Monthly Archives: August 2010

The courage to change the things I can

I’m such a cranky bitch sometimes.

I’m serious. Do you know exactly how much time I spend obsessing over the people who don’t get the whole positive body image/food obsession thing? Like, I have fake fights with people in my head sometimes over this shit. Instead of sitting down to blog about it, and actually being the change one wishes to see in the world, a la Ghandi, or some other wise soul who coined that phrase.

Case in point. A couple of weeks ago, some guy friends of mine were harmlessly harassing me on the book of faces over the website barstoolsports.com. I may or may not have posted the following phrase: “I have now discovered my purpose in life: to unleash a virus on barstoolsports.com”. (If you’ve never been to the website, it’s basically dumb stories and pictures of girls’ asses that you can rate. So yes, something that perhaps objectifies women and doesn’t really contribute to the whole “realistic body image” thing. Or the whole “men are not pigs” thing. So I have an opinion about it naturally. What. What.)

So they all like it, understandably (what red-blooded male wouldn’t like pictures of girls’ asses?) But it pisses me off because I start to run with this in my head: the idea that some will blindly go through life, gawking at picture-perfect airbrushed boobs, not knowing that I had to retrain myself to eat after holding myself up to this unattainable ideal. I will grow infuriated throughout the day listening to friends count calories and listen to clients attach happiness to weight when I know there is a better, freer way to live. Why can’t they be mindful and open their eyes up to the body obsession that is so glaringly apparent to me? Why? Why?!

And it does me absolutely no good.

Why? Because I’m focusing on and dwelling in the exact negative energy that I wish to see less of. To make a difference, I’ve got to live and breathe this way of life, not try to change others’ perspectives by my sheer will. I’ve got to keep blogging, because this is one area in which I do not believe I should have restraint of pen and tongue.

The serenity prayer is as follows: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” And I can’t change 30-year-old men who don’t respect women and never will. I can’t change the woman who insists on engaging in self-hatred, and I can’t talk until I’m blue in the face anymore to people who don’t listen. It’s just wasted energy. What I can do, however, is continue to work on myself. I can eat fries at 10pm without attaching moral value to it. I can gain a few pounds without having to mention it because I know that bodies have their ebbs and flows. I can go on a run and love it because of the feeling it gives me, not because of the calories it dissolves. I can continue to ban beauty magazines from my reading material, and I can finally volunteer to give a talk at MEDA. I can live it, instead of bitching about it.

The reason I out my imperfections on here is because eating disorders are a jackpot for shame and ridiculous perfection standards. I can only hope that by sharing mine, your perfection standards will become less harsh. Believe me, I’m no eating disorder recovery guru: I’m a work in progress.

So I’m gonna turn the focus back to me, and lead by example. Here’s to an imperfect journey.