25 March 2012

Body Issues, or Puberty (Again)

Okay, I'll just come out and say it...I now have a figure.
A curvy stomach
Curvy thighs
Curvy hips
I look down and think, "Where did those come from???"
The other day I had to shop for something I haven't needed for a long time.
Or, maybe not.
It was like going through puberty all over again. First I had to figure out my bra size. When I figured out I had a D cup, I knew my calculations were wrong. I mean, I have breasts, but I don't have *breasts*. If you know what I mean.
So I recalculated and realized I had a B cup...I was right back into the size I was at sixteen, when I first develop these breasts.
Then I had to find a "comfortable bra" — two words that constitute an oxymoron, in my opinion. First I went with Victoria's Secret yoga bra, figure it was close to my beloved - and oh so comfortable - camisoles.
But I couldn't wear these bras with a lot of things because of the way the shape curves up. I knew I needed a "real bra." One with underwire and hooks and shaped cups.
First I dug out some old ones that were in the size I *finally* figured out I wear, but these were padded and for some odd reason, the padded ones were too big in the cup. My cup didn't runneth over, but instead ran too small.
Then I headed for the local Kohl's, where I almost went into sticker-shock. Can anyone tell me why a piece of clothing that goes *under* my regular clothes can cost more than my regular clothes? This wouldn't be because we live in a male-dominanted society that still seeks to disenfranchise women, would it? I mean, men have it all wrapped up — they don't have to be expensive undergarments and they don't have to buy tampons or napkins every single month until they hit fifty or so.
I tried on some of the less-expensive makes, refusing to even consider spending fifty dollars for what basically amounts to a glorified bikini top...and while I'm on the subject, who decided to start selling swimwear in two or more separate pieces? What's next — selling a coat and its hood separate? A shirt and its buttons separate? (Don't get any ideas, retail!)
I was gratified to actually find a bra that I can wear all day and not feel like I'm going to die of suffocation. So here's my bra recommendation, for what it's worth: Barely There by Hanes. Most.comfortable.bra.I've.ever.worn.
Pluses: bras are prettier than camisoles (who knew that there were so many different colors for bras?) and my figure is pretty darn good (I actually feel sexier than I have for years! Now if I could find someone to appreciate all this sexiness...)

On a totally random and unrelated note: I've finished reading Unorthodox:The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots and started reading The Hunger Games.

Unorthodox was a good read about a woman who fought against a repressive and misogynistic religious sect — and before anyone calls me an anti-Semite, I would have written the same thing about books that depict fundamentalism and misogyny in any form; i.e. FLDS or strict Southern Baptist. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, and they preached that it was a sin for a. girls to wear slacks and b. anybody to do anything that remotely made them happy. We used to watch films about hellfire and damnation, and it was the principle reason why I still struggle to not be afraid of God. Read Unorthodox before you judge me or Deborah Feldman.

The Hunger Games is interesting, yet depressing. I didn't really need another thing to depress me, but I'm too far into the book now to stop. I also bought The Covenant by James Michener the other day, and plan to re-read it soon. I love that book! Anyone interested in historical fiction and the history of South Africa and apartheid should read it.

Finally, I finished reading - yet again! - Black Like Me. I highly recommend it. (Read my review of it on Amazon or at Goodreads. Or just scroll down and read my review on the right of this blog.)

06 March 2012

NEDA Week 2012: Everybody Knows Somebody (Part 2) | Surviving ED

"I struggled not to cry as each picture, depicting life and love and happiness, flashed on the screen during Thursday night’s National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week presentation. I thought about all the people I know who are struggling with an eating disorder; the friends who have made it through recovery and the two people who recently lost their lives to their eating disorders...."


NEDA Week 2012: Everybody Knows Somebody (Part 2) | Surviving ED

02 March 2012

I'm angry...

I'm angry...
Angry about all the years I have wasted being a slave to my eating disorder, to the scale
Counting calories obsessively and watching the scale, the number never right.
I'm angry because I know several people who have died from their eating disorders, and I continue to read and hear about how these illnesses ravage lives, people, sucking away joy until all that is left is a shell that is empty/void/hollow.
I am angry because little girls in this world go on diets at the age of eight or six or ten, when they should be playing with their baby dolls, feeding and nurturing and dreaming of being a mother/nurse/doctor/president/CEO.
I'm angry because I live in a world were the size of one's body measures the size of one's soul, and women (and increasingly, men) feel the need to diminish themselves, refusing to take up more than an inch or two of space, apologetic that we dare breathe and move and hunger when we are told that we must rein in these human traits and become a race of aliens.
I'm angry because so many good, intelligent, kind people feel the need to either starve themselves or purge themselves of all of life's goodness.
I'm angry because much of society still believes that eating disorders are caused by vanity and the desire to get thin, and I wonder about this because if it were about looks, I would have stopped before I became enmeshed in anorexia, becoming a skeletal shell of my former self, dying and wishing to die each day as I slowly faded into the carpet in my home.
I'm angry because many people still feel it is okay to tease/bully/make fun of people who are overweight, judging their characters by the size of their bodies, feeding on prejudice until it is overflowing.
I'm angry because insurance companies believe that a life is only worth one/three/seven days, and send people home once someone with anorexia is near his or her ideal body weight or someone with bulimia has stopped purging on a regular basis, not realizing that weight and food and size are only the symptoms of a larger problem and until that problem(s) is addressed, the relapse rate will continue, and why do these businessmen/women hold the power to decide who lives and who dies...and it is the rich who typically live on the backs of the poor, those who can't afford treatment for their eating disorders and therefore must live in the hell created by...what???
I'm angry that research has failed to uncover the causes of anorexia/bulimia/binge eating/EDNOS.
I'm angry that so many clinicians fail to see the symptoms of eating disorders, and instead label sufferers as having borderline personality/bipolar illness/some off-the-wall, unheard of exotic illness, not bothering to uncover the truth behind the suffering.
I'm angry that a well-know eating disorders center (you know who you are!) spent God knows how much money studying the effects of women's attitudes about makeup and how those attitudes influence and contribute to the development of eating disorders....really, this is too much.
And I'm angry that as I write this, someone else has died of an eating disorder and no one seems to care...

Read more about the Renfrew Center's survey on women and their thoughts about makeup and body image at Carrie Arnold's blog, ED Bites.