Transfer #19 From Blogspot

I Am Sick


with an upper respiratory infection.  When my doctor asked what the pain was like,  I said "like I swallowed shards and shards of glass."  Apparently, on a scale of 1-10, swallowing shards of glass ranks around a 4, pain wise.  She took my blood pressure (good), felt my pulse (good), listened to my lungs (good) and peered into my throat. "Ugh." She said. "But hey, it  doesn't lool like strep, so you can still go to work!"

Being an adult sucks sometimes.

She offered me prescription pain meds seeing as to how my throat is red like hell is when depicted in cartoons, but I bravely said I could manage with over the coutner meds – to date, THE DUMBEST DECISION MADE ALL WEEK.  Regular Ibprofen isn't touching this sucker.  This sore throat laughs at Hallswith eucalypus.  This sore throat, is epic. The only thing that helps at all is the continuous ingestion of liquids so I am peeing constantly.  No fun at all. BUT. On the upside. Because there is an upside.  I HAVE NO APPETITE.  For the two days prior to today, I reveled in my lack of appetite, in my ability to NOT EAT and not want food because finally, finally I was one of those girls who just 'forgot to eat,' who just 'wasn't hungry.'  Today, in order to keep from beating my stomach lining to shit, I forced myself to eat lunch. I could only finish half of my sweet and sour chicken, though. Being, as I am, not hungry.  And this afternoon I'll eat some frozen yogurt and tonight I'll eat dinner, all in an attempt to prevent future stomach craziness from too much medicine.  You scoff, but it works; it truly works.  Anyway, I am down, what, 2-3 pounds from my lack of eating, and this is a decidedly positive result of the glass-encrusted throat.  And this morning on my way into work I spent the majority of my commute wondering how I could keep this weight loss going. Should I start working out even though I'm sick? Give up grains forever? How to built on this fortuitous lack of appetite?

Which brings me to today's rant, the weight of woman. Or something.   My friend Katie started me thinking about women and our weight obsession with her post about how her office is conducting a Biggest Loser Contest, and how her boss accidently inferred that she could lose some weight (which is totally ridiculous!), and you can read all about this on her blog, –  The same day, one of the local news shows conducted a poll of Detroit women, and 57% of them said they'd rather take a 20% paycut than gain 20 lbs.  THEN,  in the New York Times on Sunday, there was a big article about the "pro-ana" movement among young girls (15-21, particularly), which stands for pro-anorexia.  Apparently, there are entire website communities written by young women who meticulously record their allotted 400 calories a day (a cracker, a piece of licorice, .5 cup of vegetable soup, etc.) – they decorate these sights with pictures of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie – they glorify the thinnest stars they can find.  They like Renee Zelwegger post-Bridget Jones, revile her during it.

Of course, none of this is really new information, unfortunately – but as our lives become even more influenced by image it does make me scared to have a daughter.  I used to be nervous to have sons, because I often felt (after many drink-laden conversations with girlfriends who verified my hypothesis) that moms tend to have a frightening amount of influence on their boys, and baby them more than they do their daughters as well.  For instance, if Sam and both his sisters are going to visit their parents, although all three live out of town now, it will invertiably be Sam's favorite meals that are made all weekend; Sam's laundry that is done.  My mother will still make my brother's bed when he's home for vacation, but freaks out if I walk incorrectly on her new carpeting. I'm just saying.   Anyway.  A rant for another time, perhaps.

I can't remember a time when I have not felt fat, or at the very least, chubby.  And while now I do  carry some extra weight that I am trying to rid myself of, for the most part I have never been heavy.  Some of this extra weight is the weight that comes from the crazy dieting in college, when I certainly could have been considered "pro-ana" – all I ate for an entire year was cocoa puffs, minestrone soup, diet coke and cigarettes (I know, it's disgusting).  Also, this extra weight is also the result of quitting smoking.  In many ways, my extra weight is payback for the abuse I did to my body through much of my twenties, when yo-yo dieting and smoking and binge-drinking didn't seem like the abuse it was.   And most of the time I can see the work I'm doing, at the gym and with eating healthfully at home, pay off.  After all, I feel better.  Even heavier, I look healthier now than I ever did when extremely thin.  and for the most part my efforts to lose 20 pounds are more altruistic than they used to be: I would like to have an easy time conceiving a child when the time comes, I would like to decrease my chance for future heart disease, I would like to lessen my risk of cancer.  I'm focused on fitness, so I'd also like to hold poses longer in yoga, go for longer runs, etc.

But after all that, after the fitness and over all healthy goals, there's still the 21 year girl inside me who just.wants.  Who wants to look fabulous in levis.  Who wants to be the Nicole Richie of Detroit Society.  Or something like that.  And while the pressure to be thin was palatable in high school, I don't remember it being anything like it is today, where it seems brand names like chanel and louis vuitton and coach have even made their way up to my little home town, where, when I was 16, the hottest name around was Guess. 

I don't necessarily think coveting health is a bad thing, but when our picture of health ends up skewed to look like Hollywood celebrities, something dark and dangerous happens.  And it seems to me, anymore, that this obsession with thinness has only grown with our nation's obesity epidemic.  We are incapable, anymore, if having any sort of normal relationship with food.  We can't eat simply until we're full, and be calm about it.  No, we've turned food, and what we will eat and what we won't eat, into a national pasttime.  My cousin scott once told me he felt so much more at home once he moved to chicago because chicago is a city where people start planning their dinners during lunch, whereas boston, where he used to live, was filled with people telling you what they weren't eating that week (I'm off dairy, they'd claim proudly, or "I'm so done with rice!) – It's strange, in our nation of plenty, that we even have the choice, the ability to raise daughters who can consciously choose to be "pro-ana" – that we have overexposed ourselves to so much processed foods that corn, wheat and soy are in the top five allergens.  Allergens developed from overexposure (like my soy allergy -blame the cocoa puffs, I do!)

When I think about my weight, I worry about eventually developing type II diabetes, insulin resistance, infertility.  I want to be thin in order to be healthy, to avoid the pitfalls excess weight brings with it.   I don't want to be just another fat American, gorging in my land of plenty and relying on some HMO to take care of me in my old age.  But the line between my altruistic notions of health, and eating to be healthy, and my desire to look like J.Crew catalogue model, is always very thin, so thin it is sometimes difficult to remember it's even there.

This entry was posted in Sisterhood Sacrificed, The Private, The Public, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Transfer #19 From Blogspot

  1. shelly says:

    i love your decorator!

  2. How correctly to choose a diet? Smooth dump of weight in fact is more safe for an organism than sharp? WBR LeoP

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