After too long of an absence, one of my clients finally broke my writer’s block. Unfortunately, this experience is so common among women there’s no way confidentiality will even be threatened by my sharing this. My client expressed her deep seated fear that if she gained weight, people would no longer like her and would even abandon her. This idea was based on her observations that being thin is what leads to happiness. Some of you may be asking yourselves, “where could she have possibly gotten this ide.” Some of you are nodding your heads in agreement because you too have seen the numerous ads for weight loss aids, diet foods, Lean Cuisine, and even chocolate that shows thin, happy people generally having a good time. Day in and day out, we are inundated with these types of ads from the time that we can watch TV. We are taught that some foods are “good” and that others, typically the ones people want to eat, are “bad.” At the same time, any advertisement for food on TV involves a thin woman sensually enjoying whatever it is that she’s eating and ravenously looking for more. Women are trapped. Food is both the enemy and the replacement for a sexual relationship.
What if, instead of this confusing food landscape, we were raised on a planet where food was simply food, neither good nor bad and in no way a replacement for sex? Would women, and in reality men, have such a conflicted relationship with women’s bodies? The surprise of this is that we do live on this planet – food is simply food, neither good nor bad. We can’t have a relationship with food that will replace our intimate relationships with others. The difference is that we have commercials, magazines, and even some television shows that tell us otherwise. Maybe it’s time to start listening to our own wisdom again. Maybe it’s time our rational brains were invited back to the party. Instead of looking for comfort in that Snikcers bar or bag of Doritos, look for it in those people in your life that you can trust. Instead of trying to gain control of your hectic schedule with mac and cheese, try saying no to some of the things in your life that are actually creating the hectic schedule. Simple, right? Absolutely! Easy? Well, that’s a different story. It takes constant mental aerobics for women and men to remind themselves what is real for a woman’s body. Whether or not we use them for this purpose or not (which by the way, is the woman’s choice), women’s bodies are built to create and sustain life. That takes fat, hips, and breasts. It’s time we started to remember that and stopped bombarding women and men with unrealistic images and ideas about bodies and food. Women really do come with curves, and those curves are beautiful, in whatever form they take. That should be respected, not derided.