Friday, August 24, 2007

The Story of the Elizabeths

I hid my scale right before my parents got here.

Part of the reason is because I think I stole it from their bathroom the last time I was at their house. (Hi, I am 12). But mostly I wanted to see how it would feel if I separated myself from the numbers I just keep seeing over and over again.

143.5. 144. 148. 146. 144.5 146.5

I'm not sure what I think yet about this separation from the scale. It's like there are about fourteen Elizabeths in my head and on different days they each seem to make sense.

I would love to not think about food all the time, so sometimes I think I should just eat whatever I want and not worry about it and learn to be happy with me. That's carefree "fat is good for you it keeps you full! Elizabeth". She has a full fat caramel macchiato in her hand, and she wonders if you think "she shouldn't be drinking that" when you hear her order it.

I would love to eat just picked farm fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and not care about the calories in the olive oil drizzled on top or in the cheese or the bread. That's hippie "Whole Foods Elizabeth" and she eats a lot of olive oil, but only the local stuff. She worries that she doesn't try hard enough because she doesn't come anywhere close to eating only local or only organic or only free range or only hormone free and she's not reducing her carbon footprint and she secretly craves sugar free jello with cool whip.

But I would also love to be able to wear something besides the one pair of shorts that fit me and I don't want to buy new jeans this fall. And that's "Strict Dieting Don't You Want to Buy New Reward Jeans Elizabeth" and she eats Light yogurt and carrots and she really wants to weigh herself RIGHT NOW because she's been "good" all afternoon.

Then there's "If I ever have a daughter I can't fuck her up the way I am fucked up I need to get a handle on this soon Elizabeth" and she's eating chocolate (but only the dark Really Good Stuff!!!) while she reads self help books.

Then there's "you can't let people think you have let being a mom make you soft" Elizabeth and she's so scared of looking like a failure or a loser that she doesn't eat anything. She knows I have to lose fifteen pounds and that I sometimes look like I'm still pregnant even though my child is six months old.

Then there's sensible Elizabeth and she eats plain popcorn and diet coke and and she tells me to get off my ass and count my points and quit my complaining. She thinks about food all the time.

Don't forget runner Elizabeth. She thinks I'm amazing for running eight miles but she's scared I can't run nine and so she eats pasta with wild abandon and says "Screw portion sizes, I need the carbs."

Mostly there is scared Elizabeth. She makes sure she always has nuts and beef jerky and yogurt and apples and Clif Bars around and she wonders how to lose weight without fear, without hunger. She is afraid she will never ever like herself, no matter what she does. She is afraid she will never be skinny enough. She is afraid that if she doesn't eat enough she will be revealed for the selfish crazy body obsessed incompetent lunatic that she is when her milk dries up and she can't feed her son because she cared more about the size of her thighs than her own child.

I am all these Elizabeths. I can't help but notice that none of them are very happy.

And I have no idea what to do about that.


Chris H said...

It's the story of our lives mate, it does not matter what size we are, we are never happy about it. It just gets worse mate.... cos the older you get the harder it is to pull finger now and get it off!!! Don't leave it till it's really really hard.

My name is Rima. said...

Elizabeth! What an awesome post! Though it made me very hungry. I fluctuate between a lot of those feelings too. It was a good way of articulating it. If only food weren't so damn tasty.

BTW, thank you for your comment on my blog. I was scared after posting that, but the comments I've gotten from people who know where I'm coming from have been very, very helpful.

Tricia said...

So, Can I just go ahead and change the name on this post to Tricia and post it on my blog now?

I have none, zero, zilch ww-willpower right now. I feel like "I already DID this, why do I have to do it again???" And I know I am being a big (fat) baby. But still.

While we're at it. The post about being a SAHM? I'm gonna' steal that one too, k? (Oh, except my kid is 8 months and SO not crawling.)