‘Shall we hold the fries with that?’ The waitress asked me. Her pen poised for the response.
I blinked and turned to my husband as her question registered. He immediately recognised my death stare. Sat up a little straighter and waited as an uncomfortable silence sucked up the air.
‘Do I look like I need to hold the fries?’ I asked, forcing my lips to smile at her. ‘Bitch.’ I said in my head as I squeezed in my stomach and lifted my crossed leg a little higher; so my thigh instantly looked smaller.
The waitress giggled.
I took a moment, to consider what to say next to her. Thin as a pole and looking 12, puberty and the reality of bubble hips and shoving a squashy midriff into a pair of jeans had not landed on her life radar. Her tight black T-shirt exposed a concave stomach whilst her skinny legs in her skinny jeans gaped at the top of her thigh. I sighed, the cavity, wide enough, that daylight shone through from the other side.
Although it pissed me off to admit it ,the adult in me concluded her question and latter response innocent. She was not inciting I needed to swap my fries for a green salad and perhaps genuinely wanted to save to me from a bucket load of unnecessary saturated fat. I wondered whose dick head of an idea it was to include the ‘healthy option spiel’ onto the unsuspecting teenagers job description, saving us all from the chefs Trans fat pot.
No, her question simply reminded me to worry about my weight again.
After 30 odd years of dieting – I have tried them all: The Cabbage soup to the Atkins, Red, and Green diet to the Cambridge nutrition bars. Protein shakes, fat-free, dairy free, give up eating all together diet, and chew gum instead diet – all of them. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s hard to find a balance with food but when or if you do, it’s not something that is learnt or changed by a wacky diet system, it’s a decision you make inside to change the outside and only you can do it for yourself – when you are ready.
I finally stopped trying too hard and somehow this allowance made me happy and I stopped criticizing the reflection in the mirror enough to let myself just be. I am not talking bikini on the beach here, but it no longer consumed me and that was a healthy start.
So, in answer to her question:
‘I will have fries with that.’ I say and mean it,and if you don’t mind, I’ll take a chocolate brownie for dessert.