Today I walked into Whole Foods (I'm going to take a moment right here, yes, at the beginning of this blog to apologize for being a fat girl who shops at Whole Foods, but I am also a Taurus and WF is like the grocery food equivalent of, like, Last Chance Saks Fifth Avenue, ok. And they also give me free cookies like every time I'm here. I'm actually going to include a picture of the box of cookies they gave me for free today.. just because I was perusing some cookies. They anticipated my desire for their cookies and offered me a box. Yeah, they're right there. Anyway..).
I was looking for lunch. I picked up some salty things and an iced coffee, and then I went on the prowl for a pastry to pair with my coffee. I walked with my tiny green cart designed for singles and young professionals to the refrigerated desserts section. This is where the slices of marble cheesecake, the dulce de leche parfaits, the berry pie, the lemon pot de cremes, and the 6 inch-high strawberry shortcakes live.
I stood there looking for something that appealed to me, and I had this deja vu/flashback style moment. I thought about my life a few years ago, when I was still a diet-proselytizing, weight-loss fanatic. Back then those desserts would have been screaming at me in unison: Back away! We're not for you! Do you want to lose all the progress you've gained? Do you want to end up dead on the floor of your apartment with your face being eaten off by the komodo dragon you bought at the reptile show because you were lonely, like that guy on the Animal Planet show Fatal Attractions?
As I stood before these treats today, I had a realization:
This wall of dessert doesn't send me into a tailspin of self-loathing, confusion and salivation. I can have ANYTHING on this wall. I can have multiple anythings on this wall. My god. I don't hate my life. I don't hate these strawberry shortcakes. I have come a long ass way.
I rarely take the time to have these moments. To tell you the truth, moments like the "wow I'm standing in front of a wall of dessert and I don't hate myself" one don't happen often. That voice of a culture that taught me that dessert is evil and I'm eviler for wanting it, it just gets quieter and quieter all the time. And I don't miss it, girl.
So, here's to small victories and creamy desserts that don't talk back.
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Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.