Monday, October 1, 2018

A Restricted Life No More

I had a difficult time last week, as I think a lot of women did, so I didn't get a recipe posted. I just couldn't concentrate or focus, and my recipes seemed unimportant. I have always been a feminist (I was lucky to have parents that raised me that way), but it has only been in the past couple of years that I've become more passionate about it. Since the election, the #metoo movement, and learning about how diet culture is rooted in the patriarchy, I've gotten really angry. It's probably too much to talk about on a food blog, but since it has affected me so deeply, I just thought it was worth mentioning how I'm feeling.

It has me questioning my own work. How much of what I do is from my obsession with food as a result of disordered eating, and how much is from an honest interest in cooking and food? All of that dieting and disordered eating I partook in for so many years was a result of trying to conform to what society wanted me to look like. So I could fit in, so I would be treated fairly, so I would matter.

Naomi Wolf quote "A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience."

Dieting is a form of oppression that mainly targets women. It tells us that the most important thing a woman can do is to not take up space. It tells us that we are not of value unless we are "healthy," which is usually at the expense of our mental health. Now that I've given up on the idea that I need to control my weight and body, I have a lot more time to do things that are important to me, to actually live my life and participate in healthy behaviors instead of wasting it counting calories.

Naomi Wolf quote "Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women's history; A quiety mad population is a tractable one."

I'm pretty sure that my IBS is a result of dieting and low-calorie diets (as well as stress). My current weight gain is a result of a damaged metabolism due to dieting. I'm working on accepting how I look, but accepting how I feel has been more difficult. I don't have the structural support in my pelvis to carry this extra weight. I have to be really careful how much time I spend on my feet each day or else I end up in pain. But there's nothing I can do. I'm stuck. I could try losing weight again, but the thought of restricting and being hungry all the time again brings me to tears. I also know how it will end up - being even heavier than I am now. Because of my genetics and my slow metabolism, this is the weight my body wants to be right now.

So I'm mad. I'm angry and I have a right to be. Dieting and losing weight didn't give me the "health" that it so promised. In fact, it made my health worse in the long run. Nor did it make me a more worthy person. I was already worthy. I am worthy no matter what I look like or what my health status is. I have been eating without restricting for a while now and I still find joy in creating recipes and photographing them, so I think that's a good sign that my interest is genuine. In fact, I'm working on some pretty big changes to my website in the next month, so stay tuned!

Here is a sneak peak:

New Delicious as it Looks Logo

Quotes from "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf.

Additional suggested reading:

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