Monday, January 05, 2009

backward and forward

Like so many others, I reject the notion of resolutions based on our fabricated time frame. If you don't have enough resolve to move towards a goal on December 30th, you won't miraculously find it by January 1st.

I do not, however, reject the idea of reflecting on the past and making plans for the future. Mostly, though, I raise my glass to the future.

One thing I will not be considering, resolving or planning to join is the lemming race to diet madness*. It pains me that so many bright, talented, funny women (and men) dedicate inordinate amounts of time, energy and money to this self-hate activity. Or intense self-dislike...however you justify. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway, since in our thin-worshipping society, I've just done the equivalent of a devout Catholic peeing on the pontiff) that the goal of good health is a worthy activity and not about self-hate but that is NOT why 95% of the population tortures their bodies. And 95% may be understating the issue. Women, focus your tremendous, creative energy on healthy are so much more valuable than your ideal weight...whatever that is.

A couple of quotes to start things off that reflect my current reflections:

Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.
–Naomi Wolf
[via Kate Hardings Shapely Prose]

And dedicated to my DIY fervor and firm grip on intellectual irony:
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
–John W. Gardner
[via Bungalow Bathrooms, by Jane Powell]

*And gentle readers, I'm a big girl (sorry. nothing girlish about me) woman. Thinking about this issue, I'm afraid I made a friend uncomfortable the other day. I was eating a grapefruit, like I do every day and mentioned that I loved grapefruits and wasn't eating them, as someone once asked, because I was on a diet.

, I tardily reacted to the past insult, Do you think I need to be on a diet? Are you calling me fat? My friend, dear person that she is, seemed unsettled because she, like most people, probably thinks that yes, a diet wouldn't hurt me. Of course, I started dieting at the age of 10, and it has in fact, hurt me both physically and psychologically. And to what end? Rare moments at my "ideal weight" sandwiched** between decades of energy wasted on self-disgust and ruining my body's ability to regulate itself. Basta.

But she didn't deserve the diatribe.

Wish I had a warning label I could slap on my forehead when I'm about to blow. Maybe a red light attached to my cranium that would start blinking...

**I love using food metaphors for anti-dieting commentary.


StevensVox said...

I am right there with you, WOMAN! You can check out my musings on this on my poor anemic blog, but I did do some reflection of 2008 and hopes for 2009. I completely agree with you on dieting! Being a gay male, I am unfortunately consistently aware of my body and my own tribe’s perception of my character (i.e. lack of restraint) for not having the body of an Ethiopian teenage girl. I have always been a thick chunky boy, and I doubt that will change. Although, I would be lying to say I did not want o be thinner. I am trying to change my mind set about it though. I want to learn to be healthier, stronger, and make smarter choices and live my life to the fullest. I am just choosing to refuse to by the lie, that you have to a certain size to achieve that fullness. It is a long, hard road my friend…

epiphenita said...

True that, my lovely man. It is hard to escape the 24/7 messages that tell us we are less than for being more than.

But life is too short and too wonderful for wasting all that energy...

Narya said...

You'll enjoy this.

epiphenita said...

And Narya, I did. Thanks for the link, you dear woman.

Oprah did us a great disservice...and herself the greatest of all, by only loving her body when it was thin.

It's gotten to the point that I can't abide talking about, reading about or hearing about dieting.

[And another thing, we ALL eat emotionally. From the first moment at the breast. It's not some fucking character flaw. Assholes.]

Weight consciousness and body hatred have
out of my life.
I just want to live.