The history of my relationships with my body and weight. December 27, 2011. California, USA
I asked my son, Sasha, today about things that are going to happen at school next year. Straight faced he quoted me a phrase from the Madagascar cartoon «Nobody knows where we go, even ourselves» :))))))))
Starting approximately from the age of 18 until the age of 42, I have been constantly fighting my body. Well, you know, diets, the sense of being proud fluctuating with the sense of abomination of myself. I can compare this to Russian men in the 90’s when their rank in the jet-set was directly related to the value of their wrist watch and car. Also, my high-society female friends’ ranking starting from the ages of 23 up to 33 in my opinion, was closely related to the slenderness of their body. How interesting! Neither education nor business success and not even our talents were our boasting and competing points.
…Social Rank. That’s an important thing – social rank. But it’s really strange to realize that your worth is based on your physical looks and weight. It seemed to me that if my body looked like a models then I’d be more successful, and have more control of things and more control of the freedom in my hands. But my body didn’t want to stay squeezed in the ideal image of a model. And that’s when it turned into a real inner war. Sure, that was a certain stage in the development of society and that social environment where I happened to be living in, Russia, Moscow in the 90’s. This was the period right after the collapse of the Soviet Union and of the whole previous social order and values. I remember experiencing how Western values (material prosperity, freedom) flooded into Russia. I remember that exhilarating feeling of intoxicating quick fortune. The country and I were taken by the hurricane of change.
Personal observation: I’m rereading the paragraph and notice an interesting peculiarity in the way I describe things. “I happened to be”, ”society” “western spirit”. As if it was SOMETHING, not me, creating my world. What was that SOMETHING in terms of my energy? My dreaming? I have to come back to this…
Sometime after age of 35, another unpleasant thing happened. Males’ attention stopped being a strong motivation for getting slimmer. But “the wish to look good” was not replaced with anything more significant. I gained about 8 kilos and started to feel “maternal looking”, looking like a peasant’s wife. In this heaviness, there was a loss of female power for me. If I describe my inner body experience – I got big and heavy. Visually – I looked old to myself. My legs, my belly, my back and my whole body became old looking. Unfortunately, it meant the loss of power and that delightful feeling of control over the world which I had had earlier. I’d lost my youthfulness without finding anything relatively good in return. The freedom to travel, money and social position were still there. But all that wasn’t mine. The credit was thanks to my husband. I lost the feeling of self-respect, and self-worth.
Personal observation: HUSBAND, SOCIETY…Curiously enough the way I construct sentences. As if I don’t decide a thing. While at the same time “Not Me” is a very strong power in my life. It reminds me of something…A story of a sleeping princess… No. It’s more like a Puppet Theater with obedient puppets and an autocratic powerful puppeteer, also spectators.