Tuesday, May 3, 2016

jane fonda and me

i was obsessed with jane fonda when i was little.  my mother used to do her workout video at home, and my sister and i loved getting involved.  especially since it involved costumes: mama let us borrow leg warmers!  shayna and i would do the workout with my mom, and we felt very grown-up.

the movie 9-5 cemented my obsession with jane.  i watched 9-5 so many times when i was young that it became part of who i am: i have been know to force someone i'm dating to watch the movie so that they can understand WHO I AM.

but it wasn't until jane fonda published her memoir that i learned more about her. jane struggled with bulimia a lot of her life, and there is one quote in her memoir that really hit home.  she said that she found herself engaging with her eating disorder when she was being inauthentic in her relationships.  here's a piece of a longer quote from a recent interview she did:
...Eating disorders don’t represent a lust for food. It represents a loss of authentic self. It’s when there’s something about our lives and our relationship to ourselves and others around us that is inauthentic. And we’re trying to fill an emptiness. That’s what I think it’s really about. It’s a spiritual and emotional hole that we’re trying to fill with food...  If girls are in inauthentic relationships, they are more apt to have eating disorders... They need to receive help, of a very specific kind. 
the first time i read the line about being inauthentic in relationships, it immediately resonated with me.  i knew that it was true for me as well.  i use bulimia as a coping mechanism for a number of things: stress, anxiety, and depression are common triggers.  but there's also the old "wanting to avoid a hard conversation" with someone trigger.

until this weekend i think i had only binged and purged once since moving to NYC.  i've been doing well on letting go of disordered eating patterns as well.  but this past saturday i chose to binge and purge.

i beat myself up about it afterward and tried to identify why i chose this coping mechanism over a healthy one.  i scrolled through everything in my life right now and ding-ding-ding found one of the usual suspects: i've been avoiding a hard conversation with a friend and have cancelled spending time with him in an effort to further deflect the talk.  inauthenticity in a relationship.  ah, yes.

i strongly considered not telling anyone, including my best friends and my blogosphere.  but not wanting to admit something is the hallmark of my need to.  and so i discussed it with coral sunday afternoon.  she told me that she would never judge me for anything that i do, and i felt the warm loving comfort of her authenticity.

so, reminder to self: stop being inauthentic! but also get over yourself and shake it off.  like jane fonda would do.


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