Sustenance

I just drank a sludge-filled sip of flax and I wonder why I’m doing this again.

I have vitamins in my purse and my gym bag at my office and I’m reading about cutting carbs and fats and calories as if I can slice off all the unwanted bits off my person and throw them in the garbage disposal to hear the sickening crunch. I look at magazines that my sister leaves out and try my hardest to read the articles and ignore the photoshopped models whose sole purpose is to make me feel terrible and thus I must buy things.

My best friend is fat and we've talked for hour and hours about body positivity. About how the media warps this image of what a human is supposed to look like, how we’re supposed to be made for male consumption but never consume anything ourselves. Fat is a descriptive word with no indication of compassion or intelligence or generosity, and yet it has become a slur that encompasses the entirety of a woman’s worth. She and I have railed against those toxic narratives, speaking passionately about the poison perpetuated by our culture and how to rise above it.

And yet, I still have moments where I look into the mirror and start cropping and editing, hoping that a different filter will smooth out and tuck in and create an image that I can present to the world that others will happily devour. It’s a struggle against the jerkbrain, the lizard-like lobe made up of self-doubt and Cosmopolitan articles that constantly whispers about how to lose five pounds with just this one trick or ten new ways to please my man in bed (my own pleasure is never mentioned).

I suck down the last sip of mulch - I mean, flax - and stare into the bottom of my mug. I chose green tea because of antioxidants, even though all I wanted was a vanilla latte. Even when I’m eating breakfast, all I can think of is the calories and commercials I've ingested.

I buy a bag of M&M’s at lunch. It is a revolutionary act, and I savor every bite.

 

Ren is an author, actor, superhero, and future companion to the Doctor. She is a regular contributor for Quail Bell Magazine and now lives in Richmond with a cat who still thinks she's a princess. You can see her pretending to be a professional at RenMartinez.com.