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April 21, 2000

The Religion of Dieting

Back from Hotlanta w/ renewed spirit. Ready to accept the challenge posed to me by Dawn wherein I spend an entire day NOT thinking about my weight. What a concept!

Here's what I wrote while in Atlanta: "To All the Diets I've Trusted Before"... cottage cheese & beets, potatoes, slim fast, fibar, fasting, anorexia, bulimia, excel herbs, jenny craig, atkins, instant soups / drinks / bars, star caps, metabolife, ayurvedic eating, blood type eating, carbohydrate addict's program, the zone, oprah's program, redux, fen-phen, pondamin, taping a tachyon disk to my torso, meditation, acupressure, affirmations, breaking free, callanetics, walking, jogging, aerobics, weight training, personal trainer, cardio, dance, yoga, krav maga... MASOCHISM... Diet has been my religion. Weight, my God. I go from church to temple to church, looking for the path that saves me, all the while cursing God for saddling me with this burden. When, in fact, the burden is the burdener. By cursing what it does to me, I validate its very existence and invite it to stay longer, deeper rooted, invested in my struggle. I pray every day, where prayer means speaking to my God. I've chosen diet to define me rather than just being, and letting diet just be, both of us independent of the other. Father-Mother God and Holy Spirit, assist me in living my life free from the obsession over weight, diets, numbers on a scale, or printed on a clothing tag, NOW. Thank you. I don't buy into your sales pitch any more, diet. You're slick and manipulative and the brochure looks so good. But I've been burned by your bait and switch to such an extent that I no longer seek ANY church sanctioned by your religion.

Totally unrelated to weight, but a question I'm pondering of late: Why is it that guys believe, when an attractive woman smiles, is friendly, and makes eye contact during conversation, that this is an invitation to sleep with her? I suppose I should be grateful that I am found appealing instead of repulsive, but it's really starting to piss me off. If I want to have a conversation w/ someone, male or female, shouldn't I be able to do so w/o having to then fend off a sleazy proposal? I really wonder what kind of "vibe" I'm putting out there that this is considered an appropriate advance.

Someone recently asked me why I didn't like dating out here... this is a big part of it. And maybe geography has nothing to do with it. I just don't remember there being this assumption that my interaction was indicative of a need for Hot Sex Now. And then I'm made to feel like a bitch for NOT wanting to hand over my phone number! Any ideas, gang?

Just so you'll know, I'm in a great place, having had a blissful visit home and feeling completely recharged. Nice to get away... and get back!

Posted by bonnie at 5:09 PM

Southern Fried Observations

* "Iced Tea" means "Sweet Tea", even from the McDonald's Drive Thru.
* Hardee's now has the Carl's Jr. Star logo.
* Slower traffic moves to the right lane as you come up behind them in the left lane.
* Traffic jams span 1 - 2 miles and last 10 - 15 minutes, max.
* It is a pleasure to drink clean, delicious tap water.
* There's superior local TV news but very few radio stations.
* You pay for your tank of gas after filling up.
* Bank of America has now bought up NationsBank / C&S.
* 430 miles of driving yields: cows. Lots and lots of cows.
* Doctors' waiting rooms include magazines AND the Bible.
* Yes, Ma'am. No, Ma'am. Period. You respect your elders!
* Time stands still in Athens. The exact same teenagers in the exact same outfits are in the exact same locations as when I was there in 1988, 1992, 1995, and 1998. I guess that's why you feel as if you never age when you're in a college town. Since the town repopulates itself w/ a new crop of kids each year, it always seems as if you're staying the same too. Amazing.
* Drinks cost NOTHING compared to the prices I've become accustomed to. An expensive draft cider cost me $2.50. That's 16 ounces, mind you.
* People are very trusting. I saw a woman come out of a SunTrust bank w/ bags of money, balancing them on her hip as she fumbled w/ her car keys.
* There's no bulletproof gas in post offices, banks, or at fast food restaurants.
* No homeless folks beg for money at the ATMs.
* Strangers will give you a hug if you ask for one. Okay, let me qualify that... I had had an exhausting trip to Atlanta. I'd been bumped from flights, pulled off flights upon which I'd already been seated, detoured through several states, and sat on the tarmac in Delta's birthplace - Monroe, LA - for an hour. And then they'd lost my luggage. So, here I am in the Delta Baggage Service Center, fighting back the tears from a combination of frustration and exhaustion. The woman behind the counter asks what's wrong and I wail, "I need a hug!" The woman next to me, also in search of lost luggage, reaches out and says, "Come here, Sugar, I'll give you a hug!" I started bawling. Now, I'm not saying you COULDN'T get a hug from a stranger in Los Angeles. I just don't know that you'd want one.
* My mother is beautiful. My step-father is protective. My father is talented. My step-mother is creative. My brothers are supportive. My cousin is nurturing. My friends are faithful. And everyone, EVERYONE, makes me feel like I've already "made it." No matter what California feels like after 16 months of enduring an ego-bruising profession, HOME feels like HOME. And I have no doubt, having been back there, that I am exactly where I am meant to be. And that I've accomplished far more than I'd realized.

Posted by bonnie at 7:36 AM