Hunger Chic

Do Main Line women ever eat?

My friends don’t like to eat. Food is so out now. Apparently starving yourself is not just for teenagers and Hollywood starlets anymore, but for chic suburban over-40 moms. My recent observations of friends and their eating habits have led me to identify several types of hungry grown women.

One friend is what I call an exercise anorexic. She needs to work out for hours a day and is unhappy if she doesn’t—even on vacation, much to my dismay. She’s bone thin and doesn’t eat a lot, but likes to put on a good show if we go out for dinner. I’ve always suspected she goes home after and either purges or stays up half the night on the treadmill working it off. [SIGNUP]

The next type are the non-eaters. These are women who order green salads at lunch and push leaves around their plates without actually consuming much of anything, much like my child at the dinner table. I also have a few friends in this category that are yoga fanatics. From my understanding of yoga practice, not eating is definitely not one of the principles, yet two of these women were spotted at the dinner buffet at a recent party loading up their plates with a single stalk of asparagus for one and six slices of zucchini for the other. I’ve known about these masters-of-their-hunger women for a while now, but I thought they were in the minority. I don’t think they are anymore. I am. I’m usually ravenous and love meeting people for lunch so I can be served food and eat it. How avant-garde!

Then there are what I call the gluten-freebies, and I know a few of them. These women can’t eat gluten, so they use that as an excuse to not eat much of anything. I know when I grocery shop that I see gluten-free products everywhere, so it’s not like there’s nothing for them to eat. They just prefer to opt out altogether and stay extra thin. However, this does not include Starbucks, whose cups they always seem to be toting! I’ve also found that the skinny gluten-freebies I know like to exercise a lot. They’re always jogging or teaching fitness classes. They’re like exercise anorexics with an excuse.

The last type is the calorie-obsessed. A friend of mine spent a good amount of time recently obsessing over the one ounce of chocolate she inhaled in the midst of a hormonal craving. She Googled the calorie content and mentioned that chocolate consumption several times in the following hours. This woman exercises a lot and even gets up before dawn to do it, but at least she eats.

The other thing I’ve realized is this: The whole “I have a high metabolism!” thing is a sham. Total B.S. None of the skinny women I know would be that way if they didn’t spend all their time working at it. It has to be exhausting. And don’t all the self-help books say that exercising that much control over your body is compensating for something in your life you don’t have control over? Have their kids/jobs/husbands/volunteer commitments driven them to the point that the only thing they can control is their weight?

I’ve had to reconcile that I will never look skinny next to my non-eating friends. I’m good with that. I really love cheese, bread and chocolate too much to join my friends in this fashionable food-free lifestyle. At least they still sip wine with me, or we’d have no reason to get together anymore. And I will continue to meet them for lunch even if I’m the only one that eats. Which leaves me with just one question: Can I have your fries?