Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Loving Your Body & Chocolate

Today is National "Love Your Body Day" which is sponsored by the National Organization for Women, a group I've been a member of on and off over the past two decades.

They offer several events you can participate in such as sharing your own struggles with body image as part of the "Let's Talk About It" program or a slide show presentation about how women's body's are over-discussed in terms of beauty and often held to near impossible standards.  Men, too, have body image issues but while men have been considered "producers" for much of Western culture women are seen as "objects" or "baby makers" which is also a very body-centered view. Neither of these are appropriate models of who a human being can be in my strong opinion but I wanted today to talk a bit more about how my own body image has connected to chocolate in the past and still today.


At this point in my life I have the healthiest attitude toward chocolate I've ever had.  I don't see it as my primary emotional outlet though there are times of high stress or distress that I find myself drawn to it and I have to work to control that impulse. When I was growing up, this chocolate and body abuse was a coping mechanism for the sexual and psychological traumas I was surviving sometimes on a daily basis in the case of the emotional attacks.  I'm sure I did my body a lot of damage and yet I consoled myself by comparing my chocolate use to other family and friends who turned to alcohol, hard or prescription drugs, risky sexual behavior or more blatant self-harm like cutting.

As I got older I started not eating and yet that chocolate was always the exception because I had trained myself to turn to it when things got intense or my depression cranked up.  I probably did myself almost unhealable damage by affecting my body when it was going through all important growth and hormonal changes.  My body rebelled against my under-eating and over-exercising by breaking down and developing conditions I still struggle with.  Today I find myself over-doing many things in my life because somewhere in my past I honestly felt like either tomorrow might not come or things would continue forever as they were.  Better to live at the moment, huh?

I'm not a beautiful woman, hell, I'm not even slightly attractive and huge as heck and yet as I type these words that feminist in me, that scholar in me, that activist in me screams "shut up!"

It is an ongoing struggle and each time I decide to not get the cheap, additive filled chocolate stuff and turn to the purer varieties, I win a little bit.

Every time I try to give you all an honest evaluation of a product I hope I can help you in your own struggles.

Chocolate is great but it is not medicine and it not a cure for our yesterdays, our todays, or our tomorrows.

If you feel like sharing something personal about your body image and chocolate, please feel free to do so in a comment. If not, please click one of the immediate reaction buttons below the post and to let me know you read.

Love your body in all ways.  It is all you have.


mavido79 said...

I am fat. There's just no denying that fact. But my size and shape has no relevance to who I am. I couldn't always say that but it's something I've come to believe over the past several years. I'm a smart, kind, loving, thoughtful woman and no amount of chocolate will change that. So I still enjoy my chocolate pretty much as frequently as I always have, but now I eat it just for the pure enjoyment of it. Not because of any psychological pain.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you for sharing, mavido79.

Nava Krishnan said...

Its a very honest sharing and I think all of us have gone through our own issues and will still have more coming but suppose we learn to overcome and change along the way.

Chocs are not up there as a food I fancy but I do have a bar or two for energy when I feel like.

TheChocolatePriestess said...


First, thank you for commenting and reading.

Second, that is a very traditional and original way to think about chocolate. The ancient Mesoamericans used it often as an energy supplement and it was restricted to elites and the military partly for that reason.

akaterrie said...

Finally, someone who understands my life!

You are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful women I've ever known. Never doubt it. The fact that you love chocolate the way I love chocolate just adds proof to the pudding!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

These sort of comments are what gives me the energy to keep reading, writing, and living with chocolate in healthier ways.

Thank you, akaterrie, for reading, commenting and the tweeting I know you do about us.

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