Feasts, Starving, Feast

Like so many women, I've had issues with food and with eating and with body image. This has become so common as to be nearly a joke. But have one I did, and it developed, as so many do, in college (though the seeds for it were planted far earlier).

Women are each other's worst enemies. My mother was a borderline anorexic certainly and was terribly concerned that I would allow myself to "let it get out of control", it in this context being food or weight or both. In high school I had dance instructors that would comment on my weight or leg length. In college, I gained the freshman 15 which given my very low weight at the time was probably hardly noticeble to anyone but my choreographers, the costumers and my mother.

I had a terrible horrible life changing break up in college and that pretty much launched me off on a two year period of diet and exercise OCD and I still find myself struggling with the ghost voices of counting fat grams or writing down what I eat or how much I exercised. Terrible. Funny how when I lost all the weight I was praised to pieces by older women in the department but still felt so dumb and big.

Having kids changed things pretty drastically, and in a good way. It was probably the first time I really saw my body as creating something. And I started to really learn that if things change one way gradually, they'll change back....gradually.

I haven't been thinking all that much about it (meaning not with religious fervor) until recently. The triathlon was hard. I wanted to be perfect and beautiful and a machine. I could have, but didn't, get super crazy weird about my diet. I mean there are so many websites about training and nutrition. Grams this and protein that and fat to muscle ratios and on and on.

It was hard not to let myself sink into that obsessive state...the control of it and the minute to minute management of what goes in my mouth. Fucked up, yes, but very familiar.

I had a similar urge yesterday as I went to a raw foods restaurant here in town and when you start reading about raw food....man...it reads like my wet dream of how to control all of it. There is very little that is relaxed and easy about raw, in my opinion. Making raw tortillas could take a whole day. You have to plan quite far in advance of your meals meaning that you will be thinking about thing, pondering them, or in my case obsessing about them every day.

You need special gear and special ingredients and it's all so clean and organic and live and by the time that stops spinning in my head I'm afraid to eat anything. No good for me. It becomes less about adding something nice in, and winding up in a place where I don't want to fuck anything up.****

The mind is a crazy thing.

Thing is? I have incredible appetites for food. I want to try it all, eat it all, travel and experience the most decadent**** things. I'm a sinner and a saint, a glutton and a starveling.

I will not be going raw. I will not do anything that fucks with my head. I will be straightforward and balanced and eat food that will help me create, and feel pleasure and I will allow my desire to be heard and petted and fed.

****That being said, the meal at the raw foods place was actually DELICIOUS and I'd go there again. The 24 hour tortilla was fucking yum.

****At the raw foods place I had a cocoa/banana/coconut DURIAN smoothie which was really wild and amazing. Like chocolate and overripe bananas and maybe garlic? Nail polish etherish fumes and a bit slimy. I liked it.

Comments

  1. You know, I've wanted to write a post about something lately, but I didn't want to come off as a hater...

    Am I the only one who suspects that the vast majority of these healthy-living, raw-foodist, vegan-Nazi food bloggers suffer from eating disorders?

    Think about it: They photograph and document EVERY MEAL, EVERY SNACK, EVERY MORSEL OF FOOD THAT GOES INTO THEIR MOUTHS EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE WHOLE ENTIRE INTERNET TO READ. Is that not a little...you know...fucked up?

    (I'm obviously not talking about the ones who make three or four informative and/or recipe posts per week. I mean the ones who proudly proclaim, "I haven't eaten a single bite in three years that went undocumented on my blog!")

    Or am I just a hater?

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  2. Well, I think that any situation that is as regimented as that raises my suspicions of latent disorders. I think that healthy meals with lots and lots of fruits and veggies are better for you but the dogma is pretty harsh, on the raw food side. Actually, there is evidence proving that cooking food led humans to develop bigger brains because predigesting (cooking with heat) allowed us to absorb more nutrients faster.
    I think if I have to think about it all day it only feeds my preexisting disorder, so I'm not gonna do it. Other people may have a better experience.

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  3. I read an article in college (while living in a co-op with a lot of vegetarians) comparing food dogma to religious practice. People would "sin," and feel guilty, so they'd have to do penance and purge themselves. There's a lot going on there about rituals and orthodoxy and purity. While not discounting the health benefits of eating consciously, there's a lot of magical thinking and self-punishment that goes on.

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  4. I think that's true, Robert. And I'll be having as little of that as possible.

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