April 14, 2014 by Beth Hess
|My friend Kelli writes about showing her daughters her “mommy belly” — the one stretched by multiple pregnancies and age itself. And I brush it off. I, after all, am not raising daughters.
But moments after clicking on the next thing, the tears start to fall. Tears of unknown origin. Tears that feel like cracking slowly – the smallest of fissures that erode quickly beneath the saline. Until the sink hole opens below me, and truth starts swallowing me whole.
It’s not a new battle. Me vs. Food. But I’ve been wanting it to be different again. A renewed resolve after a clear view of the ground previously gained having been surrendered to the enemy again. Piece by piece. Morsel by morsel. Calorie by calorie.
I gaze upon the battlefield littered with fast food bags and soda cans, my lips still powdered with donut sugar, and I think I know what has to be done to change my relationship with food.
But then I read Brave Words about belly buttons. And I see the flaw in my solution.
Food cannot have a relationship with me. Whether carrots or carrot cake, food is just a collection of molecules. Brownies don’t give hugs. Pasta doesn’t ask me thoughtful questions. Diet Coke doesn’t laugh at my jokes.
The relationship that needs fixing is not with food. It’s with my body.
My body, unlike food, is alive. It senses. It feels. It changes. It touches. It breathes. It replicates. It creates life. My body IS capable of relationship.
So my body and I are getting to know each other again. Slowly. Like new friends still nervous about past scars and failed attempts at healthy relationships.
It’s new. It’s a little strange. And it’s still hard to recognize her voice. Some days my body and I don’t talk as often as we should. Some days I still drown her voice with sugar. Some days we argue about who is to blame for the shape we’re in (or out of.)
But we’re talking. And that’s a good start.