Sometimes I forget this happened to me and my body not that long ago. Sometimes, I very much try to forget it. I don’t even talk about it very much because, in all honesty, I don’t always know how.
All I’ve attempted to do in the past few years is, one step at a time, live as closely to the values that I hold as I am able to. I’m not always good at it - but I try. I attempt to acknowledge privilege when I experience it, and I make a continuous effort to reflect, shift, and improve that which is within my own control so that I can be reminded that - along with the work I seek to accomplish - I at least attempt to live according to the values that I hold.
To me, it feels like something that just “happened”. A shift that felt (feels) continuous, and one that changed (changes) the way I think about food and about my body. To others, it can appear strictly aesthetic and that always seems strange to me. With a history of disease and illness in my family, if this didn’t happen now I would almost be guaranteed to have even more (completely preventable by diet) problems than I’m already at risk of. I’m not denying that the start wasn’t at least partially more vein - it was. But then, it wasn’t. It became about how I started to feel, how I continue to feel (when I’m being good about taking care of myself…), and about an attempt to seek a more meaningful relationship with food and my body - a position I very much realize is not a possible situation for all people.
I enjoy that the author reflects on the privilege of affordability to purchase healthy food - it is a very important component of the weight loss “industry” and obesity in our society. Eating whole foods and accessing education on food should never been a “privilege”. Vegetables are plants. Plants grow in the ground. Just like trees, just like grass, just like weeds, just like those “edible” plants in the bushes you’ve been hearing all about. The point of commoditization that we have reached for something that grows in the ground is really quite upsetting - especially since so many people in this city, this country, this planet go to work and school hungry every day.
I try not to demonize food choices. I get saddened when I see a community that focuses often on purchases and suggesting that everyone simply “vote with your dollar”. That’s not the reality of a huge amount of people. You can’t “vote with your dollar” if you don’t have a dollar. This is not simply about money, not simply about “choosing” organic/non-gmo food. Being vegetarian can also be a privilege - I am privileged to be able to say “no” to food on a daily basis because of my choices and reflection of values.
But you do need to eat, yes, it’s true. Buy the best quality you can afford - if you can’t afford it at all, there should be no shame in accepting various forms of assistance. Your personal bank account is not the problem - that you are forced into a world where we accept that some people will go hungry even when we have the ability to feed them - is the problem.
I will always have reminders of my past - of my mind and of my body - they were harder to embrace once. I am more thankful for them now. I would certainly not be where I am without them.
So, if you ever want to understand what this weird shift in the world’s perception of you when you lose weight feels like - this is a pretty good article that echoes some of how I’ve experienced it as well.
"But the thing that has been brought alive to me, so vividly, is how thoroughly our evaluation of a person’s body has become our evaluation of the person. We not only decide that certain body types are less attractive, we marginalize, and sometimes abuse, those who do not conform to our ideal, and we sexualize and consume those who conform too much. We are granted or denied privileges that are frequently lost on us when we have them—privileges that we only recognize when they are lost to us."