glow notes

Friday, February 24, 2006

In the head of an Ellie

OK OK, I'm writing, already.

Wednesday was leg day at the gym. Leg day makes both me and Husband hungry. Leg day burns a lot of calories - quads, hams, and glutes are big strong powerful muscles. Plus I was on my period.

So, we were on our way home, and it was dinner time-ish, and I looked at husband and said "I want a hamburger." And he knew just where to go. There's this place near our house that has high quality food, reasonable prices, and you order and pay up front, which I like because it doesn't waste time. And they have good sides - steamed veggies with no butter, mashed butternut squash, baked beans. It all tastes like real food to me, the way I'd cook it, not like restaurant food made with extra fat and salt to get you hooked.

So, we went there and I stood in the line to order while Husband grabbed a table. The people behind me, a couple in maybe their late-50's/early-60's, were looking at the menu and mentioned that they had not eaten there before. I turned around and smiled, and said that the ribs are good, but I pretty much liked everything. They thanked me, and the man asked some questions about the ribs.

When I got to the counter, I ordered a burger for me, a cheeseburger for Husband, and fries all around. As I waited so sign my credit card receipt, I heard the couple behind me ordering. The man was having ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and baked beans. (mmm . . . baked beans . . . )The woman was having a small house salad. "Why don't you have some of that tomato soup," the man said (with concern in his voice?) and she agreed.

Now, I don't know this lady from Eve, and it's not my job to get in her head. So I'll state up front that what I have to say is all about me, not her. But this all brought up a landslide of thoughts and feelings for me. Here's what the voices in my head said, over the course of the next few minutes.

  1. Man, she's skinny.
  2. Man, she's really not too happy looking.
  3. She's about my Mom's age.
  4. My Mom was always on a diet.
  5. Are all women that age on a diet?
  6. No, clearly not.
  7. But lots are.
  8. Are they happy?
  9. How can they be happy if they don't get to eat?
  10. Mmmm . . . food.
  11. Shoot, that makes me angry - this generation ruined it for women of my generation, teaching them messed up things about food and their bodies.
  12. It took me -years- to get from dieting; to reacting against dieting - and gaining weight, feeling like hell, and being in pain; to come to a point where I love my body, and love caring for it. And it can still be a struggle at times. Damnit, what a waste of time.
  13. But they didn't mean to do it. They learned this somewhere and passed it on.
  14. Is that what "sins of the father" means? That these messed up patterns are passed on?
  15. Ha ha, bible scholar Ellie!
  16. Where did it start? Why do so many women fear their own appetites and not enjoy their bellies, hips, and thighs?
  17. But being overweight doesn't feel good either. Nor does overeating or not exercising. Being strong feels good. Being fast feels good. Feeding myself feels good.
  18. Why do many women want to be thinner than is normal (i.e. rasonable to maintain without going hungry)? What do they get out of it?
  19. I remember getting more positive feedback when I was a teenager and lost some weight than I had ever gotten in my life for anything else. Anything. And I wasn't fat before I lost weight.
  20. What was that about?
  21. How do we reclaim our bodies?
  22. Oh, look, our burgers are here!
  23. Pass the catsup!