A sweet little old lady I know and love fell last week — a corner of a rug had rolled up and made the perfect trip wire. She broke 4 ribs, her shoulder blade and a vertebrae. Now in rehab, we caught up this morning and she said a thing that made me smile and shake my head at the same time. I asked her how the food is at the place and she said, “Not so good but that’s not all bad, maybe I’ll lose some weight.” It was jokey and maybe a touch true too.
The amount of mindshare we give to our appearance over the course of a lifetime is pretty intense. Personally, every day, I say mean things to myself about my body. With friends, I can be counted on to make a handful of jokes per outing about how my pants hurt or thank god for stretch fabric or or or. I think I want them to know that I know that my body isn’t the same as it once was. Or it’s a way to punish myself for enjoying food this past year.
And I think of myself as grounded, a person with worthy dreams, a deep interior life and endless curiosity about the great questions of existence.
But that doesn’t mean I have graduated from caring what I look like. How could that be? Seriously.
Today on the podcast, my old friend Ariel Trost (who is also an eating disorder therapist) and I talk about how we think and how we talk about food, bodies and health. With her is one of her long time patients, Lindsey, who has some poignant things to say about growing up “beautiful” and learning to build her self esteem on more solid ground and the most damning cultural messages we often accept as capital T Truth.
Listen. Share. Let’s get smarter about this together. It matters what we say and do. We are in this mess together.
Kelly Corrigan is the New York Times bestselling author of four books about family life as well as the host of Tell Me More on PBS and Kelly Corrigan Wonders on KQED, WHYY and your podcast app.