I have a fast metabolism. If there’s a famine, I’ll be the first one to go. When I’m in the field, running around for 11 hours a day, my metabolism rate goes into the stratosphere. This is a bonus in modern US society because I can eat pretty much whatever I want and not gain weight. I stress US society because one of my roommates was from a culture that valued heavier women, and she was constantly trying to gain weight.
Some folks with a fast metabolism, like my roommate, are “grazers” and need to eat every couple of hours. I do not. What this means is that after a long day in the field, when I’ve had a minimal breakfast and eat lunch on the run, I arrive at dinner ready to eat just about everything in sight.
Lots of guys are conditioned to think of all women as dieters and/or picky eaters. This has lead to some awkward situations. For example, I went out to dinner at a fantastic BBQ joint with a couple of guys after a hard day of fieldwork. I got a big heap of meat (brisket or pulled pork). It was the best BBQ I’d ever eaten, so I dug in. After a while, I came up for air (I tend to be, um, serious about eating) and realized that the guys were staring at me, and apparently had been for a while. This gave me a certain reputation.
The problem with my “massive appetite” reputation was that certain men were a little too interested in how much I ate. If I’d had a big dinner the night before or I wasn’t feeling terrific or if it was hot out, my more “normal” appetite was a topic for discussion. Back off, dude! I’m not commenting on the fact that you’ve got two spare tires and you’ve had three beers so far with dinner.
I’m ok with one sarcastic comment on my appetite. But it needs to stop there. My physical quirks (or anybody else’s) are not appropriate dinner conversation.