Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Belly Up

In a classic case of navel-gazing, blogging about my food anxieties seems to have vanquished them for the time being so I can eat more sensibly (also, we're out of peanut butter, so that certainly helps).

Another thing that was part of the solution was a nice, hard workout. In the middle of which, I had an epiphany: I'm probably going to struggle with food for approximately the rest of my life. And I'm probably never going to have the abs of Dara Torres. Hatin' on my body is only going to make things worse. I decided that instead of reviling my belly, I would give it the appreciation it deserves. After all, for nine months it was the home of a pretty precious part of my life.

So instead of despising the flab and stretch marks, I'm working on having tender feelings toward the soft roundness. There's muscle under there, but it's covered by a nice pillowy topping, perfect for someone to rest their head on.

By actively working to like my body, it takes away one whole category of anxieties, and thus, hopefully, gives me one less reason to binge eat. Of course, as a larger person, I'd look at someone my size and think, how could she think she's fat; if only I looked like that I'd be the happiest girl alive. The surprise was on me: It seems that body image issues don't magically disappear with the loss of a few pounds.


Sarah said...

Ridiculous, isn't it, how much time and energy we'll waste on this throughout our whole lives, and how early we start. I think you've got the right idea of just turning the whole thought pattern around and working it from a positive angle.

Check out this website which shows pictures of real women's bodies, post-baby - it's an image that you don't often see in the media, which I think contributes to the whole problem of unattainable ideals. (It's a little NSFW).

Miriam said...

Wow, thanks Sarah, that's an awesome site. As the mom of a girl, I really have to work at keeping things positive, just as a role model, but given our culture, it's damn hard.

Sarah said...

I also read something recently about eating disorders being on the rise in boys because of the whole emo trend. So as a mother of a boy, I guess I didn't escape that one! I still hope the teenage years are easier on me than I was on my mom though. :)