Oh Look, it’s Friday.
Spring does seem to be trying to bash its way past the winter up here in the Northeast. It’s also trying to destroy all the human inhabitants, inflicting ear, nose, and throat trauma on all and sundry. I’ve never been one for allergies, but I’m giving in and having them like everyone else. Doesn’t do to be left out.
I just happened to skim through this interesting thing about gaining a lot of weight during covid. Like everything from this moment in time, it starts off in a reasonable way, aptly and humanely describing what it was like to suddenly not leave your house for several months and instead to take up the discipline of baking, ceasing all physical exercise, and all for the health and safety of all human people. What is the inevitable result of such a sudden change of life? The covid-15. Or, in the case of the writer of that piece, the covid-70.
But then the piece veers off into The Land Of Oppression. The writer wanders up and down the corridors of fatphobia and misogyny, and also racism. It isn’t just that she gained a lot of weight as indeed we all did, it is that all the world before oppressed people for weighing too much. And this, truly, is how all discussions of the sin of humanity go. It isn’t that people have and always will be mean and bad because they are sinners and do not fear the just wrath of a holy God. It is that society is systemically fat phobic. And so, in order to deal with that, rather than calling on all people to repent and believe in Jesus who died for the sins people actually commit, society has to be rearranged and all of us who weigh too much (even through no real fault of our own–because really, you can’t shut down all the gyms and expect there to be no consequences, “systemic” oppression much?) have to embrace our larger sizes and never admit to any feelings of sadness or anxiety or anything like that.
Missing, of course, from the above discussion is the larger (cough) and more critical discourse on health. Talking about how much more space we each take up in the world, and how that’s the fault of the bigotry of others, is not nearly as important as the health ramifications for every single person in the world whose BMI is above the recommended number. The initial corporate goodwill about wanting to keep other people from dying needs to come back for other matters long eclipsed by covid. Heart disease, diabetes, general misery, mental health issues–these all still exist. And are worse. It’s not that we need to take up less space, it’s that being too heavy is bad for the health just like dying from covid. Am I saying something shocking?
This, likewise, is a pretty great article, if that’s what writing on the internet can be called. Former goop boss, Elise Loehnen, has forsworn (sort of) all cleansing, except for the one she just tried. Speaking about her time at goop and all the cleanses she had to do, she says:
“To me, it had become synonymous with dieting and restriction and I felt like I was not in a healthy relationship with my body, where I was always trying to punish it, bring it under control. And I’ve been eating like a teenager for two years and enjoying it, to be honest,” Loehnen explained in the video with more than 9,000 views. Loehnen also blamed problematic wellness trends for her “distorted” body image. In the caption, the former ghostwriter of 11 book titles rejoiced in the “full rebellion” she launched after quitting Goop, calling the breakup “healthy in terms of letting go of ideas of what my body should look like as a 42-year-old who has had two kids.” (Paltrow, for comparison, is 49 with two teenagers.) “Wellness culture can be toxic,” Loehnen added before a segue into a plug for Kroma Wellness and their liquid “five-day cleanse” of broths, smoothies and lattes. [emphasis mine]
I love that line more than anything–“wellness culture can be toxic.” I’m pretty sure I will be able to work that into almost everything I’m thinking or writing for the next year. I’m manifesting it, just like a narrower waist and lower cholesterol.
Of course wellness culture is toxic because being “well” is not the same as being good and holy, and as such, it can take over your idolatrous little life just like everything else in the world. If you are very very thin, like Gwyneth, you are just as badly off in the eyes of God as weighing far too much if your self-justifying embrace rejects him and his mercy. Size Doesn’t Matter if you are an idolator. Not eating the donut is just as bad as eating it if you still reject Jesus.
This seems as good a time as any to admit that I just ate a cold, limp hashbrown brought home by my son from Men’s Bible Study because I both loathe my own size and weakness, and because I love the taste of cold potato. Is this the fault of society? Of course it is, for someone out there figured out how to manufacture bits of potato with just the right amount of fat, sugar, and onion so that when it is baked, it becomes crispy and golden, and when it cools down, it is still totally delicious. The potato lobby made it possible to buy this kind of delectation very cheaply so that we would all get much fatter than we should be. But I was the one who reached out my hand and grabbed and ate and tried to give some to my husband who was with me in the kitchen. Except that he wouldn’t eat it, because he is so vain. But neither did he try to remind me that I had told myself that I would not eat old, cold potato, no matter how much I love it, because I am still trying to lose my covid–I’m not giving you the number.
Have a nice day!