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Poor, Irrational Brain...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I drove away from my house this morning, and looked down at the passenger seat next to me...where my bag of snacks should be. The realization that I had left them at home made me growl. If I don't have snacks during the day, my brain goes crazy. I end up having a meltdown and gorging on In & Out animal-style fries, cake, or other vile and delicious food.

So, I quickly pulled into my local Whole Foods. Once there, I grabbed some fruit, and an almond milk latte. While I waited in the check-out line, I saw a vegetarian magazine, which claimed to have 33 “must-have” recipes inside. Well, I'm a sucker for a good vegetarian recipe. I grabbed it and added it to my little pile of snacks.

When I finally got to work, I had a second to quickly look over the “33 must-have recipes.” As I suspected, out of those thirty-three, about five were really “must-haves,” but that's five I didn't have before.

Then it happened. As I glanced at each of the pages, I saw the picture. I'd seen photos like it before. I always have the same reaction. It was a woman, doing yoga, and she looked EXACTLY the way I want to look!

My brain sort of freaks out when it sees images like the one in this magazine. It races back and forth between hating that woman and desperately wanting what that woman has. The whole thing is completely irrational.

I've heard people say that they cut out those sorts of images and hang them in places where they're forced to see them all the time, as inspiration/motivation. That seems like a strange sort of torture to me. I don't think my poor, irrational brain could tolerate that kind of stimulation.

When I was 12 years old, I pointed at a very similar photo and told my mother, “I want to look like THAT.”

My mother was a thin, graceful, beautiful woman, who had modeled in college, had been a cheerleader, and was generally regarded as having “aged well.” She looked at me and very sweetly said, “You'll never look like that, dear.”

Nearly 30 years later, I hear her voice in my head when I look at that photo. “You'll never look like that, dear.” I try. Boy, do I try! But trying isn't DOING.

So, I sit here, with the magazine next to me, eating my snack-banana...and I throw myself a little pity party. *Sigh*

(For the record, my mom is heavy now. Part of me thinks it serves her right for being so shallow and insensitive. The other part of me feels bad for her, because her vanity must really be bruised.)
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