Monday, July 11, 2011

Confessions of a Feminist Nutritionist

Seven years in and protein shakes are starting to get to me once again.

I'm posting this partially to remind myself to come back and read this when my eyes are a little less fatigued. It's a timely article for me, since, years before starting BJJ, I decided to start eating better overall to lose weight. Well...I ate less and lost weight, but I was eating only about 1200 calories a day of not-so-good food. So the weight came off, and I was working out, but I don't think I qualified as healthy. So I'm kicking around a new challenge in my harder than under eating or working out too much or learning Mandarin or stepping on the mats for the second time (it was way harder than the first). I want to find the place in me that has a balanced relationship toward food. The place that understands that food is both nutrition and pleasure and abuses neither.

Here's the speech I'm reading through. It's long, and good. It's a pretty academic read, but it makes an effort to bridge the gap between movements centered around body image and actual programs to create change. Here's an excerpt...

Social justice advocates from all fields have made important critiques of:
  • media representations
  • publicly disseminated scientific knowledge claims
  • and body-related practices and domains of knowledge such as medical science
This is important, because we are avid consumers of health- and body-related information. There are industries – such as the pharmaceutical industry or what I call the fitness-industrial complex – that profit from our bodies and from particular discourses.
And it’s especially important because it’s often the people who are most marginalized who have certain regimes enacted upon their bodies.
In other words, it is essential to have a critical social justice framework that takes up questions of ability, aging, racialization, access to care, etc.

I'm not announcing starting a diet or a goal or reaching a point of dissatisfaction. It's more that I've reached a point of decision to pick up a journey I started ten years ago. Funny, at the time, when I made a lot of permanent changes in my attitude toward food and eating, I thought I'd "finished". It's crazy how few things in life are ever, really "finished".


slideyfoot said...

Intriguing link, as it manages to be at both ends of my attention spectrum at the same time. Nutrition I find very dull, but feminism I find incredibly interesting.

Deborah Clem said...

I understand this struggle all to well for reasons that would take up 65 pages of blogging...Suffice to say, my method to direct my eating in a truly healthy direction is to remember how good I feel when I pile on vegetables and water; and to remember how crappy I feel after consuming too much sugar.

You are right, this process is not something that is ever finished, especially for those of us that appreciate food and the experience of dining. My healthy eating habits are a daily ritual.