Yesterday I watched a special feature on Good Morning America that focused on a new trend called “The Baby Diet.”
Give. Me. A. Break.
It isn’t even the idea of eating bite-sized bits of chicken off a Spongebob plate that bothers me so much. It’s this perpetual idea in our culture that women need to have/be less and less. Be skinnier. Say less. Be quiet. Stay humble. Be “good.” Act meek. Eat less.
Granted, part of this feature did make sense. The woman they were interviewing said that she was up baking sweet potatoes for her infant son when she realized that she needs to give that same care and attention to her own diet. I get that part. I know that many moms put their health to the wayside when they have kids and if that’s what new moms take from the piece, then great. This mom in particular seemed extremely successful and I wish her nothing but the best, considering she clearly used this way to get a handle on how to eat healthier. But what I took from it is “my plate should look just like my baby’s, just with slightly bigger portions.”
I’m not blaming this particular woman for her baby food habit. Live your life. Maybe those portions do it for her and that half a sweet potato and plain grilled chicken taste great. But I hate that there were probably thousands of impressionable, young or desperate women watching TV now who are going to latch onto this trend and when it doesn’t work or doesn’t last (because that habit isn’t sustainable forever) they’ll be crushed and back to square one of frustration.
I am tired of a culture where women are constantly looking for the next “trick” to lose “that last five pounds.” What on earth is the point? I hate that this tricky, difficult subject was spotlighted with a two minute clip that couldn’t possibly do it enough justice. Weight loss and body acceptance are issues that have plagued us women since we realized in seventh grade that our bodies were made to be scrutinized. So why do we even bother sharing these fads on the news? What good could they possibly do besides confuse people even more?
We tell women they need to exercise more. This, in turn, revs up our appetites. But then, we’re supposed to just slightly jack up the portion sizes that we feed our babies? And then we’re left hungry at midnight and don’t know what’s going on? Which is it — small portions or big workouts?
WHY WOULD A GROWN WOMAN HAVE THE SAME DIET AS AN INFANT? OR EVEN REMOTELY SIMILAR? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman weighs 166.2 pounds. A baby’s weight hovers between, what, 5-20 pounds in the first year? I guarantee women aren’t jacking up the portions proportionately for that difference in weight and activity. There are only so many steamed peas you can add to that Spongebob plate.
A baby can eat plain food — grilled chicken, mashed carrots, Cheerios and maybe some corn if we’re really going to go crazy. Grown women deserve sriracha on their egg sandwiches, pesto on their turkey paninis, peanut butter in their smoothies and pine nuts on their arugula salads. We are women and we have palates and appetites that deserve to be fed.
I’m so tired of this. Eat real food. As much as you need to feel satisfied. Then exercise. That’s it.