Monday, 10 November 2014

Happiness Delivery System

Interesting article in The Guardian this Saturday (you can read it here) about women, many of them highly intelligent, successful, slim individuals who regard themselves as feminists and yet hate their bodies and spend vast amounts of mental energy on monitoring their food intake.

My first reaction was "Thank God it's not just me!"

My second was that in writing a blog which is (in part) about, er, monitoring one's food intake, I'm just helping to propagate this completely anti feminist stance that to be valid as a woman you have to meet twenty first century society's rather limited definition of beauty.  Which can't be good.

I suppose the big difference between me and the women in the article is that I need to lose weight in order not to be beautiful (although I would be lying if I said that physical appearance wasn't a motivating factor) but to be healthy by NHS standards.  I have never had any major (physical) health issues weight related or otherwise, and I would like to keep it that way for as long as possible.

And, really, when I sat and thought about it, I realised that the beauty side of things is not the driver for me now, at 33, that it was ten years ago.  Actually, ten years ago, I was pretty slim.  I also was extremely strict about what I ate and took very little pleasure in food a lot of the time.  I think now the goalposts have changed - health is first and foremost and, as part of that, having a relaxed relationship with food.  I love food - I mean, really love it, but I don't want it to take up every waking second.  There are other things to do and other things to be.

Wonderful blog post about said article here as well - in particular, I love the quote:

 I recognise my body for what it is: a magnificent delivery system for all sorts of happiness, big and small.

And as I sit here, with a purry cat nuzzling at me, and a hot cup of Yorkshire tea to hand, I feel profoundly grateful for the small happinesses that make up every day life and that, sometimes, we are in danger of missing while in pursuit of that elusive perfect.

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