What’s defining you?
I have found myself looking for the latest fad diets and personal trainers almost every night this week. My weight is something that often consumes me.
We laughed over a picture a friend shared last night that said: Lord, if you can’t make me skinny, at least make my friends fat overweight, and I jokingly said, “that’s my problem- all my friends are quite thin.” However comical it was said it is the truth. I can almost hear the thoughts running through you head- why doesn’t she just get a gym membership, why doesn’t she just stop eating junk food and actually try to be healthy.
While I don’t eat drastically unhealthy I have to admit eating food that is healthy is not my forte. In my culture and society food is the thing that brings friends and families together. “Do you want to catch up for dinner,” “why don’t you come over for dessert,” “Let’s all bring a plate and meet at so-and-so’s house.” We have turned food into an activity (that doesn’t burn calories). Food is what we do when we’re stressed. (Fast) Food is where we go when we’re running late or can’t be bothering standing in the kitchen for the next half an hour. Food is what we think about, what we plan meticulously, depending on your age it’s what you give the most money to- Food is an all-consuming issue and I would venture to say that a lot of people find it very hard to manage.
Unlike your personal finances, where you have a clear income and expenditure, a particular item of food is made of many ingredients that all contribute to this “income.” 20 dollars is 20 dollars, a simple muesli/granola bar is in fact not a simple granola/muesli bar. You need to look at the fat content and the carbohydrates, and then glance over the sodium content… I don’t even know where to begin.
Protein only diets, low dairy diets, FODMAP, Atkins, Paleo- some of which boast to be “lifestyles” rather than quick fix diets.
How do you learn to have a better relationship with food?
I have digressed quite a bit as I was supposed to be talking about identity, but that’s just it I guess, I felt like my identity was in the way I externally looked. I am not skinny. That is who I am- no matter the character traits I have inside. Where did (for those of us who struggle with this) lose our way? High School? Maybe even primary school where we were first called fat? Or maybe it was the first time we bought a fitness magazine or Vogue and saw these “idealistic” women?
We were sitting at dinner a few weeks ago and I mentioned to a friend that I looked fantastically thin at my wedding (I was on a very stringent diet), and she (whether realising it or not) said “yeah you did, you looked great!” I told my husband about the comment a few days later- it really stung people! I’m sure it wasn’t targeted or even thought through before it was said, but either way it definitely got me thinking.
What is really making up your identity and how you feel about yourself? This morning it was like a light bulb going off. I started to realise that my struggle really isn’t with how I look externally, but rather the thoughts I had of myself. It has pushed me onto a journey to examine the defining parameters I use for my identity.