Happy New Year!
I was lucky enough to celebrate both Christmas and the new year with my parents at their sabbatical home in southern Massachusetts. The shot above is of the festive lights outside the Buzzard’s Bay Brewing tap room. I’m hopeful that the new year brings more opportunities for us to gather together to celebrate and relax, try new food and drink, and revel in the months they’ll be living locally. It’s been a wonderful week of downtime and rest, which has included reading some excellent books and cooking.
Here’s what I’m reading and eating this week:
Shrill by Lindy West
Let’s end the year (and start the new one) with a strong female voice, who also happens to be fat and write eloquently about her experiences. I’ve recommended this book to several of my clients, and I’ve excerpted a couple of my favorite passages below.
Lindy discusses the back-and-forth salvos with Dan Savage about her body and her “Hello, I Am Fat” post. It’s worth reading in full, but there are a few quotes that hear mirrored in the statements of women I work with every day. Lindy says, “I always thought that some day — when I finally stop failing — I will become smaller, and when I become smaller, literally everything will get better (I’ve heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin! I will get the clothes I want, the job that I want, the love that I want… Instead, my body stays the same.” And, “If you really want change to happen, if you really want to ‘help’ fat people, you need to understand that shaming an already-shamed population is, well, shameful.”
“When you’re a fat person, you can’t hide your vulnerability, because you are it and it is you. Being fat is like walking around with a sandwich board that says ‘HERE’S WHERE TO HURT ME!’ That’s why I’m reclaiming fatness — living visibly, declaring ‘I’m fat and I am not ashamed’ — is a social tool so revolutionary, so liberating, it saves lives.”
“When I think back on my teenage self, what I really needed to hear wasn’t that someone might love me one day if I lost enough weight to qualify as human — it was that I was worthy of love now, just as I was.”
Lindy West also wrote an excellent essay after this year’s election.
Here’s what I’m eating and cooking this week:
Sunday (Christmas): Beef tenderloin with brown sauce, mashed potatoes, kale salad
Monday: Pan-seared chicken with saffron rice
Tuesday: Brussels sprouts + bacon + lemon pasta (recipe coming soon)
Wednesday: Garlic bread & leftovers
Thursday: Pan-seared salmon, roasted broccoli, roasted potatoes
Friday: Lemony chicken and broccoli orzo pasta
Saturday: Lasagna (at my parents’ house, made by my dad)