I’ve been dieting since I was 17, so for the last twenty years. I don’t mean actively dieting, more like I’m always saying I’m on a diet and then I fall off the diet and then blame myself for every piece of chocolate or bag of chips that I eat. It’s really annoying.
In my journals I’ve recorded my weight, my activity level, and there’s always a sense that I’m never going to lose those five pounds. The only time I was at my goal weight was during the last couple years of my deteriorating marriage. I wasn’t happy then and I was at my goal weight. Why am I doing this to myself now?
I had a great discussion with my Gender in Society class and we were talking about beauty. There was a discussion on photo shop and how it’s so prevalent that it’s perpetuating an unattainable sense of beauty. Or consider the Dove short that shows how a cute woman is transformed into a super model by actually lengthening her neck and moving the placement of her eyes. But when these photo-shopped pictures are everywhere, it’s hard not to think you should look like that.
For me, I generally feel good about myself when I’m on my own. It’s more that I worry people are judging me. My ex and his wife are very healthy and run marathons, so when I look at them, I think in comparison I look like a hippo. The truth is, I will never have a lean runner’s body because I’m not a runner. I’ll also never look like a “Real Housewife” because they have so much plastic surgery they probably glow in the dark.
Still, those lean runners and those “Real Housewives” have bodies that are more desirable than mine.
Or do they? When am I going to give myself some credit? I’m voluptuous. I always have been. And now that I’m inching towards forty, I really should cut myself some slack. I won’t look like a twenty year old ever again because I’m never going to be twenty. And I’ve had two kids. Actually, for nearly forty with two kids, I’m doing pretty good.
I recently bought the flat belly diet book and was going to do the whole 4-day detox. I told Kealoha my plan and he said “Why?” Why, indeed. Because I want a flat belly. I want abs of steel. Why though? Is it really for me? No. I think I want flat abs for everyone else because I….I don’t even know. I guess because in our society it’s more important for a woman to beautiful and young than it is for her to be creative and witty and ambitious.
And I’m tired of it.
So, officially, I am not going on a diet. I’m going to try and cut myself some slack. I’m a foodie, a sensual woman, a good mom. I love food. I exercise when I can, and will more as the weather improves. You know what we’ve had the last few days for dinner? On Sunday we had this incredible soba noodle stir fry dish topped with cashews and carrots and beans and ginger. Then we had homemade pea soup and bacon avocado sandwiches. Last night, was pulled pork carnitas with a roasted tomatillo salsa. All food that I made (with a little help from K-man). This is good food. Slow food. Food for the spirit, the body, and maybe even eventually my thighs.
I don’t care anymore. I think it’s time I started being grateful for what and who I am instead of always wishing to be something better. I’m certain I’m not alone in this.