I was straight up Pizza Shamed the other day - not by a fitness blogger, for me it was a male colleague. I didn't even know that there was such a thing but then I found the above referenced Twitter War and I didn't feel so alone.
Perhaps not many people have experienced this form of shaming, it certainly seems to be a lesser known form of shaming. Think of it like the second cousin of body shaming, tart shaming, parent shaming, mommy shaming which is like parent shaming only it comes from other woman who are hyper critical of other mothers in particular. Especially of those mothers that have a 14 year old that wears athletic shorts in the middle of winter, etc.
Anyways - Pizza Shaming is slightly different - perhaps not something many people can relate to but I'm here to tell you it happens and it's upsetting as 1. everyone loves pizza and 2. no one likes to be shamed for any reason, especially in front of a group of people.
I was sitting in a meeting that spanned several hours, spanning over lunch time. They brought pizza in, which was great - I usually scrape my toppings off onto a plate and eat them sans crust.
This day, I cut myself an itty bitty slice of actual pizza - crust and all. As I went to get another portion as I wanted to pick at the toppings, a male colleague said, "Oh my god, you must LOVE those carbs - are you really having another slice?!?"
Not entirely knowing what I to do, I ignored him. Thinking I didn't hear him, he repeated it, only much louder this time which halted the entire meeting as people looked at me to respond.
Understand, we weren't taking a break from the meeting. We just happened to have food while discussing one of the company's highest priority projects.
I actually had to stop contributing to the actual work effort to say that no one has to be concerned with what I was eating - that maybe we could shift our efforts from my lunch to the topic at hand.
I was absolutely seething and I ended up throwing the food away untouched.
In that moment, I felt reduced from being a significant contributor in a meeting to feeling as though I needed to defend myself and my food choices.
I immediately went from being a thought leader to just a woman who was being scrutinized unnecessarily. As I was trying to refocus, a negative narrative starting running through the back of my mind completely sidetracking me.
I shouldn't have eaten that...
I need to not indulge in such things ...
Maybe I should intermittently fast for a bit ...
How long will it take me to work off that pizza ...
How many calories are in 1/4th slice of pizza ...
I'm so annoyed that it got to me in such as way.
The real work is trying to understand why I'm so critical of myself - why my internal narrative flips to breaking myself down versus building myself up so easily. What should have been an innocuous comment seeped into the cracks of my armor and sent me reeling. I didn't eat dinner that night and I went to bed hungry and angry.
Such perceived scrutiny is apparently my trigger and it's mine to own and process. I realize that but as an open letter to all who read this - maybe you can just STFU about what other people are eating and leave them to it unless you're asking where they got it because it looks so incredibly delicious.
There was an interesting article on the Huffington Post about Public Food Shaming - a lifestyle coach said - woman already feel guilty for eating cheat foods as we're held to very different physical ideals than men - so when someone says something along the lines of "are you sure you want to eat that? You can lose your figure" it will typically reinforce the thought that women should always be dieting or watching our weight.
Which is so completely bonkers ...
Life is hard enough - sometimes a girl just wants a slice without fear of being pizza shamed.