My mind has been looping and stirring about body image. (As we all know.) Last week, when my sister and nieces came to visit I was struck again with the body image damaging behavior that is rampant in my family. They do not even realize that they are doing it. My niece who is 13 years old showed some comparison behaviors that sent red flags immediately. (It could only be typical teenage behavior, but my family is already prone to this so I am highly sensitive.) I was ticked off when my sister was watching Ariel flop and flip on our chair and said, “Dang! Look at her abs and she is only seven!” I quickly rebutted with our limited diet and how active the kids are. It is pointless to go into any deep conversations about anything because well…
I got the look from everyone as if I were depriving my children by forcing them to eat “healthy.”
I looked at them and said, “My kids are not deprived. Come on, they get gluten-free Oreo’s, cake and stuff. We get burgers and fries from restaurants.” I felt like I should feel guilty for some reason. I hate that. The main thing that has been taught in this household is that food is an energy source. If we want to feel good and have energy we need to make sure we are eating foods and drinking things that achieve that for our bodies. We want our brains to be focused and alert. We want to feel connected to our food. We do not feel we should eliminate everything things in moderation makes sense. I am not even going into the issue that I have about my daughter’s body image already being pointed out. Leave her alone! I do not want her to even start thinking about that nonsense.
We consciously think about our food.
We are not hyper obsessive, calorie counting, and no sugar; eat only organic, raw foods type of people. I have done a lot of observing with my kids. I have taken notes, and watched their behaviors when they eat certain types of foods. I know my kids and how food and drinks affect them. I think it is very important and until they are old enough to make these decisions for themselves, I will decide for them. I do not buy much junk food, I do get some types of chips, but frankly, I do not find pleasure in eating foods that others find enjoyable. I do not care for soda, in addition to feeling like I am wasting money on empty calories. But that is me, who cares what I am doing!
I have talked about this before, but it really gets me upset.
My kids are happy, healthy, and perfectly fine without any of that stuff. Personally, I would rather spend my money on other things. I admit it is costly to eat this way – it is ridiculous that that eating fresh foods is more expensive than, eating processed foods. Now we do eat processed foods like pretzels, chips and mac and cheese types of things, but they are “healthier” version (seriously not sure about that. :-)) and gluten-free. Those are about double the cost of regular products. I do not see the point in giving my kids sugary drinks when they are happy with water. They are happy with 100% fruit juices and no additional sugars added. They are happy with my blueberry muffins made with a little bit of honey. Why would I want to change that, especially when I do not eat that way? I try to buy foods that I know will satisfy them because they eat A LOT! My purpose for food choices I think are logical, I am not a stickler or judgmental toward others. However, I do take offense when I feel like I am being judged for my personal choices.
I think it is silly to judge me for the choices I make when the person clearly has a choice in what they purchase.
It is their choice what foods they like, or what they want to spend their money on. People seem to get awkward when they eat sweets, or certain foods around. They never ask me why I am not eating it, or why I have politely refuse to have some. I only receive a look and then, an awkward feel sometimes accompanied with rude comments such as, “I guess that is why you are so lanky.” I have to say no for my kids because I know what it will be like in our household after the consumption. (I usually bring back up food or snacks anyway.) The majority of the time I do not eat foods because they make me terribly ill. I get sick to my stomach, have bathroom problems for days, cannot sleep, or the sight/smell/taste genuinely is making me feel icky. It has nothing to do with discipline, or me wanting to be a healthy eater. My body forces me to be like this on many occasions. My kids suffer from many of these symptoms as well.
I used to eat anything and everything – I had energy, stomach, and mood problems ALL the time.
I see food as my batteries for my body and mind. I need it to survive and I will use it to get the most energy I can. I am a person of habit when it comes to food for sure. I eat the same breakfast every morning, the same lunch, a variety of different dinners, but with the staples of protein, starch, and veggies. As a snack, if you asked me whether I wanted a bag of chips or a rice cake, I would take the rice cake. Why? Apparently, my taste buds prefer cardboard. It used to be a means of control, but now I am seeing that I really enjoy these types of foods. Gluten-free foods taste good to me. I would prefer them to southern fried foods any day.
I do enjoy spicy food that feel fresh and clean.
I am referring to things like peppers, or cayenne pepper on things. I have sensory issues with greasy foods, and sweets as well such as them leaving a film on my tongue and teeth, or the grease smelling a certain way. Foods like salad, rice, some fruits do not. They do not upset my stomach either, not sure why spicy stuff does not make me sick. There is no rhyme or reason to my body. It would seem that my taste buds are much like my emotions happy – sad at the same time, bland - spicy at the same time, nothing in between. I got completely sidetracked. The reason I was stuck on food is that it connects to the two movies I watched yesterday morning. (I actually wrote a lot of this yesterday, but I could not publish I was very fragile yesterday.)
The movies made my tears come out in a volcanic eruption.
I finally watched Disfigured and America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. I could possibly devote two entire posts to these movies, but I need to process the emotions and thoughts I am feeling in the moment. In Disfigured, it went into a direction I had not expected at all. At first, I was trying to get through the awkwardness, and the “indie” type feel that seems to be consuming movies lately. I was also confused by many of the social interactions going on. I did what I normally do and tried to grab hold of the concepts and ultimate goal of the movie instead of trying to figure out what they meant by their odd phone conversations. I was not sure what to expect really, but I did not expect the heavier woman to ask for “anorexic lessons” for real. I think it played out well though. Heads up: There was a sex scene that I fast-forwarded through; I was not in the mood for any of that. I do see the value of what they were trying to convey in the scenes. I would have fast-forwarded any sex scenes because it stirs emotions that I cannot explain.
The other thing is the anorexic woman says, “I am socially retarded. I do not know what other people do.”
I do not think this was an inappropriate use of the word in regards to the context of the character as a whole. However, I know that others are sensitive to the misuse of the “R-word” and I would hate for someone to watch it and be unaware that the word is used. I did not see it as offensive, but others may feel differently. There is so much packed into this movie. I am not sure even where to begin or filter my thoughts. I think it was worth it to watch. I think it deals with some hard issues. I think it exposes people’s prejudice and stigmas that forebodes our society. It reveals how many of us suffer in silence whatever our eating disorders.
It gives perspective of how we need to change our perspective toward people.
The scene that caused me to lose it was, when the heavier woman confronted the anorexic woman about expressing herself. She tells her to cry, or scream and the anorexic woman says, “I can’t do that.” When she said that, my head flood with all of the years that I have hidden my tears. I would not allow myself to cry. I just spoke with my aunt last night she has been having a hard time too, she said, “I will not let myself cry.” I would not eat in front of people, (still at times) I would not feel, or let anyone know my thoughts. I controlled my food intake as well as my emotional intake, and release.
I watched the woman lose it, get angry, scream, and cry.
It took the prodding of her friend to send her over. I watched her lie in her friends lap as she was held, I think for the first time in a genuine caring way. I had flashes of last summer when I laid curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing, not knowing what to do with the intense feelings. The feelings that I have controlled and kept hidden unleashing themselves. I confess religion was a great way for me to stifle emotions. It helped me focus on helping others, and not to help myself. As I watched the movie, I could relate to the anorexic woman very much, there were many things that were familiar. I was never a calorie counter, or obsessive about foods – I would just stop eating. I would binge eat, and then stop eating thinking I had eaten enough for a few days. I used diet pills and cigarettes back in the day. I would be limited on funds and cigarettes were always a priority over food. Insane.
I cannot really write anymore about this movie, it’s too much to process.