Behold! My lovely breakfast. Day 14 of my detox was the second of two days where I consumed only liquids. Above is my breakfast of cider mixed with water. Also consumed were lots and lots of water and tea, and carrot juice for snacks. For lunch was a green "superfood" drink made of every green thing you can think of-spinach, broccoli, wheat grass, spirulina, etc.-squooshed into a bottle. Dinner was a big bowl of vegetable broth and miso, pictured below.
I actually managed to get through the day without ever feeling hungry and I think I maintained a decent enough calorie count and range of different types of foods and nutrients. But in a weird conjunction of events, I also watched an HBO documentary called "Thin," which was about anorexic/bulimic women and I have to admit it made me feel a little weird about this whole thing.
I could write a novel about all of the thoughts and issues it brought up during the day for me, but I will start by saying that there's a fascinating discussion of the whole thing on Television Without Pity that brings up a lot of the general issues, thoughts and questions that arise based on the show.
It was really sad/scary to watch, especially during a time when I myself am on kind of an extreme eating regimen. While I am not anywhere near capable of having an eating disorder of that extremity, it still was a little disquieting to see echoes of myself and other relatively healthy women I know in the very ill and disturbed women on the screen.
One woman, who was very tiny and thin, when describing how she viewed herself and her body talked about herself as "short and stocky." She would never see herself as thin or attractive because she had set in her mind an image of herself as a stocky person, which was undesirable to her. And ... that could be me talking. Or almost any woman I know. The way she spoke about her body and how she perceived it was not so different from the way that I and most of my female friends talk about our own bodies and how we perceive them.
I am hard-pressed to think of a single female friend of mine who does not have some problem or insecurity with her body and weight. As I run through all of us in my mind I can think of a discussion or several discussions with every single woman about physical things we do not like about ourselves. According to us, we are pretty much a collection of big butts, big thighs, big foreheads, big arms and big feet. And the thing is, I have some seriously beautiful friends so I have to imagine this is pretty typical, and not just because we happen to be a bunch of dogs.
Even my love of food and cooking has a flip side, which is that the fascination in many senses developed out of a circumstance where for the past several years not a day has gone by that is not overshadowed by thoughts of health and weight control and maintaining a certain level of physical attractiveness. It's hard not to think of all the time spent on what I was going to eat, how I was going to eat it, what amount of exercise would need to be done to offset what I was eating, what I should and should not put on or in my body and how I could solve various perceived imperfections in the way I look, and to think that I could have instead used that time to something amazing or something charitable or something otherwise productive and useful to the world, but instead all of that time was spent on my own issues about my body and the way it looks.
It's not a heartening thought. But then again, I think of those girls in the documentary and about how that is not just a significant part of their lives, it is their entire life. I think of how they all seemed to know that they were killing themselves and to think that was a more acceptable outcome than gaining weight. I think of how every mealtime was a torture for them. I remember the way one woman featured was so happy at her birthday celebration, and then they gave her a cupcake and she looked at it like it was made of broken glass and her whole day was ruined by having to eat it.
And I have to feel fortunate, because although I am not perfect, at least I like being alive and I can live with myself the way I am, even if it doesn't always make me happy. I can go out with my friends and enjoy being with them and talking and laughing over food and drinks. I am very fortunate that although I spent this day eating no solid foods, I will eat tomorrow and will be happy to do so, and in a week I will be able to eat a big fat slice of pizza and enjoy every bite of it without pain or remorse. And I hope someday the women I watched in that documentary can do so as well, although sadly, judging my the updates at the end of the show, none of them ever will.
|Wednesday, November 29, 2006|