Tonight I met up with one of my teammates to go running in the Parque Avellaneda. We met up at her house, a couple blocks away from the club.
“Could you wait a sec, Cin? I haven’t eaten anything since lunch time and I need to get something in my belly before doing exercise.”
I agreed and pet the most loving of her three dogs as he put his head on my lap.
“I’m on a diet..,” she started as she broke three eggs, stirring them into a bowl, and added chunks of fresh cheese.
“What kind of diet,” I asked, trying to sound curious, even though I dislike the word ‘diet’.
“Protein diet,” she stated.
“Wanna lose a couple extra pounds. I’m slightly above my normal weight.”
She put the bowl in the microwave and cooked her egg soup for a couple minutes. I watched her eat it and we talked about our last game, our coach, and the team in general.
This girl is a good basketball player and I respect her in many ways. However, I noticed that many young women feel the need to take on these weird diets and be obsessive about weight. Not overall general health. Just weight and image.
We headed out for the run. It had been awhile since I’d gone just running and it was amazing. We started with a walk, then a light jog, then went into a full run. I loved feeling the power of my body; my muscles, my feet hitting the ground lightly, the overall rhythm of the movement. My breath was starting to get rough, the cold air entered my warm lungs, and my heart beat became strong in my chest. We did 15 minutes of good running and I took off my outer jacket as my inner layers becoming moist. We slowed down and she sighed:
“Isn’t that feeling great? Just feeling ..ventilated?”
I nodded in agreement and enjoyed our silence after that.
We did a couple more laps of walking and then we stretched. I watched the other runners around the track: all men.
On the walk back to her house, I mentioned my ideal plans after this: shower and bed. She voiced hers: electric vibrator on her tummy and some reading.
She patted her stomach and her thighs.
“Mostly to get rid of this side bulge.”
I didn’t comment.
Walking alone to the bus stop, I wondered if I should have commented. If I should have pried further into these comments which were said in such a casual way, but that I know deep down ring off warning bells.
I reminded myself that a couple weeks ago I did decide to voice my body image passion to a close friend and it just turned into disaster. My thoughts and ideas over weight obsession only come out with anger and resent. This doesn’t reach out to others and instead it seems to distance them.
So, for now, I have decided that silence is better. Until I learn how to verbally express my ideas about body image in a more positive way, they will stay in my head or through my writing. Isn’t it smart to pick your battles?