A fat chick at the grocery store

There’s a school of thought that says this:  Fat people don’t owe it to anybody to prove that they’re exercising every day and eating a lot of brussels sprouts in order not to be the objects of public ridicule and scapegoating for every imaginable societal ill.  I subscribe to it.  I see this referred to frequently as the “good fatty” argument: you shouldn’t have to prove that  you’re a “good fatty” in order to be treated with basic human decency and respect, because it implies that being a “good fatty” is the reason you deserve respect, and the unspoken second half of that notion is that “bad fatties” do not deserve the same respect.  Everybody deserves respect, and every body deserves respect.

Having said that, I still think it’s a good idea for fat people who do make healthy lifestyle choices to talk about those choices, not in order to prove their “good fatty” bona fides, but simply because there are so many people out there who refuse to believe it ever happens.  I have this dream that if people who mindlessly buy into negative stereotypes encounter enough people whose current life choices disprove those stereotypes, there’s a chance at least some of them will discard those stereotypes.  If you think that’s a crazy dream, it may help you to know that I keep the original cast recording of Man of La Mancha on my MP3 player pretty much all the time.

I read/hear/see fat-bashing all the time that has to do with what fat people buy at the grocery store:  tons of highly processed junk food filled with sugar and fat.  Carts and carts of cookies, chips, sugary sodas, and, like, tubs of Crisco to be eaten directly from the container with a spoon like ice cream.  But not instead of ice cream, because, of course, that’s in the cart too.  There’s usually an electric scooter in the story somewhere.

My own grocery cart tends to look a little different from that.  Yeah, there was a time about a decade and a half ago when my ex and I couldn’t make it out of Horrock’s in Lansing without a package of fudge-dipped Oreos in our cart, but I have since turned my grocery shopping habits around big time.  And although changing the way I shop for food hasn’t made me any thinner, it has definitely made me healthier.  In the midst of the current national moral panic over the OMGbesity epidemic, people need to know that there are, in fact, people who look like me who also shop like me.

So on the way home from the grocery store tonight, I had this idea:  post the contents of my shopping cart to my blog to demonstrate that yes, in fact, there really are fat people who buy healthy foods at the grocery store.  And no, I didn’t shop healthier so my list would look good.  This is a pretty typical grocery haul for us.

So here you go:  A complete list of everything my (also fat) boyfriend and I bought at the grocery store tonight:

  1. 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  2. Fat-free greek yogurt (FAGE, the brand my Greek food nazi recommends)
  3. Fat-free organic milk
  4. Reduced-fat cheese sticks
  5. Frozen blueberries (to go on my breakfast cereal)
  6. Honey
  7. Coffee (his– I don’t drink coffee)
  8. 12-pack of Cherry Coke Zero
  9. Fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  10. Cake  mix and frosting (to make cupcakes for an event at work next week)
  11. Cheerios
  12. Pickles
  13. Mushroom gravy (for a vegan bean dish I’m making)
  14. Snack-size natural applesauce (no sugar added)
  15. Bag of fun-size Baby Ruth bars for trick-or-treaters on Halloween (yes, I’ll probably eat a few)
  16. Shredded wheat cereal (not the frosted kind)
  17. Natural peanut butter (the sole ingredient:  peanuts)
  18. Various toiletries
  19. Smuckers low-sugar strawberry jelly
  20. Canned sliced mushrooms (for the aforementioned vegan bean dish)
  21. 6-pack of low-sodium V-8 juice
  22. Wheat germ (also for the aforementioned vegan bean dish)
  23. Chicken thighs
  24. Soy milk (yes, it’s for the bean dish)
  25. Granny smith apples
  26. Bananas
  27. Cantaloupe
  28. Cucumbers
  29. Garlic bulb
  30. Avocado (the bright green, lower-calorie kind)
  31. Red bell peppers
  32. Green leaf lettuce
  33. Lime
  34. Bag of spring mix (salad greens)
  35. Nectarines
  36. Onion
  37. Organic cranberries (not Craisins– actual fresh cranberries)
  38. Jalapeno pepper
  39. Fresh “baby bella” mushrooms

Find fault with that list.  I dare you.

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