some things get to be just yours. some secrets. some issues. they get to be buried and hidden and ignored. or they get to be complained about.
until you have a daughter. and then you have another.
and then your disordered eating and your disordered view of your body doesn’t get to be just yours anymore. because you need to raise two girls. you need to raise two girls to love their bodies. to own their bodies. to take care of their bodies. to do something it’s taken you 30 years to do. (and even now there are days i can’t)
i have never been able to use the term eating disorder. i realize, you are looking at this…disordered eating? eating disorder? it’s all potato/potahtoe. but not to me. people with eating disorders starve themselves. people with eating disorders get so skinny that people start to talk; people start to worry. people with eating disorders binge and purge. people with eating disorders have hair that falls out. people with eating disorders get fuzzy. people with eating disorders look frail like Karen Carpenter. people with eating disorders don’t know they are destroying their bodies, their minds. people with eating disorders DIE. (at least in my head)
no. this isn’t me. i eat carbs for god’s sake!!! what kind of anorexic eats carbs? not a good one, for sure.
what i have is called disordered eating. (at least in my head)
because even though i do eat pizza, i still have managed to have days where i ate nothing but wheat thins and coffee. i’ve had weeks where i’ve eaten nothing but frozen yogurt pie for lunch. i’ve had moments when i look i the mirror and see 111 pounds of nothing but jiggly thighs and belly flab…and even though i *know* i’m not fat i still stand in my closet trying on bathing suit after bathing suit until finally throwing my arms up in the air and saying “i can’t possibly swim at Jack and Ilana’s today. i’m way too fat”
and then in comes Emily.
“Mommy. you look beautiful in your bikini. You are not fat!”
and then i cry.
and cry some more.
because what kind of example am i setting for my daughters??
this, to me, is the hardest part about being a parent. trying to teach your children to NOT be like you. to learn from your mistakes, as opposed to by my example. I can already see Emily, at age 7, worrying about what she’s wearing and looking cute and she once made a comment about her bum looking big in a pair of shorts. and i died. (because it comes straight from my mouth. she hears me make comments all.the.time.)She has an insatiable appetite right now and could eat all day. literally. she’s lucky. right now she’s skinny.
but what happens when she gets older? she knows that fruits and vegetables are a good choice over cookies and chips. but how do i explain to her that sitting down and eating THREE oranges at a time really isn’t the best choice? but how do i, at the same time, explain to her that i will love her no matter what?
I need to find a balance. i need to set a good example for my kids. and i don’t want to become Celia Hodes. if you don’t watch Weeds, STOP READING THIS POST RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND AND WATCH. Celia Hodes is a suburban housewife with a daughter, Isabella, who doesn’t exactly fit her mold. Celia calls her daughter Isabelly and signs her up for bootcamp. and replaces Isabelle’s secret stash of chocolate with laxatives.
i don’t even know where i was going with this. it’s just that there are so many things i want. i want to love my body. really and truly love it, inch-pinching and all. i want to set a good example for my girls (and my boy, too!)
i just don’t know if i can.