Smokin’ In The Boys Room…In This Case Meat
This past week, I have been entertaining a lot of boys. Well by boys, I mean my best friend/roommate’s brother and his best friend who just came back from serving in Afghanistan. Now I have no problem with boys, in fact I happen to like them very much. That being said it has been an eye-opening experience in all that is spitting, belching, and toilet seats being left up! I also have been in awe of the way they cook, chew…and EAT!.
I consider myself to be an expert on all that is disordered eating, I pretty much had perfected it as an “art form” for many years, and think I earned that status.
However, I can see why women have come to hold a very different view on food than that of our opposite gender. Eating disorders aside, the way a woman eats, the way she feels about food in relation to her body, is extremely different then that of men.
I work with those suffering from eating disorders men as well as women everyday, not to mention I myself of course lived with one for half of my life.
To me, somebody not wanting to eat, or eating and wanting to throw up, run it off or take a bunch of laxatives has become an every part of my day to day life.
That is why living with two males, neither one whom have an eating disorder opened my eyes up to a whole new world of strange eating habits…or as I like to call it, the Eating Habits of a Healthy Adult Male.
The only thing I can compare this to is any National Geographic special you have seen in the last 20 years of the rituals of some male jungle cat in the Serengeti. The similarities are uncanny I tell you! They will look at a steak in the grocery store with the same gleam and glare as a cheetah looking at a wildebeest. They actually circle it, and if they see another ounce of testosterone circling it within 500 feet they pounce on it faster than a women does a pair of Jimmy Choo’s on the 50% off rack. Then they drag it back to the cave, or in my case house, and debate on how they are going to pepper it up and throw it on the grill.
Now you can imagine that I, being a single girl for all my life, am not accustomed to such things. I usually don’t wrap my head around having to prepare anything that I can’t make in the microwave in 2 minutes or less. I claim to make one very good thing..and that is a Reservation.
I always knew that women ate differently from men, saw food differently, and felt differently about it in their bodies, but I decided to do a little secret investigation on just exactly how. I decided that all I needed to do was become a silent observer, and my innocent testosterone-filled houseguest case studies’ would have no idea I was about to dissect their every culinary move.
I quickly found out that men don’t so much care what they eat, as long as it’s dead and involves Hot Sauce. I also discovered that food groups, calories, and portion control do not exist. It’s about them being hungry and them getting full faster. They don’t really think about how the plate of food in front of them is going to make them feel afterwards, they don’t think about the newest pair of skinny jeans they saw at the mall, or who was on the cover of this weeks Cosmo. They care about the internal desire to satiate themselves, and as quickly as they are thinking about what they are going to eat, they are even more aggressive about figuring out what to eat after that. Girls the next time you are concerned your man is not paying attention to you, it is most likely because he is planning out his next appetite.
They don’t see food as Good..or Bad..or if they do..they don’t care. As a matter of fact I think the worse it is, the more fun it is for them to eat.
Case in point
I come home last night to the two of them plus a friend challenging one another to a “Chicken McNugget” off. By this I mean they had all decided to each order 5 10-piece orders of the deep fried cluck patties and were going to see who could down them the first and the fastest. The amazing thing was that before it started they actually had calculated the number of calories and fat grams they were going to ingest. Now this would make any average women shutter with fear, but for them it was hilarious! They loved it, and as soon as they figured out it was going to be about a week’s worth of their daily nutritional needs began the olympic fest. Half way though they began to sweat and unbutton their pants, and you could see this was going to get ugly. I couldn’t help but think about a bunch of women being in this same situation, but it was impossible for me to fathom.
After it was all said and done, they went off to lay in pain, but all doing so with smiles of victory. There was an unspoken man code going on here, like they had just come back from war…a war that they had won. I know they couldn’t move, but unlike a women it wouldn’t be because they had to face bikini season, or the bathroom scale the next day. Even if a woman ate that many nuggets, I highly doubt she would brag about it. As a matter of fact, I bet she would lie to her other girlfriends, telling them she had nibbled on some rice cakes and a few celery sticks.
See, men are natural born competitors – they have been trained to want to triumph one another, whether it be at Playstation 3 or hot dogs eaten at the ballpark.
Women are natural born competitors too, but they tend to view triumph in the form of who has the most control. That transfers at the dinner table, and women seem to deem themselves powerful not only by the food they select, but also the amount of it they consume.
I’m not saying all women pick at their plates like birds, but that is because they have chosen to think outside the box that “society” tries to keep them in. A lot of them ironically grew up around a lot of brothers and they got used to getting in touch with their inner “male.”
I grew up in a household of all girls, and my mother passed on the notions to me “that a lady always leaves something on her plate.” I grew up with salads, and water with lemon. I don’t think I even knew what meat and potatoes were until adulthood. It took a long time for me to believe that just because I sat down when I peed, I didn’t have to wear white gloves to the table and nibble on tea sandwiches.
In that moment had a major epiphany. I was so jealous of these guys – jealous that they were not eating because they were sad, or lonely, or bored, but rather because they were having fun. They didn’t obsess about it, they didn’t cry about it, but instead just went on to call girls, play video games, and go to sleep. None of them asked me if they were fat, if they were ugly, or if they should go on a diet the next day.
Now I know and do not recommend anybody eating like that. Mind you, this is not normal, and maintaining a good recovery doesn’t mean downing pounds of greasy foods in one sitting. However, these guys might actually be on to something. They don’t think about what they are going to eat, analyze the crap out of it, and then let whatever they are digesting signify how they feel for that moment, and the rest of the day. They are hungry. They eat. They move on, until they become hungry again. They hunt, they prey, they devour. It’s a very sexy way of eating, unlike women who tend to think – then gather – then graze…boring!
In fact, I do recommend, and God may strike me down for saying this, that we follow the boys on this one – that we learn to let go of all this “Black and White” thinking, pull out our bibs, and play with our food once in a while!