Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Body of Evidence

Women are fat.

We're not chubby or plump. We're not hefty or big. We're fat.

Men can be jolly or whatever.

I've decided to be squishy.

Most of the time I'm okay with squishy. My boyfriend is okay with squishy, he's really only ever known me squishy. Of course there's the inevitable return-to-the-hometown desire: I hope everyone else is fatter than me. The truth is, I would love to be tiny for my 10-year reunion. And recently I've discovered that some pants don't fit like they did six months ago. Being happy with your body is just really bad for dieting.

And I don't believe in dieting. This whole culture of feeling in control of our lives by controlling what we eat is weird. The Atkins diet shits me - the guy DIED from cardiac arrest and put a ban on vegetables but people still want to eat steak steak steak to lose weight weight weight. And then there's Weight Watchers where you go to meetings, which, I presume is something like AA:
"Hi, I'm Judy Jones, and I'm FAT."
"Hi Judy."

"Hi, I'm Katie Clarke, and I have been thin for six months!"
(thundering applause)
And of course Nutrisystem, which, apparently, costs a damn fortune (their prices don't include a lot of parts of the "meal" they send you - like the meat).

And there is, of course, the idea of skipping food control all together and going straight to appetite control. Pills! We have a pill for everything — AND YOU NEED THEM. We have celebrities to endorse them all, too. FAT celebrities, who got skinny.

I don't think AmericansWesterners, even — will ever have a healthy relationship with food. We think of food like something naughty, an indulgence, a vice. Food is not something we eat to sustain ourselves, but to satisfy ourselves. And there's no balance. If we are satisfied, we must have had too much. My weight loss plan is this: don't think too much about it, do some pilates, walk more. I don't want to think about my snacks in terms of calories and carbs.

My friend Amelia has this theory on feeding children: kids' bodies know what they need. If you make good food available, they will, usually, get what their body requires. Her daughter seems to eat like a pigeon, but, if you watch closely over several days, you see that she gets everything she needs from several food groups. I don't see why we, as adults, can't function similarly. Eat what we want, when we want, listening to our bodies instead of the ingredients list on the backs of packages. And if I want I need I must have McNuggets, so be it. If I never lose this extra weight, I'm okay with that, too.

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