Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Soya Sad

Spending time with my grade seven girl's club group has made me sad.
We met today during their lunch hour and of course with the pretense of the hour at hand it was easy for me to openly inquire about the whereabouts of some of the girls' lunches.
"I am fat. I don't eat"
"I never eat lunch...or breakfast"
"I'm hungry, but I am fat, so I don't eat lunch"
These three separate, and yet equally disturbing comments came from three separate and yet equally NON fat girls (women).
It was hard for me to hide my 28 year-old concern (you know the kind that makes a teenager want to throw up all over you), and instead I turned it into a lesson about metabolism, and that by not eating they are actually putting themselves at risk to gain UNHEALTHY weight - not too mention the liver failure, the hair loss and the ceasation of mesnses that likes to disturb the unhappy life of most anorexics. I also talked about how some very thin girls are as unhappy with their bodies as those with the inverse concern - the girls not eating their lunches seemed to find this hard to believe, and who, when exposed to our thin=happy culture could blame them.
I didn't want to talk about metabolism and teach them about how they can NOT slow down their metabolism. I wanted to scream at them and tell them that they are beautiful, and that they should eat if it feels good, and exercise when it feels good, and rest when they want to, and eat fruit, nuts and peanut butter when they want to (all items they were discussing and labeling as 'make you fat' foods), but of course I couldn't. At 12 and 13 these girls are looking for my affirmation, love or concern. They aren't even looking for their parents' love or support (something that I realized later in the session when we were doing a quick activity) - nope. They want to be loved by their friends - and many of them by male 'friends' and bound up in this notion of friendship and self (via peer) admiration is the concept of thin=beauty. And this is ugly and totally wrong. Totally wrong.
I feel sad. Sad for them, sad for me as a 12 year old - I remember being caught up in that, and really believing that only if I was thin would I really be good enough. I also feel sad for 28 year old me who is still haunted by old thoughts and fears.
This world is so unhealthy, so dissatisfied with itself and it is turning in on who we naturally are - and, well, that just sucks a rusty chickpea.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Like Aged Tofu

It has been ages since I have been blogging. Life has really taken me by the head and given me a good knock about. In the process, with a sick tummy, my experiments into the wide world of vegan cooking has slipped into the abibsmal state of rice, seaweed, soup and mushy brussell sprouts.
I headed to Urban Herbivore today with the intent of enjoying something that wasn't on the 'safe' list of happy tummy foods, and ended up with the DARING sweet potato muffin and curried cauliflower soup. Sore tummy followed and my day dragged along like the phantom stump of a wounded war veteran.
But...I have had a couple of clandestine meetings the last couple of days - and they have outshone the cloudiness that accompanies my sore tummy.
On the train last night - being rushed home through tunnels and over tracks - I was disturbed from my Neko Case ear-injection by the voice of a stranger "do they just give those away?" he was referring of course to my snazzy eco-chic Toronto Public Library cloth bag that was draped over my shoulder and filled to bursting with end of term Communications papers. We had a great conversation about tai chi and some interesting Korean Martial Art that I can't recall.
And than, this morning, over a cup of silk road chai tea, stepped in Soy Milk and sprinkled with cocoa, I met this amazing woman who is doing her PhD at York. We chatted for quite a bit about teaching, academics and jerk boys who live in the city and like to pose as scruffy 'cool' guys when they are 35.......anyway, great woman, great guy, great conversations. Makes a belly happy!

I plan to return here. I like it here.