Months ago, before Oprah got a hold of it and gave it the Oprah bump, I picked up the book, Women Food and God. I was looking for a book to round out my order from Amazon (for the free shipping) and after reading the brief summary of the book, thought it might be worth reading at some point. I figured, “Eh, why not?”
I’ve been hearing all the hubub about the book the last few months and have been telling myself to read it. This week I started.
I’m through the first section of the book and I’m feeling so-so about it. There’s definitely good info in it and I find myself familiar with a lot of the warped perceptions and broken approaches to life the author writes about.
For instance, the focus and distraction that dieting becomes in your life. The project of fixing yourself. Focus on your flaws and inadequacies and fill your life with the fixing of these and suddenly, there’s no room for anything else. I’m there, doing that. It’s occurred to me on occasion that I AM doing that, but then I just make myself buckle down and focus harder on the fixing.
I don’t know what the approach to healing the rift between me and food and God involves yet, but the frequent references to giving up dieting is putting me on edge. I feel a touch panicked at the thought of not being a project. How do I function when not attempting to control everything that goes into my mouth or obsessing about exercise (though the latter isn’t that much of an issue)? I’m also wondering how I can still eat primal without it being obsessive. And more generally, how do I function when not trying to fix myself?
And then the thought occurs, do I really even need fixing? It almost feels like blasphemy to wonder such a thing. The knee-jerk reaction is to say “Of COURSE I need FIXING! I’m a MESS!”
But really, am I a mess?
This makes me think a little bit about being a victim and living in the head space of a victim. I wonder if maybe this approach to fixing myself is stemming from a sort of victim mentality. One I don’t necessarily deserve. Sure, there’s been a few hard things in my life, but compared to so many others, my hard things pale in comparison.
If anything, I’m more a victim of my own making.
I’ve perpetrated the greatest harm against myself with regular self-loathing and the Miss-Fix-It project status I’ve adopted. And it seems the more I try to play the fix-it game, the more fixing I need. So it would make sense to stop playing.
But then I find myself afraid. The threat of not playing makes me want to stop reading the book, maybe even chuck it across the room. And that’s exactly the reason I’m pressing on with it.
This is a revelation into how little care I actually give my body (even in the midst of the fixing).
And that needs to change.