The Met features chamber music on their main balcony on Friday nights, and I availed myself of the wonderful opportunity this Friday. I was seated at a table adjacent to the musicians with the cellist in my direct view. It didn't take me long to notice that her body actually reminded me of her cello in its solidity. I found myself imagining thinking about the physical demands of playing some instruments (from keeping the appropriate posture for hours, so the arm muscles involved in some types of playing). I also found myself thinking about the calibre of New York musicians; in America they are some of the best, and if you're a quartet playing at the Met, you're at the level of a symphony player in a smaller city, at the very least. The cellist (her colleagues too) uses her body (in part) to achieve and hold onto this great accomplishment in the music world.
Because I am basically an ego-centric creature, I then found myself wondering if I would employ eating disordered behaviors if I were an accomplished musician, or an accomplished archeologist, or an accomplished any profession (other than dancer/athlete) that requires certain bodily capabilities. It might seem like an insensitive question - there are, after all, successful people with eating disorders in all professions - but I really wonder if my body was linked indirectly to my sense of professional accomplishment, whether I'd feel as much of a need to manipulate it. My guess: probably not.
The next logical thing to think is, "Okay, so how do you match that sense of accomplishment? What kind of accomplishment do you think you're missing that's preventing you from treating your body naturally?" This is the part where I draw a blank. The husband and I started and continue to run a successful business. The service we provide is somewhat of an intangible commodity, but the fact that we started and are operating a thriving company is... I mean, that should be *something*, right? But there are no bodily requisites for the business we run (other than being able to stare at a computer screen for twelve hours at a time).
The next mental step I take here is to think, "Okay, but does it have to be a professional accomplishment or state of being? What about a personal one?" I have friends who are mothers, whose bodies are totally changed from what they were in high school, and who love their new bodies, because those bodies gave them their children (or, at our age, mostly "child" singular). Do I think that if I were to accidentally become a mother-to-be sometime soon that my attitude toward my body would radically change? Hahahaha, OMQF, bwaaaaahahahahaha, yeah right. (Optimistically, there's always a chance that unexpected motherhood would be all I needed, but let's be realistic, shall we? Now is not the time to procreate for me.) So what about becoming accomplished at yoga or aikido? I know right now that physical activities wind up with me back in my head, planning how much weight I can lose or how specifically I can sculpt a part of my body, which is why I don't exercise when I'm like this. For some people it's a huge help to symptom management and reduction; for me it's always had the opposite effect.
I don't have any answers right now (or I'd be better). And I don't really have a tidy way to end this post, so I may as well wrap up here. Just some things I've been thinking about.