Body acceptance

I work with a number of women and some of them contain so much self-loathing about their bodies. It's to a point where they are separated from their body, that their body is their enemy and they consciously fight it everyday. One woman has disordered eating. She encourages others to each rich food, yet denies herself cake, cookies, chocolate every single time. She eats a plate of leaves for lunch, alone in front of her computer every day. Another woman starves herself and will eat one long English cucumber for lunch. But then binges on super sweet bubble teas. Both of them complain about clothes that give them muffin top. I have no idea what their goals are in life but it's clear that they devote most of the day avoiding food. It's not normal. I eat a shit ton of food; I have male colleagues tell me that I eat a lot. I've had bosses comment on the fact that I'm always eating. There is no need to monitor what I eat because I'm walking, hiking, biking, lifting weights, running pretty much every day. Your body needs fuel and without it, you have no mental or physical energy to take on your day, to chase your dreams, to execute your plans. When women eat like a bird, to me the message is that they want to be small and live small lives. I don't want a small life. I want an overflowing plate, I want it now because I'm bonking, and there's no way that I can tackle the mountain called life with a plate of undressed leaves.

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Shaming their shame

Mar 21, 2018 at 8:19am

Sounds like you don't know how difficult body dysmorphia is and that this is less of a choice and more of a societal issue.

close

Mar 21, 2018 at 8:57am

You sound rad, go you!
However, it's much more likely they've been heavily socialized not to take up space, to be small and have a small life, rather than that they truly want that.

But

Mar 21, 2018 at 9:52am

I hear what you're saying and eating disorders suck, but there is an enormous amount of pressure on women to look a certain way. We get judged and mocked for both trying to live up to it, and failing to live up to it. Not saying that having a plate of leaves for lunch is normal, but I get what they're going through.

33 8Rating: +25

@Shaming their shame

Mar 21, 2018 at 10:06am

It is not a social issue at all. It is an issue of lack of protein and minerals, which are what allow for cognition, planning, etc. The body is not like a fire that just burns whatever you put in, it is a complicated system of proteins. Focusing on the idea that the real problem is some "social construction of beauty/fitness/etc." is not going to help anyone eat a healthy diet, they need to be told "eat this much of this, that much of that."

If anything hurts women, it's this culture of blaming other people for things within their control. We're not in the third world where it's difficult to access food. There is a ton of food available to your average working person. I mean, heck, I know people who subsist on food bank and a bit of store-bought food who eat far better than someone who eats a cucumber for lunch and then binges on sweets.

Once we get out of this rut, the late 20th century is going to look like a sort of dark age, where Professors and "experts" would pontificate very bad advice about things like nutrition, exercise, etc. A woman who menstruates who is eating an iron deficient diet is at risk for anemia. A woman who eats a copper deficient diet is going to have trouble utilizing iron, because iron metabolism requires copper. So does the use of zinc. Etc.

You're right to say shame probably isn't helpful, but shame is not the problem, the problem is a vicious cycle of poor food choices and blaming of "social" factors that have very little to do with poor food choices.

Sounds like....

Mar 21, 2018 at 10:43am

a lot of women like to blame the pressures of society for their own insecurities.

Judgemental

Mar 21, 2018 at 11:26am

Do not judge others. You do not know what is going on for them. Medical and mental illness cause weight gain. Some people have better metabolism. Things can change for you as well. Age plays a big part.

eating disorders

Mar 21, 2018 at 12:26pm

Whole countries are starving and millions of people face horrible food insecurity. That is a real disorder. The disorder of malnutrition and poverty. Meanwhile Vancouverites obsess over smoothy bowls, avocados and other lame food trends. Trying to 'fast' and 'cleanse' their way to beauty. Also a disorder, but one of the ego.

23 5Rating: +18

Wow.

Mar 21, 2018 at 12:35pm

Look your not getting it. When we are little girls it starts. The division between our bodies and our minds. Sexual abuse/leering from pedos
Becoming a sexual object and so on. Every advertisement is of a perfect woman. Not real. Other women judge and say have you lost weight? You look great! Aren't you a pretty girl! Etc. It's ALWAYS about how we look. Not achievements or intelligence. We are objects. Our own brain tells us this. Guilt and fear rule all our decisions. We only live for approval of men. What your seeing is the microcosm of society's successful brainwashing of us all. Look at the fucking yoga bodies on bus ads and fashion magazines. Everywhere. 24/7. Diets pills clothing surgery makeup tv and Instagram. We are no good as we are. Be better. Thinner. Prettier. Otherwise you get shamed. It's not about being healthy. It's about conforming to consumerism. It's sick. Men are starting to fall for it to. It's degrading. Shame is the biggest influencer. It works. I truly don't know a single woman or girl who doesn't hate their body. We are disposable because we are not perfect. Have a think about what that's like. Start complimenting women for who they are. Not what they look like. That's a start.

@ Wow

Mar 21, 2018 at 1:40pm

What you said is sad and so true. The part about consumerism really stuck out to me. Its these companies that have sold the lie of 'perfection' and unattainable beauty. Fuck them. I pray that all people can rise above that shit and stop giving any money and power to these terrible industries.

Similar

Mar 21, 2018 at 1:55pm

I've been in your shoes before. The even sadder part is that the women around me wouldn't exercise because it's traditionally discouraged in my/their culture. But then they ask me to change the bottle on the water cooler because I'm strong enough to do so.

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