Conall and I moved into our own place (an apartment) about a month and a half ago. Near our new place is a gas station that sells a lot of milk products. I know, it seems weird to me, but it works for them.
I’ve never thought to go to them for milk, because I get my milk from the grocery store, and I have a store care which gives me .03 off each gallon of fuel if I use the gas stations the grocery store has affiliated with. At the $2.50+ per gallon prices these days, I’m willing to go to the station that gives me .03 off.
However, about 3 weeks ago, the milk and gas station had somebody drive around the apartment complex, giving out free milk if people wanted it. Okay, I’ll try it. After all, it’s free, right? As the lady was asking me what kind I wanted, she was pointing out that their milk has a higher fat content than in the grocery stores, so I might want to have the 2% (this after I told her I wanted the full fat milk). I repeated I wanted the full fat milk, and she went to the truck and got that kind for me.
Conall and I haven’t bought milk at the grocery store since.
Last night we had to stop at the gas station to get some more milk, and talked for a bit with the woman behind the counter. Conall and I told her how we’re just drinking more milk, because it tastes so much better. That led into talking about fat content and how the low fat products add sugar and other things to make the product taste better (because when you take the fat out of a product, it doesn’t taste as good and it doesn’t satisfy you as well).
And that led into her talking about her growing 16 year old son. The one where, the night before last, she bought two large pizzas for dinner (for 3 people, herself, her 5 year old son, and her 16 year old) and how he ate one and a half pizzas by himself. She also told of how he was in a growth spurt and very active in sports in his school. Her complaint about him eating one and a half large pizzas by himself wasn’t the “omg! he’s going to get FAT!” that we hear so much lately, but the “I don’t know how I’m going to be able to keep enough food in the house until he’s done growing!” complaint.
She gets it. It was so nice to talk to somebody who did not express any morality about her son eating so much. It was nice to hear the complaints you used to be able to hear from parents back in the 70’s and 80’s. You know, the “my child is a growing teenager and I just can’t keep enough food in the house”, complaint. It was really nice to be able to talk to a mother of a 5 year old who is hitting a growth spurt. She told a story of how they went to a McDonalds Restaurant recently, and she asked her 5 year old what he wanted to eat. He wanted a hamburger meal AND an order of chicken nuggets. She didn’t think he’d be able to eat all that, but she purchased it for him, thinking they could take the chicken home and reheat it in the microwave later on.
He ate it all.
And her concern wasn’t that he was going to be fat for eating all that. It wasn’t that he was going to be part of “the obesity epidemic”, and die young of diabetes or heart attack or whatever. No. Her concern was, if he’s eating that much food at 5 years old and going through a growth spurt, just think of what was going to happen when he was in his teenage years!
The other thing that we talked about was how she’s given up dieting. (I swear I did NOT come on all fat activist and tell her dieting is teh ebil either! She brought it up.) She said she got frustrated with diets where they’d say, “If you have a craving for x (whatever wasn’t on the diet like cookies or cake or whatever), don’t eat that, eat an apple instead.” The reason she was so frustrated was because, she’d eat the apple, not feel satisfied, so eat another apple, still not feel satisfied, so eat another apple. By that time she’d eaten 4x the amount of calories that was in that one cookie she would have eaten had she just, you know, eaten the cookie she was craving. And if she’d just eaten the cookie in the first place, she wouldn’t feel so bloated because she would have stopped at one.
People are starting to get that food isn’t the enemy. That real food is better than low calorie/low fat stuff that has tons of additives to make it taste better (but which doesn’t satisfy what the body is wanting or needing). People are getting that moderation is the key, and that, as adults, we really do have the choice to eat a cookie. Or an apple. Or a piece of cake. If that’s what we really want.
And people are starting to get that the diet industry doesn’t so much care about their clients health as much as how much money they get in a year.
I’m very glad we had the chance to talk last night. It was a very nice to have a stranger talk about these things and not try to make me into an evil witch for daring to drink full fat milk, or eat a cookie when I want one.