To me, it’s a little mixture of tiring, and of all of the above.
It’s no secret that I have been, what is it they call it. A “thick”, “big-boned”, “shapely” girl most my whole life. I celebrated when I made it into a size 8 jean–that lasted some of my junior year of high school–but landed most comfortably most my life in size 12. Life and success in high school was measured by clothes size, which in some messed up way in my head was a simile to likability.
The other day, someone wrote out the word fat. In context, the comment was that “if your fat, it’s your fault”, in a few more frivolously placed words.
I sat for a minute and let my thoughts take over, and realized how taken-back I was by the word fat. It’s funny, we never really use the word anymore in normal banter. It’s more like, “thunder-thighs”, “whale”, “bubble-butt”, or when needing to be PC “heavy/overweight”. Not FAT. I was so offended by the word, let alone the use of the word. Until I realized that it was coming from someone who really, has not much in life to worry about, gets what she wants, and probably never had all-to-many real battles in her short life. So I can’t be mad at her for being ignorant. But I can be disheartened by people’s non-relate-ability.
NEWS FLASH: Most people are aware of their size. Most people want to loose weight and be healthy, and I would gamble a lot of people know what they have to do to lose weight. A lot of people don’t have control, food does.
I hate the word fat. Probably because it has controlled me and probably almost killed me. If you’ve never had to struggle with food, or think about what it is you eat I realize it is near impossible for you to relate. But if you have, it’s okay.
I’m fascinated and disgusted by the relationship humans have with food. Probably because of my history, which if you don’t know, my battle with food landed me in a hospital for three months and rehab for longer. YES rehab. Food rehab. I agree, it sounds ridiculous. And too, dirty and maybe even phony. It is really the only relationship in our lives that we have total control over since birth, yet we can’t live with out. We choose what we like/don’t like, eat/don’t eat and how much. What we don’t choose is the control it has on our lives (to some extent) because like I said, we can’t live without it. Because of this, ultimately it controls us all. Now when you think of it like that, it may make the headline to this post seem a little less disparaging.
For me, food was so much more than a means of sustainability. And as much as I hate to admit it, it probably still is. I, like many of us, eat when I’m bored, tired, hungry. I too, like many of us, don’t eat when I’m sad or nervous. I’m healthy now, and I do this. Many of us do. I used to use it as a tool to enable me to control my weight, and my sadness. I didn’t think of it as a means of fuel but the cause of being FAT and also comfort.
I was discharged from the hospital where I stayed to recover from my eating disorder when I was 21. Really, it has taken until now for me to become comfortable with that part of me. And it will take probably forever for me to learn about food in a more normal state. I like reading about diets and food and organic chemistry of sorts because it gives me a better understanding of the necessity of our diets. And I, like I’ve professed, LOVE the weight watchers program when I feel the need to reign-in my food habits again. Using that program, you get the control back in a systematic way that allows you to eat what you want, but keeps you aware of when enough is enough.
I realize this post is a little here and there, but ultimately the inspiration of this post was a conversation I had today with Ryan. It’s a conversation we have a lot in different ways. He and I were brought up very differently. He was brought up in a household where the kids ruled the roost. His mother inflicted very little discipline, and let her kids each however-much, whatever-much they wanted. My parents on the other hand would put their foot down after if we ate enough, or would encourage an apple over a fruit-snack. (It’s not my parent’s fault I have a love-hate issue with food)
So to Ryan, it’s sometimes inconceivable that a normal serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, or that you don’t have to hurry up and pile as much food as you think you’ll want onto your plate because otherwise there won’t be any when you want more. To me, it’s not a shock to know what a normal serving size is, its just a mental battle to think of things in a normal way. Like, in my world is more inconceivable to think that eating pasta two days in a row won’t make me look like a marshmallow man. Crazy right?! I know.
This post is getting way to long, and I could probably make a whole blog on my interest in the topic, probably because its my life. However, I won’t. I will just wrap things up by challenging you to think about the way food interact with your life. And think about the way that the culture you grew up in effects the way you think about food, versus the way your closest friend or second half might. Furthermore, think about the impact you can have on a child’s life be being conscious about the way you involve food in their lives.
One of the most fascinating and scariest (in a good way) things I have heard related to the topic my Aunt told me this past year, and I’ll leave you with it:
“I always let my kids do what they wanted with food, because I figured, ultimately it’s the only extraneous thing they could control.”