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Monday, October 31, 2005 @2:21 PM

ha. I like this article in Life! today written by Teo Pau Lin in her column girltalk. :) Women should stop associating food with guilt and just learn to enjoy.
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Title: Eat, drink and be merry about it

I've had it right up to here with women who are always watching their weight.

You know, those who are forever eating salads, condemning desserts and announcing that they're not eating rice tonight because they've already had two slices of bread earlier in the day.

If you notice, these women only make such statements when they are in the company of other women.

You don't see them telling men they're swearing off butter, skipping lunch or going on a seven-day fruit fast.

Women want men to think that they got their Halle Berry bodies with no effort at all.

But, in front of other women, they're a walking sermon on nutrition analysis, talking about carbohydrates, sugar, oil and trans-fats as if they are talking about Hitler.

And they're alwasys full of magic numbers.

Stop eating carbs after 3pm and you'll lose 6kg in 2 months. Cut out all sugar for 10 weeks and you'll drop at least 2kg.

Each time they unleash their spiel on me like a late-night Power Juicer informercial, I just think: Whom are you kidding?

In the heart of every woman, food is the ultimate pleasure. It's right up there with shopping, massages and Oprah Winfrey.

But because enjoying food is tied so intricately to body shape, attractiveness and self-esteem, too many women see it as a sin - something to be confronted, subdued and put down.

A woman who watches what she eats seems poised and glamorous, while a woman who eats whatever she likes seems sloppy and out of control.

For every 100 women who declare they love to shop, only one would say she loves to eat.

Why are women so apologetic about eating?

Even before they've finished their chicken wings, they're talking about doing 300 sit-ups to burn off all those extra calories. They always need to "share" desserts.

Sure, we all want to be slim and healthy. But some women are so remorseful about eating, they're like short men in sports cars - always compensating.

Excessive shoppig is a vice. But I don't see any woman trumpeting the start of a five-week programme to stay off Ngee Ann City.

Smoking is a vice. I don't see any woman fixing an appointment with a doctor to get back in shape after a few days of binge-smoking.

What I find especially annoying are women who always titter over the dessert menu, coquettish and undecided about the tiramisu because they just had pasta. By doing so, they think they're adorable, like cherubic Lolitas about to do something really, really naughty.

It makes me want to yell a revised Nike slogan: "Just eat, lah!"

Men are seldom this prudish.

For close to two years, I've interviewed high-profile men and women every week for a Sunday food column about their eating habits, and I can safely say that men are a lot more fun.

They talk about Hokkien mee, char kway teow, bak kwa and stewed innards with almost chest-thumping fervour.

There is often a gleam in their eyes when they do so, as if they were recalling their best holiday or the time they struck their first million.

One even remembered, quite fondly, how he was warded once after eating too much durian.

The women? Except for a few gregarious gourmands, most of them are what you'd call culinary wet blankets.

No matter how hard they try to make themselves an interesting read, their food repertoires are often limited to salads, steamed things, beancurd and, of course, fruits.

Even their greatest weakness bears a face-saving tinge of elegance - chocalates.

Seriously now, of all the food fantasies that women harbour in their deepest of hearts, they could only think of chocolates?

How about French fries with lots of ketchup? Extra-large tubs of macadamia nut ice-cream? A lifetime's supply of Nonya cakes? How about a bathtub filled with wobbly English trifle?

Once, I thought I'd hit a gold mine when an interviewee let slip that she loves braised pork belly.

But almost immediately, she retracted it by saying sheepishly, "Maybe you shouldn't put that down."

Well, why not? If women have no qualms about blowing $400 on a pair of designer shoes, why can't they admit to indulging in a fatty piece of meat?

I mean, go jogging, skipping, mop the floor, scale a mountain, or whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy.

Just don't canonise your efforts by telling the whole world about it.

Food is good. Eating is good. So stop apologising.

Go ahead, girls. Eat your hearts out.

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