Got through another "hard" moment today, though I took a big chance going in a dollar store. I was even thinking about getting sugar wafer cookies. Oh, how I used to love crunch, crunch, crunching through a package of those. Two or three cookies was never enough because it wasn't just the taste. It was the crunch. Two or three might be enough now, but I knew it would be unlikely that would suffice today, and besides, I like other sweets better. I knew down deep I'd rather wait until I could have a better item in a situation where I would enjoy it more. But I parked the car a bit on the edge.
First of all, I got diverted by a kind of scarf on display. Never found any more in the store, but did find cotton swabs and a couple of other things-- no sweets or other binge food. I actually looked at a few non-junk items but thought about how I am trying not to have so much stuff around. I had only a $50 bill and there was a charge for using the ATM under 5 bucks. The clerk didn't want to change the 50, so I left with nothing. And was happy! I wouldn't at this point purposely look for situations that make it hard, but I will take them because they make the habit stronger. Actually, habit alone makes habit stronger, so easy and difficult all work together.
Once in awhile I do think of what it might be like never to have this food thing as a concern. I think sometimes of an American woman ( I may have said something about her before) whom I met in Iran. in the late 70's. She had married an Iranian man very young and left the States. He was a great guy and they had 2 children and a comfortable life. She was chunky by our standards but it was not an issue in Iran. I doubt she was a binger. I think she just probably ate a bit more than she was really hungry for ( mostly good food, as Iranians ate almost all home cooked food) over the years and in those days, nobody exercised on purpose, so she put on some weight. It was not considered some great flaw to eat a little too much and be a little big. She seemed to enjoy her life a lot. Psychologists in the U.S. say it is normal for women here to dislike their bodies and to feel that it affects the quality of their lives . Sure, we have a lot of freedoms here, but not the freedom to escape the onslaught of media body images and food pressure without great effort. Years ago, a brilliant English psychotherapist interpreted the emphasis on thinness as a kind of modern oppression of women. However, she was also one of the first emphasizing waiting for hunger to eat and stopping until full, so it wasn't as if she was saying eat and be fat to show them! She felt women overate to compensate for not having freedom in marriage and work and that they should also learn to stand up for themselves. I think we see that to some degree from women's stories here on Spark, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Some women are very happy with their husbands and like their work, but still overeat. We just don't have all the answers, but thankfully, don't need them all in order to make progress in having more quality in our lives.
BTW, i didn't bring this up to start any debate on women's positions in the Middle East. I'm very aware that there are problems and oppression there. Body self-consciousness wasn't one of them, though.
I'm grateful just for this moment of peace on a Saturday afternoon on my couch, listening to wind chimes and seeing the bougainvillea with its pale pink bracts waving in the breeze.