outside of food that makes me root for them (although there is often some story like “I’m getting married and chronicling everything I eat!” which, frankly, only makes me a little jealous that they found a man who’d put up with behavior that crazy).
But maybe this is simply part of my own unwillingness to cut vegan cupcakes into quadrants. Maybe I just want to drag everyone down to my disgusting level. That is entirely possible! But that’s not the case, right? These people are just the worst? Tell me they’re just the worst, because this sandwich, seriously, it’s delicious.