15 Reasons to Stop Counting Calories

15 good reasons to approach the season of cocktails and cookies with healthy aplomb.

Caring about our weight is part of the American experience, like finding a Victoria’s Secret next to a Cinnabon at the mall. We shouldn’t count calories but we do, despite reading subscriptions to Cosmo and remembering that beauty comes in all sizes. 

In a world of Occupy Wall Street, the Great Recession, and an overseas war, life can feel out of control so we control what we can. We hold our bodies up as some kind of indication of how “good” or “disciplined” we’ve been and in a world of fantastical thinking, that life will then reward us with great jobs, healthy relationships, and a reliable economy if only we can just put down the carbs.

We set ourselves up to fail. Alanis Morisette, famous noter of irony, admits to iVillage, “I remember being at my most thin one day, feeling like I could barely drag my lethargic body around, only to be met with the most compliments I had ever received.” At the same time, she has felt the scorn of extra weight. “Equally, and perhaps more abrasively, when someone inside the struggle with food tips the scales high above the average Hollywood red-carpet star, comments are thrown out about how indulgent and undisciplined they are.”

Pop culture forbids us from ever forgetting about our weight. Open up a web page and you’ll find that actress Mischa Barton is too thin. Reality host and soap star Alison Sweeney went spinning on Thanksgiving day. Jennifer Love Hewitt did Pilates while her family ate mashed potatoes. Jessica Simpson may or may not be getting a $4 million deal from Weight Watchers to lose her baby weight. Good thing, because Mariah Carey calls her baby weight body “rancid.” All of this seeps into our brains like high-fructose corn syrup.

We have the right to be a little bit chubby or a little bit skinny. (As long as nobody is giving themselves diabetes or an eating disorder, right?) We are more than numbers on a scale. We are more than our jean size.

And just in time for the holidays, 15 good reasons to approach the season of cocktails and cookies with healthy aplomb.

1. It is a universal truth that the last three pounds you triumphantly lose will go completely unnoticed by everyone else.

2. Sneaking a bag of sliced celery sticks into a movie theater is as pointless as the $8 box of Sugar Daddies you will buy halfway through the movie.

3. When a “friend” caresses your upper arm and says “You’d be gorgeous if you just toned this up,” you will look him up on Facebook ten years later and find that he died alone.

4. We are living in a glorious age where leggings paired with a flowing shirt are fashionable.

5. The law of nature gives women periods. Periods give us cravings. Cravings give us Tater Tots. This is the law of nature.

6. If a burger comes with a side salad, is it really a burger? (See above: The Law of Nature.)

7. After a certain age, your face looks thin despite a muffin top around your waist.

8. Fretting over your muffin top will just make you want to bake muffins.

9. The more weight you gain, the bigger your breasts. Money once spent on push-up bras can be redirected towards organic donuts. Donuts made of buttermilk, organic cane sugar, and ripened strawberries which melt in your mouth.

10. If your significant other is male, accept the fact that he will likely eat three times as much as you and still retain a flat stomach.

11. If you find yourself hiding the last of the Thanksgiving potatoes from your significant other, no one will judge you.

12. A cupcake will not kill you. However, falling off your spin bike because you were distracted by visions of cupcakes just might.

13. In some circles, abstaining from once-a-year delicacies such as eggnog means you hate children, Santa, and the Baby Jesus.

14. If we could harness all the energy we spend worrying over a few extra pounds, we would have the ultimate renewable energy source. Seriously.

15. Pop culture says we are all too skinny or too fat. Common sense says we are all beautiful. Suck it, pop culture. Suck it.


Images: powellburns, puikibeach, kristinausk 

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.