I have been doing some internal cleansing and so I thought I’d do some more environmental cleansing.
I started to adventure through my old stuff that I had kept from school. Reports. Feedback. Cards. Essays.
I loved the process.
I did however, uncover this piece that I wrote in grade 11 English. I got an A. Must have been why I kept it.
Anyway, when I read it it had mixed feelings.
I am pretty open about my tumultuous relationship with food. When I wrote this, I was about a year into my eating disorder. Re-reading it I felt… Sad. Uncomfortable. Proud. Healing.
Love for you to feel into it and tell me what you feel from my 17 year old self.
This is what I wrote:
“No, no you wicked thing. KEEP AWAY”.
I woke suddenly to find myself laying in a pool of sweat. A recurring nightmare had forced itself into my subconscious again. It was chocolate cake! Not just any chocolate cake though. It would chase me around my bedroom in an attempt to fasten itself to my thighs. I would wake only seconds before the horrible act was completed.
Thinking back now I wonder if it was my sweat I found myself laying in or the effects of my saliva glands working over time. It wasn’t the first time my dreams of devilish food almost brought me to the brink of sanity but I decided then and there that it was to be my last.
We all feel pressure to be thin and at the same time like to have our cake and eat it – all – and still wind up with a flat stomach. At night I find myself wishing on the first star, “First star I see tonight, I wish I may I wish I might, the the the dream I wish tonight….I wish….I wish….I wish I could eat like Roseanne and look like Elle.” After all what could be more tantalising?? Right??
Since the food industry began it has concerned itself with developing foods which can supply enough nutrients to ensure a balance intake. This new generation is doing he reverse. Now scientists are working on making it possible to have out (fake) cake and eat it too. Call it Monopoly food: It passes go but doesn’t collect 200 kilo’s.
Well then, where the hell did all this social pressure come from?
Meandering through a local supermarket you’ll be literally reeling in the isles from the array of lo-fat, no-fat, low-kilojoule, light options for the greedy shopper. Seduced by the prospect of losing weight, consumers are loading their trollies up with all the tasteless garbage. Thus, it must be the marketers who compel us to be rake thin? Right?
This is one theory, but I mustn’t forget the role models society has projected – waif thin model we feel pressured to look like. It happens so often. Flicking through a magazine, page after page you are swamped with the blond beanpoles with cellulite free thighs, abnormally flat stomachs and bums that don’t hang out the sides of their swim suits.
Then it happens.
You suddenly strike a page with a fat woman plastered across it, clutching and ice-cream. The story headlines, “What men think of fat women – you’ll be surprised”.
The columns are full of how men like the ‘softness’ of a woman’s body – not being cut when they go to hug us. How men find women we all call “fat” as voluptuous and that the squish we women hate are the curves me love. Oh heck, lets have that tim-tam.
Now you feel that you can take on the world.
Don’t be too sure! I turn one little page and “wham”, I am slapped straight in the face with a tanned hip-less beauty. Quick turn the page. “whack” and again. “smash” and again. STOPPPP!
Okay, you’re going to turn the page this time and not feel the pain. Done! No raving beauties. Oh no, it’s a five week weight loss plan – no more, please, more torture, enough is enough!
Burn the stupid thing!
Misery stricken, I reach for that time tam. Someone enters the room. Automatically I recite the words, “the book said I could” and then I burst into tears.
Again I ask. Who’s fault is this? Could it be the opposite sex? Why not, we make them take the wrap for wars, riots, political oppression and leaving the toilet seat up. I suppose we can blame the desire to be thin on their expectations of us women, but I feel it’s much deeper than that. I feel that it is as much as I hate to admit it…the women!!
The bitchiest things said about a woman’s body shape are said by other women. Seriously now, we have all heard the things women say…enough to peel nail polish. Come on girls, this just isn’t right.
We appear to thrive on porky pictures we wee of celebrities. Picture this.
You come home from that perfect holiday and wait for your snap shots to be developed. It’s devastating. The perfect swim suit looks a LOT less cute with half your butt hanging out. And who is that face with all those chins anyway? All yours? Now imagine of these photos were splashed across the front page of a magazine. Oh wo-man. The shame!
Now it isn’t often that men come across pictures such as these in their magazines – simply because they couldn’t care less. And why would they? It’s women who gasp and snigger at these less-than-perfect snap shots.
For some strange reason, it comforts women to see other women, especially fat celebrity women. Us run of the mill type people complain about the social pressure to be thin, but take a look at these actors. Their whole life revolves around the way people perceive them – it just proves that the fat actors don’t get he work. Sure we can say Bette Midler is a terrific actor, but lets face it, who would be more likely to take the limelight? Her or Sharon Stone? Right?
Maybe it is time to stop blaming everyone else for our problems – it’s time to take a look at ourselves. All of ourselves. All of those cream-filled biscuits, sugar filled lollies and chocolate dipped ice-cream that have accumulated over the years. Lets look at why the blinking heck we need them – because if we insist on filling our bodies consistently with these empty calories we sure as hell wont end up looking like a prima ballerina.
What it all come down to is if you like yourself – all the lumpy, bumpy bits, then society , men, other women and whatever reasons for living the way we are, shouldn’t be an issue. Isn’t that what life is about? Being happy?
Growing up in a country town, I was not subjected to the social pressures applied in the big smoke. I actually got away with wearing pink shorts with red socks – a fashion nightmare. The women seemed to have nothing better to do than eat and never did I wonder why half of them couldn’t hide behind a bus. I say half because the other half exercised regularly – regularly rounding up cattle, on foot.
Most women have some sort of difficulty with food. The way women think aout themselves is related to external appearance. For a man, his job, his car, his shoe size are all important things about him, but looks define women. We have been conditioned to find overweight people unattractive and we tend to attach words like greedy and over-indulgent to them. But some indulgences seem to be allowed while others aren’t. The guy from the footy club who drinks 12 schooners of beer is not considered greedy in the same way a woman who eats a packet of biscuits in an evening is. It is so much easier for the women to be considered excessive.
Surely we have advanced enough by now to stop thinking about food and eating in the same old way, and we start looking at how we can break down such restrictive stereotypes. After all, being fat isn’t a sin! God told me so…now that is another story!
“Hey marge…want to help me finish off that family sized block of chocolate?”
Life goes on!