Something about two of her passages or July made me a little angry. Body image issues at their finest.
Mother says I must do something cause I’m getting fat. I’m starved but I won’t eat anything tonight.
And then two days later:
I think I ought to go on a diet.
So unhealthy. (Please note, Babu has always been thin woman.) I’d like to think that at this time, they didn’t have the dieting research or the awareness about healthy ways to diet, but since these same body image issues happen today, with uncomfortable consequences, I can’t really believe that. And I don’t blame Babchi for this. I’m sure if she knew Babu was going to go hungry until the next day she would have told her to stop being silly.
When Babu read these passages she kept saying: “I don’t remember being fat…” I got a little impatient with her telling her she hadn’t gotten fat. I didn’t like her talking about herself that way or thinking in such disparaging terms. Her logic was: “It says right here. My mother says I’m getting fat.” Well, she got right on that problem oscillating between starving herself and dieting. There’s a good side and a bad side to that about Babu, the fact that when she is concerned about something she usually jumps to some action. She’s a problem solver, I respect that about her, but she also has a very tough time allowing anxieties to just be that. An example is her reading about the heroin epidemic. “We have to do something about it!” She almost shouted. It will continue to bother her and she wont let it go until the problem is fixed. She cares. She gets things done. However, sometimes all she can do is sit at the kitchen table and worry.
In recent years, Babu has had this issue with her belly lining that it has just gone kurfluff. So now some of her old clothes wont fit her because she’s got more of a belly. It’s not anything serious to her health, nothing that needs to be fixed and it’s not weight gain, either. She complained to her doctor about her pants not fitting, and he told her she might have to buy new pants. I don’t know whether to say “HA!” or “Oh boy…” Babu is so disciplined and I’m so “radical self love.” (Well, I try to be.) I wonder if I could ever teach her some of that and I’m trying to learn better, more regemented ways from her. She eats super healthy, and has all her life, and she exercises every day. Yup, 98 Babu exercises every day. She has a physical therapy sheet and the other day she up and decided to do them all twice! I worry about her pushing herself too hard and not living life to the fullest, but that woman at her age now is almost more healthy than me. I can definitely learn something from her. Well, I’ll admit, I am just never going to be that disciplined. So, I can at least respect and accept it about her.
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I think you are doing a wonderful thing working with Babu and her diaries. How I wish I had had the sense to do something like that with my parents, let alone my grandparents. Keep it up; it’s so worthwhile.
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Thanks so much. I agree! It really just fell into my lap and I just seized it!