Julia Skott is someone I’ve known online for a ridiculously long time; she was in high school in San Diego while one of her parents was doing a visiting professorship-type thing when we first encountered each other back in the day. Now she is a journalist and author in her native Sweden and has been researching (and writing about) body image for many years, including a really great project called Kroppsbilder (NSFW, at least, at most offices), her own blog, and in various journalistic pieces. And now she’s written a book and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Well, I could, if it were in English. Fingers crossed that it is translated soon, just so you and I can read it. (Luckily, Google can translate the above links, more or less, so that you can at least get a glimpse at what she has to say.)
She is such a hardworking badass. I’m exceptionally proud of her, despite having nothing to do with her success. Heh.
I have written non-academic rantings about my own body image issues (in the ‘Eating’ category on this site), which I am still working on (for example, yesterday, I referred to what I was wearing as being good ‘for fat days’ when I really meant ‘for wearing to an AYCE buffet’, which I regretted immediately, for a dozen different reasons), and still fall into traps of reading, and semi-seriously considering, whether I should try paleo/veganism/intermittent fasting/etc. Recently, in a fit of PMS-driven anxiety, I nearly signed up for a ‘Lean Eating’ program, until I realised that that was a) insane and b) see a.
Seriously, what the fuck was I thinking?
Well, I wasn’t. Not really. My paranoid, monkey brain was seeking answers to a question that didn’t exist. Again, deprogramming 30 years of media messages is not easy, particularly in a society where it is almost unusual to NOT be worrying about dieting. I try to not, but in doing so worry in other ways, which causes infrequent, and thankfully temporary, short-circuiting from time to time and I get dragged back into body panic (hey, that’s the English translation of the title of Julia’s book!) and feel like I need to diet my way to awesomeness.
Nope. I, like everyone else, should consume what makes me feel good and what gives me what I need (MOAR IRON, for example or, lately, making sure to eat protein in the morning so I don’t feel tired at 10am). Eating is good. We should all do some.
By and large, I just eat when I’m hungry (and sometimes when I’m not) and, allergies aside (going to a doctor this week to see about this immovable sinus itch and pain and generalised tiredness), my body works just fine. *
My brain, obviously, still needs to be approached with caution, though. I am infuriated that, despite my attempts to reprogram, it can seemingly be so easily tricked by the Next Big Thing in dieting, or whichever celebrity’s dedication to kale chips and water fasts. (Quitting the Daily Mail might help with that too.)
If I even flirt with a a mindset resembling ‘I have to eat every three hours, and eat x and y everyday, but never z’, it is literally all I will think about, and that is no way to live. At least not a positive one. I’m sure some of y’all can relate.
Since I don’t have a conclusion, aside from ‘Yep! Still have body issues aplenty!’, here are some English-language links about BMI bullshit, exercise and body image, and other related things:
Oxygen’s New Reality Series ‘My Big Fat Revenge’ will be a super gross and hateful chronicle about jerkholes (Also, almost anything else Lesley Kinzel writes.)
*Sure, I’d like to run faster (which, at this point, seems an impossible battle given the aforementioned allergies and tiredness) and be stronger (I bought resistance bands recently to help with that), but I don’t think anyone would deny that exercise is a bad thing. My bike commute is an essential part of my day, if only for the happy endorphins and break from overthinking.