Monday, February 06, 2006

Objectifying the Beloved


I'm very blue about this morning's weigh-in. I made a special effort to eat better and exercise more all week without slacking on the weekend. The scale does not reflect any changes in my behavior. There is something immoral about people all over the world dying of malnutrition and me moaning on about being so well nourished as to be one hundred pounds overweight. I hate that my diet is taking over my life. I hate the way it colors the way I see myself and the world. I hate living in terror that I may give in to old habits and repeat the eating disorders of my family, passing them along to my very insecure but perfectly healthy daughter.

I come from a family of women. I am the third of 4 daughters. My mother is bulemic. My sisters are each bulemic or anorexic or both. They all look pretty on the outside, but have all spent time in hospitals because of their eating disorders and the toll taken on their bodies. I am the rebel. I am the reactionary. I am the fat one.

In other cultures, women hide their bodies, their sexuality, their strength under yards of clothing and veils. In this country we encourage women to destroy their bodies, their sexuality, their strength through diet, surgery and shame.

I see my adolescent daughter; tall, curvy, glowing with health and vitality and then I see the unwelcome assessments she receives from males and females of all ages and the way she cringes in reaction. Will she fall victim to the destruction of her body as my sisters did or will she take on the veil of fat as her mother did?

I pray for the strength to be an example of health and pride for her. I pray that the path of destruction stops with me. I pray that I will be able to keep my mouth shut about my weight problem and just get out there and play ball with her without shame.

5 weeks down, 47 to go.