I have worked out, almost every day, with a small group of women. I’m one of the oldest, and the youngest is 26. (You can see some of them in my facebook photos.)
We’ve known each other for years because of our mutual addiction to endorphins. We run, stairstep, kickbox, lift weights, play tennis, and twist ourselves into pretzels at yoga. We do things together outside the gym as well, because we have become very close as a result of the massive amount of time we spend together.
I’m 99 percent certain none of them read my blog. (Most of them drink green smoothies, though–at least if I make them one and bring it to the gym!) So I can feel safe that this story is between you and me.
One of the girls has an eating disorder (I’ll call her ED). Not one I am close to. One of the OTHERS I am close to (I’ll call her QT) just can’t stand it. My tennis coach (I’ll call her Shari) got a text from ED saying, “Why is QT so cold to me?” So QT wrote ED a long facebook message.
The message wasn’t something I would write or approve of (and I didn’t love the “we” in the message because I’m a big believer in “speak for yourself”). It was LONG. In a nutshell, it said, “Here’s why I’m cold to you. We love you, but we don’t come to the gym to talk about food. We get tired of listening to the Debbie Downer attitude and obsession with calories and what you ate and how long it will take to ‘work it off.’ We want to talk about life and positive things!”
Well, this story, on a human relations level, is sad. There are hurt feelings all over the place, and Shari and I (the bystanders) are a little at a loss how to solve the problems.
On the issue of food obsessions, though, I’ve been thinking. How true it is that no one wants to know what you ate! How many calories it had. How guilty you feel. Your self-loathing because you ate this or that.
I was thinking how odd it is that, as a bystander in the drama playing out between my girlfriends, I completely relate with not wanting to hear obsessing about food. (I want to enjoy mine!) Don’t you think that’s weird, since I write books about food, I develop recipes, and I have a web site that is all about food?
I kid you not that none of my very close girlfriends ever hear me talk about food. I just don’t.
I bet you’re surprised.
My point is that I put GreenSmoothieGirl up to SUPPORT. Teach if that’s appropriate. Give ideas and encouragement and helpful information not readily available in the mass channels. Only to people who want it, and no one else.
But food obsession is NOT what I want here. Food is a means to an end–oh, and it can be fun and enjoyable on its own. But as the new year approaches, be thinking about your attitudes towards food.
Do you love food? (It’s okay, even good, if you do!)
Do you hate yourself in relationship to food? (If so, I hope you get clear with yourself about that and gently begin to correct it.)
Do you obsess about food? (That’s no fun. So many other subjects in life are interesting too!)
What do you do when you eat something that’s bad for you? (I hope you don’t tear yourself down and feel worthless. That isn’t helping anything or anyone.)
Learning more about whole foods, and raw foods, is exciting and fun–or it can be! If it’s a way to demoralize yourself, compare to others, or set an unachievable bar way up over your head . . .
Well, look at the psychological issues and try to break them down with logic. Because food is a blessing. It’s necessary, but it’s also good and enjoyable!
Just some things to think about. I’m interested in your comments.