Boy did this bring back memories...I was transported back to the summer of 1980, standing at a Togo's sandwich shop in Santa Cruz, California. I was there with my boyfriend, Jon, and a bunch of my friends - we routinely drove "over the hill" from Santa Clara, where we lived, to Santa Cruz, for a day at the beach. We always stopped at Togo's to get a sandwich - and let me tell you, those sandwiches were good! Anyway, that particular day has stayed with me because I was very thin - like 105 pounds thin, having just spent several months dieting (down from a starting weight of 120 - oh, the teenage-angst-horror!). I was looking forward to a Togo's sandwich, having deprived myself from them (and a lot of other food) for quite a while. As I stood in line with my friends, looking at the menu board and trying to decide which delicious sandwich to get, Jon said "you aren't going to get anything, are you?" - and I'm sad to say that the 17-year-old pleaser that I was actually said no. I learned that day what real hunger was - I didn't have anything other than a couple of TaBs. We spent all day at the beach...can you imagine not eating anything? Welcome to my life back then.
When Diet Coke was invented, it seemed like manna from heaven compared to TaB!
So I didn't get the sandwich. I decided that I should lose a couple more pounds, for insurance, so that when I did finally eat something like a Togo's sandwich, it would be ok. But it never was, and sadly I spent the first half of my senior year of high school barely eating anything, but getting approval from my all-important boyfriend for being so good about not eating - oh, and for being thin. By the time I finally broke up with him, I weighed 82 pounds. And I don't think my eating was ever normal after that...until recently.
Now, I eat good, clean foods most of the time. I watch my calories, I workout - basically, I do what it takes to maintain a healthy weight (although I wouldn't mind losing ten more pounds, I'm obviously not trying all that hard). When I know there is an "eating occasion" coming up, I plan for it. I knew that the particular event last Monday evening would have cheesecake and pies from a local pie shop and that I might want a piece, so I ate a bit less during the day in anticipation. Once there, however, there were only banana cream pies, which I can pass on, and all sorts of cheesecake - chocolate, strawberry, etc. - but nothing stood out as something that I had to have, so I didn't pick up a dessert. Well, one of my friends noticed that I only had a cup of coffee and said "Oh that's right - you can't eat that" - indicating the pie on his plate. And then a few minutes later, another friend did the same thing! Now, it must be noted that these two men are older, and both did express shock at how I looked (it's been a few months since I've seen one, and close to a year since the other, who didn't recognize me at first). And I didn't respond - what was the point, really? But what I wanted to say was YES I CAN EAT THAT.
I think that the next time this happens, and I'm sure that it will, I won't be giving anyone the benefit of the doubt ("they don't mean anything by that"), or, in this instance, the combination of an old person's pass AND my being stunned that someone would be insensitive. I will firmly, politely and, me being me, nicely, smile and say "sure I can" and enjoy my food, dammit.