So I get to the last paragraph of an awesome book. The first line is so hot and pointed, I have to share this! With who? My mother being the critical thinker she is, would get this. She needs to read this line. So I text her- “Compulsive eating is an individual protest against the inequality of the sexes.” Wow! She texts me back- ” I don’t believe it. Compulsive eating is a compulsion. That’s a brain issue that needs to be solved. I do not believe that we eat compulsively because we are mad at men. If that was true, happy women would not be compulsive.”
Whoa doggy. That didn’t go well. Definitely not the response I expected. I’m so glad I didn’t send her anything from the introduction of the book. Like that “Fat also expresses the tension in the mother-daughter relationship, the relationship which has been allocated the feminization of the female. This relationship is bound to be difficult in a patriarchal society because it demands that the already oppressed mothers become the teachers, preparers and enforcers of the oppression that society will visit on their daughters.” I can hear her response now. “You’re blaming me because you’re fat and eat too much?”
My dream of her saying, “Wow! Tell me more!”, quickly diminished. My hope of the sentence spear penetrating her very core and switching on the light, freeing the both of us, was met with the very emotional blocks the book speaks of. My excitement got away from me. I have a quirk. Whatever I learn, I want to share with everyone I think it will help. One of the guidelines of my new diet free lifestyle, is to leave other people and their shyt alone. Discuss Diet-Free-Way-To-Be with only people who are 100% supportive and understanding of what I’m doing. Do not push it on anybody else. And cease from having “I’m fat, I need to work out, I’m going on a diet, I need to lose weight, I’ve gained weight, This is why I’m fat” conversations with anyone. Especially women. Especially men. Oops.
I text her back that I didn’t think that that is what she, being the author, is saying. I just found it interesting and I thought you would too. My bad. I refrained from texting her the book word by word. I refrained from calling and attempting to explain my nu found religion. I just let it go. She responded that she didn’t have any context and how am I doing? When am I coming to visit?
She’s right. I didn’t give her any context. I have read three books so far that have put me on a nu path. The Tao of Fuck You! I’m Amazing and I Ain’t Going On A Diet Ever Again! The funny thing is that her initial response made perfect sense and gave me a prime example of the societal programming many of us are under. A woman. A Yankee. A college graduate. A mother. An academic. A wife. Slaving over a hot stove. Preparing homemade biscuits from scratch for her southern husband and her two, three, four, no five children. A woman who would rather be in a library than making fried chicken and banana pudding. From scratch. Preparing meals, frequent trips to the grocery store. Milk eggs cheese bread. Six people need to eat and you want to be as far away from the kitchen, laundry, cleaning, housekeeping as possible, but can’t be. Somebody wants sweet tea, white rice, fried fish, spaghetti, sandwiches and Kool-Aid. You love it. You hate it. No freedom. A 24/7 nurturer and caretaker. Maid. No alcohol. No cigarettes. No anti-depressants. Only a sweet treat here and there. Everywhere. Run, Run, Run to your bedroom. You know the second someone has turned on the stove. You scream, “Turn off the stove, it’s HOTT!!!” A walking thermastat. Tethered to a buttered roll that feeds you and your family. Secretly resenting the damn roll. And maybe even the Role.
In 1978, I am born and the book Fat is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach is published with my hot and pointed sentence included in last paragraph, first sentence. “Compulsive eating is an individual protest against the inequality of the sexes.” Compulsive eating is not about a brain problem that needs to be solved. I ain’t broke and I don’t need fixing! Susie Orbach writes that ” Fat is not about food. Fat is about protection, sex, mothering, strength, assertion and love. Fat is a response to the way you are seen by your husband, mother, boss and yourself.” Although, I love this book, I’m glad I didn’t read it first. I read Overcoming Overeating by Jane Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter first. This book gets you off the diet binge cycle immediately. It stopped me from dreading this holiday season, giving into the seasonal depression that is trying to pull me in, devising a plan to lose 80 pounds by my birthday December 23 and once that failed, making a new plan to lose it by February 1st, then March 1st, then April 1st and definitely by the spring. Laughing out loud. 🙂 Dieting is out. Living is in~
My current bibles: Overcoming Overeating by Jane Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter
When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies by Jane Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter
Fat is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach