Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 minutes - just write

it's so frustrating to know what it is that you need to do, but to feel completely unable to do it. like not eating so much sugar. i've been obsessing lately (again) about the size of my thighs, the width of my hips, the amount my tummy sticks out. i was reading a book about such things and trying to figure out where all of my unbeliveable (unbearable?) obsessing about this began. because i don't think it was always this way. but i think that i spent a lot of time with my grandma when i was young, and she was very accepting, and she liked food and baking and reading, and that's what i did with her, learned to love reading and baking and food. and then she died. and i looked around at the rest of my family. and they are a wonderful family. really really. i love them all dearly. but my mom, i don't ever remember her being happy or comfortable with her self or the way her body looked, even though she's a great mom and would take me on picnics and made me ribbon barrettes and recorded purple rain and edited out the naughty parts so i could watch it. but i don't remember her liking how she looked. and when i started to notice that my body was kind of becoming shaped like hers, what does that say about me? and then there are a whole gaggle of other people in my family who are not very accepting of differences or different body shapes or the concept of eating in general and are not afraid to let you know that they think you are too big or eat too much or dress frumpy. like my senior year prom night - i didn't go to prom but i went to see all my friends in the grand march. and when i got home to the family birthday party that was going on, i took a piece of cheesecake, fully intending to enjoy it. and a namelss relative said to me "well maybe if you didn't eat so much cheesecake you could go to the prom too." what am i supposed to do with that? and that's just one example. how am i supposed to come out of that with a half way decent body image at all? or even necessarily like myself much. and all the while i was learning to love reading and baking and food, other people were doing things that were apparently more acceptable, like playing baseball and stuff. so there was that, too, that i didn't seem to have much going on in that way. i mean, eventually i found that i loved to run, but that didn't come until later. actually probably too late, because i think maybe ideas about me - mine and others - were already formed and i was just going to be the chubby girl for all eternity. 10 minutes is up now.


tell it to me tuesday

PS- Jade, I might not like you too much right now for making me post this. I'll get over it, though.


InTheFastLane said...

I was chubby when I started high school. And then I started running and running changed my body and made me feel better about it. And yet, it didn't make the feelings really change. I always felt like I was the bigger runner, even when that wasn't true. And now, when I don't workout, I feel like I can't eat. Sad but true. Right this minute I am trying to convince myself to go workout because I am hungry. But, I don't want to eat until I workout....

Kirsten said...

You know what? My mom is the same as yours. I don't remember her saying anything in particular about her body when I was under 12, but she started talking about herself negatively during my teen years. Luckily I never had any comments made directly to me, because that relative who equated too much cheesecake = no prom date? That sucks ass.

I'm a thin and healthy person, but my thighs? I think they are too big, but in reality, they are fine. But no matter your size, I think you can *always* find something you don't like about yourself.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

I have similar experiences with my family. Every time I come home to visit, the first thing they say is some comment about how much weight I've gained/lost. They say it in Thai, forgetting that I can understand them. My mom is diabetic too, and her greatest fear is that I will become diabetic. So my entire life (since about the age of 8) has been one long diet. One long life of weighing everything and feeling guilty for whatever I put in my mouth.

And so I have a love/hate relationship with my body. And there was a time I got skinny. I mean really, really skinny. Like, I look at pictures now and think "OMG. I was ridiculously skinny. No wonder people were telling me to be careful not to lose too much weight." (Because hello? Even x-smalls were too big for me.) But when I was that skinny? I didn't see it. All I could see was my chunky thighs and round hips. Nevermind that my hip bones stuck out in weird places.

And you know what else? When I was skinny? I was NOT HAPPY. Food is a source of joy in my life. I don't eat junk food (usually). It's vibrant and varied fresh food. And cooking and baking is a source of joy. And going out with friends or family and socializing over drinks and a meal is a source of joy. And I cut all of that out of my life to get that skinny. It was not worth it. Not even for a second. (Though I do still have to remind myself of that sometimes, when I look in the mirror.) Skinniness does not equal happiness, no matter what people might tell themselves. The only happiness it brings is ego. Vanity. And it is short-lived and superficial.

I think it's beautiful you had such a special relationship with your grandmother. And it's wonderful that you love to run. Honor both, for both are true to you and who you are. As my parents just told me this weekend, when you make decisions or do things that are true to who you are and make you happy in your heart, those are the good decisions and the decisions will always be the right ones to make.

I'm sending you hugs. Hopefully you'll forgive me soon? :)

Bacardi Mama said...

I hate this post because I feel like I have made you feel like you do about your body. #1....I would kill for your body. I know that doesn't change anything, but I would. I don't know one single female that is happy with her body. In the last year or so, I have begun to come to terms with mine and be better about getting fit and healthy. The Sisterhood has done that for me. #2...I wish you could see you the way that I see you. I think you would have a whole different opinion of your self. #3....tell who the cheesecake moron is and I'll deck them now. It may be 20 years or so later, but I'll kill them. I kind of think I might know who it is. Lastly, I think you are beautiful. I know that doesn't change anything, but I do mean it. Like I said at the beginning, I'd kill for your body. Love you!

Lyndsay said...

Gah your mom made me cry.
First of all - you're beautiful.
Second of all - thank you for the reminder. I am very much aware of the messages that Munchie picks up from all around her and even though I TRY not to reinforce the typical stereotypes, Hubs has caught me saying things like - I don't DESERVE this ice cream or I can't eat it because I didn't ride the bike, etc, etc.
I totally hear you - a childhood in gymnastics has done wonders at skewing my body image too.