Eat the Cookie

I don’t want to be the woman who has to lose 10 pounds. I’ve known women who “want to lose 10 pounds” for 10+ years.

I don’t want to deprive myself a cookie.

I don’t want to pinch my midsection in the mirror. I won’t do it.

Yet, here I am, skin between my fingers.

I won’t pull on my face, this way, that way. Watching the history that’s written on my face disappear for one superficial moment.

Most of the time I am not that woman, but I am not entirely immune to societal expectations. But, what are my expectations?

We must be skinny. No, no, no that’s not “in” anymore. We must be strong. Strong is the new skinny. Curvy, but not too curvy. Healthy, yes, healthy. Anyway, I definitely should not eat that cookie.

Has social media really made self-image worst? No, it’s our heritage, tradition, culture. We inherit our body obsession like the fattening family recipes we serve our husbands but never and I mean NEVER should eat ourselves.

Both of my grandmothers were thin, elegant, and beautiful. One had five children, the other six. Even after all of those children their waists still looked corseted. They made delicious pies, but I don’t recall them ever taking a bite.

Scrambling around the dinner table was the woman’s place. Never eating there, getting her fill. No, my grandmother would drink her coffee black. No sugar. No cream. Smoking a cigarette. This was expected.

I want my portion. Most of the time I take it. Sometimes I take more than my share and I’m back to measuring my sin with pinching fingers.

I remember a time when I had such restraint. Such control, but there was always a hunger.

How do I navigate these murky waters and lead a life where the scale doesn’t measure my worth? More important how do I steer my daughter away from an inheritance of self scrutiny?

If I talk about food and weight am I preaching? If I don’t broach the subject am I neglectful? What of my son? Men too are not immune from the warped looking-glass.

Everything in moderation I suppose.

-Rachel McKee