The classic combination of bacon and eggs combine to make a light summer meal salad. Topped off with an avocado dressing, it could be for breakfast or any other meal. The kids polished this off quickly!
Is any woman, young or old, immune to a negative perception of their own body at some point? I exclude men, not because they don’t have issues with body image, but because I know little of their body-self relationship; not only have I not talked to many men about this subject, I’m inclined to think they speak less of it in general.
There is, of course, always the question of weight, but body image involves issues like uneven ears, large foreheads, or knobby knees. As a teenager I would have had nose surgery in a second, now the idea is abhorrent to me (although I am convinced it did grow before the rest of me).
But our views about ourselves are not always based on reality. For example, as a teen I always considered myself chubby, even though I was quite active in sports. I don’t really know if I was or not, to be honest, I haven’t looked at pictures from that age in an eon. I was rather laid back about it though and contented myself with dabbing fat off of pizza. Fortunately, I was never tempted to throw up or starve myself. After my first child, I could fit into a pair of shorts from high school and considered myself a skinny minny. Same size, different perspective. I hate to be a modern-society-is-worse-than-ever-before doomsday sayer, but it seems to me that the pressure is only increasing, especially for young girls. Insane photo editing is possible in this the digital age, and skinny girl pictures are plastered on billboards, magazines, and across the internet. We start holding these unreal photos as the standard to compare ourselves with and find ourselves falling short. Even though I know intellectually when looking at a photo that it was touched up, somehow I still believe it to be real, still hold it up for comparison.
When my daughter was 5 or 6, she tried on dress and objected, “but it makes me look fat.” I was horrified. I don’t know if she heard that from me or elsewhere, but I swore that from then on I would never speak deprecatingly about my weight in front of my children.
So often, we don’t even realize how beautiful we really are. One young lady I know has always slayed men with her humour, her beauty, and her sense of adventure, but she doesn’t even know it. Instead, she’s worried about the pound of weight that she gained. That anxiety is not connected with attracting men, in her case, but her own perception of herself. Nor should a woman’s ability to attract attention influence herbody image, although of course, it does.
When I was 16 or 17, I went on a week long hiking trip with two women. All our food, shelter, etc were packed on our backs. One night, trying to dry out around a fire, the topic of weight came up. “Listen,” they said, “could a skinny model do this? Could she carry 40 lbs on her back and hike though mountain passes, all day every day for a week? Strong over skinny.” That stuck with me, and was comforting on more than one occasion. (Thanks Laurie and Peggy, if you read this!)
Sometimes, though, thin girls just can’t help it. They’d love to put on weight and eat whatever they want under the sun, but they just can’t gain. Nor should we judge them for it, imagining that they must be obsessed with how they look in order to be thin. We just never know.
And so we concentrate on health, instead of looking a certain way. While obesity is of course a health concern, it seems like in the media that fat body=unhealthy, skinny body=healthy, when health is so much more complex than a number on a scale or measuring tape.
We can even become obsessive about eating healthy, though what comprises ‘healthy food’ is a topic of passionate debate.
A young woman once told me that she counted the calories in every single mouthful of food she ate. Food became a necessary evil, instead of the nourishing but pleasurable experience it can be. My heart broke for her, she neither saw her own beauty and resented, felt actually guilty for, having to eat.
I don’t have an insightful solution that gets to the core of the matter and is sure to bring about happy women. Our relationship with food is a fascinating and complex topic, all mixed up with body image, ideas of healthy eating, and emotional comfort, among others.
What I do know is that you are more than what is reflected in the mirror.
Sometimes when posting recipes I feel like it has to be something original and creative, ground breaking recipes that no one else has ever done (like it’s even possible on the web). This salad doesn’t feel so exotic, but is so tasty I wanted to share with you all.
I give amounts below because I have to, but really, throw in however much of what you want. Don’t have chives? Doesn’t matter. Like onions in your salad? (I don’t) Throw them in. Maybe fresh pepper or corn is your thing. Do it.
Just don’t leave out the bacon.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup bacon, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes
- half English cucumber
- 1 romaine heart
- small clump of chives
- Probiotic Avocado Dressing (based on this one from Simply Scratch)
- 1 large avocado
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fermented vegetable juice (like from cauliflower)
- pinch black pepper
- Hardboil eggs in your preferred method (like putting them on to boil, forgetting them for a bit, and then turning it off and letting it sit in the hot water for a while. Obviously precision is not my forte.)
- Peel and coarsely chop eggs.
- Fry bacon till crispy.
- Snip chives with scissors and chop all vegetables. Put in a large bowl with bacon and eggs.
- Put all ingredients into mini food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Dollop all the avocado dressing on top of the salad and toss. The water from the vegetables will thin out the salad dressing.
- Serve and savour the goodness.
What has been your experience of body image? How has it evolved?