*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media and verified experts/specialists.*
Food policing is a way to shame people for their choice of food and the quantity they consume, making them develop negative feelings towards food. Constant exposure to food policing can lead to health issues like diabetes, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and high stress.
A Reddit user shared her experience with food policing on the social media platform and sought advice regarding her response. The author's mother-in-law berated her for eating more food than men, and eventually, the author lost her cool, leading to an unpleasant conversation.
"You're attention seeking and making the men uneasy"
The author and her husband, Nate, have been together for around ten years and married for four years. Over the years, she hasn't had a good relationship with her mother-in-law, mainly because the latter tries to control what the author eats. Even though she tried explaining to her mother-in-law that everyone in her family has a fast metabolism, burns around 2.5K to 3K calories working, and remains skinny, the latter wouldn't listen. Eventually, the author resorted to eating a snack everytime she was having dinner with her in-laws to avoid criticism.
"My in-laws invited me and Nate for dinner last Friday. I was very busy back then and hadn't eaten since about 6 am -7 pm. Due to this, I ordered a large steak at the restaurant, which was meant for two people. It also came with prawns, bacon, and two sides. Please note it was not the most expensive item on the menu as some of my in-laws had significantly pricier dishes, and we were all splitting the bill anyway."
As the author expected, her mother-in-law started commenting on what she ordered as her husband (the author's father-in-law) wouldn't finish it. The author replied she would pack the leftovers if she couldn't finish and explained she hadn't eaten anything since morning. However, the author finished everything she ordered and was waiting for dessert when all hell broke loose.
"She (mother-in-law) said I am attention seeking and was putting on a show. She also said I have made my FIL and BIL feel uneasy and that a woman shouldn't eat that much. It is unhealthy, and something is wrong with me. She then demanded Nate and me to cover the entire bill as she wasn't planning on "such a big expenditure.""
The author and her husband had agreed to pay for everything they ordered. She continued:
"I said we were absolutely not covering the entire bill since we were meant to split the bill equally, and reminded her of the dishes she ordered that were significantly more expensive compared to my steak (including her starter). My in-laws say I ruined a family dinner. Nate is on my side, but most of my in-laws are making passive-aggressive social media posts about it and keep sending me different articles about "what might cause excessive eating.""
What do you think? Was the author wrong for ordering a giant steak despite knowing her mother-in-law would criticize her?