Here’s a new one for me. A blog post inspired by JK Rowling.
I’m a news junkie, so I frequently skim through The Scotsman online and that’s where I saw this story. JK Rowling rants about the pressure to be thin.
In North America, do we ever know about the pressure to be a certain size. All the supermodels are underweight, even Jennifer Aniston was told she was 20 lbs too heavy when she first went to Hollywood. Look at her now, she doesn’t need airplane tickets to get from LA to New York, just a strong, steady wind.
But this is what our culture defines as attractive and especially if you’re a woman, you feel it. Even those of us that don’t read chicky magazines or follow fashion or watch much TV feel the pressure. Stemming from every TV commercial to billboard adverts and the covers of books. The same message, over and over again: This is how you’re supposed to look.
Is there such a thing as too skinny? You tell me.
I was originally planning to blog on this tomorrow, but various things prompted me to pull this forward. Regardless, I thought it was interesting that I found myself thinking about body image at Easter. Yet another holiday that used to be about religious beliefs and instead is now part of the cycle of ongoing worship of food.
Think about it. What gets pushed at Valentines? Flowers and chocolates. Candy hearts. St. Patrick’s Day involves drinking beer. Easter? Yep – bunnies bringing chocolate eggs and various treats of mostly sugar.
The national holidays are a wee bit better, but then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all heavily associated with food.
Now, the other day I talked about some of my eating hang-ups. The need to eat M&M’s lightest to darkest. And how I would eat the food on my plate least favourite to favourite item.
You know how that started? Because my parents said I couldn’t have dessert if I didn’t finish all the food on my plate.
Beware the powerful incentive of dessert. Especially in a house where you didn’t get a treat every night. You wanted that. So I learned to work for it. Whatever was on my plate, I would force my way through it.
My mother never bought the “I really don’t like this” line. I had all sorts of bizarre solutions for those problems after failing stalemates miserably. For one, I only liked mashed potatoes with gravy. So I learned to eat them with cream corn on them too, just so I could get through them.
I would cut liver up into pill-sized pieces and swallow with milk.
And I would finish that damn dinner so that I could finally have what I liked – dessert.
Keeping my favourite things on the plate for last was incentive. Get past the yucky stuff and I get to eat the yummy stuff, and that’s the taste I’d rather have in my mouth.
Which was not a good way to learn how to determine when my stomach was full. It’s given me a hang-up to this day about finishing meals, and that was a real problem when we needed to eat out a lot. Because I still have that feeling that I must finish what’s on my plate.
Someone I know has a hang-up with pop. He’d get it when he’d been a good boy, as a reward. Once he had control over his diet on a daily basis? Feeling down? Go get a Pepsi. Made him feel rewarded.
The use of a food reward had given it a psychological association over time.
We have to stop using basic necessities as daily incentives for behaviour.
We have to start teaching people to listen to their bodies.
And we have to also start reinforcing healthy body images.
I’m not for obesity, and that’s a separate issue. But I’m keenly aware of the pressure to lose weight. In my case, I need to. But I see these young girls obsessing over every single inch on their bodies and I remember what that was like too.
It’s a shame they can’t enjoy their healthy metabolisms while they have them a bit more, and enjoy things. Soon enough, just looking at that pumpkin pie will add 5 pounds…
I leave you with bad jokes. Will be out for much of the day, but I'll be here tomorrow.
It's fun to cook for Don. Today I made angel food cake. The recipe said beat 12 eggs separately. The neighbours were nice enough to loan me some extra bowls.
Don wanted fruit salad for supper. The recipe said serve without dressing. So I didn't dress. What a surprise when Don brought a friend home for supper.
A good day for rice. The recipe said wash thoroughly before steaming the rice. It seemed kind of silly but I took a bath anyway. I can't say it improved the rice any.
Today Don asked for salad again. I tried a new recipe. It said prepare ingredients, then toss on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving. Don asked me why I was rolling around in the garden.
I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said put the ingredients in bowl and beat it. There must have been something wrong with this recipe. When I got back, everything was the same as when I left.
Don did the shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress it for Sunday (oh boy). For some reason Don keeps counting to ten.
Don's folks came to dinner. I wanted to serve roast, but all I had was hamburger. Suddenly I had a flash of genius. I put the hamburger in the oven and set the controls for roast. It still came out hamburger, much to my disappointment.
GOOD NIGHT DEAR DIARY:
This has been a very exciting week. I am eager for tomorrow to come so I can try out a new recipe on Don. If I can talk Don into buying a bigger oven, I would like to surprise him with Chocolate Moose