Just THINK about what you eat!

May 13, 2008 at 4:47 pm (binging, diets, disordered eating, media)

This lovely quote came from the Wall Street Journal:

“Most people don’t think about what they’re eating — they’re focusing on the next bite,” says Sasha Loring, a psychotherapist at Duke Integrative Medicine, part of Duke University Health System here. “I’ve worked with lots of obese people — you’d think they’d enjoy food. But a lot of them say they haven’t really tasted what they’ve been shoveling down for years.”

So is it most people who don’t think about what they’re eating, or just obese people? Also, why would obese people enjoy food more than non obese people? Are thin people simply unable to enjoy food, or does this psychotherapist simply buy into the notion that all fat people are fat because they overeat and no thin people over eat? Also, note the degrading, insulting term “shoveling down” in reference to eating habits of OMG TEH OBESE. They don’t eat food. They “shovel down” food. You know. Like shoveling slop from a barrel into a pig trough.

What’s different about mindful eating is the paradoxical concept that eating just a few mouthfuls, and savoring the experience, can be far more satisfying than eating an entire cake mindlessly.

Once again, LOL FAT PEOPLE EAT CAKES LOL. I weigh 280 pounds and have never “eaten an entire cake mindlessly.” Even when binging, which is abnormal and unhealthy behavior that will not be magically cured simply by “paying attention to what you eat,” I’ve never “eaten an entire cake.” But, you know, all fat people are fat because they eat cakes constantly. If they’d just stop SHOVELLING FOOD INTO THEIR GAPING MAWS, they’d be thin. And healthy. And fabulous. And human.

One key aspect is to approach food nonjudgmentally. Many people bring a host of negative emotions to the table — from guilt about blowing a diet to childhood fears of deprivation or wastefulness. “I joke with my clients that if I could put a microphone in their heads and broadcast what they’re saying to themselves when they eat, the FCC would have to bleep it out,” says Megrette Fletcher, executive director of the Center for Mindful Eating, a Web-based forum for health-care professionals.
So, does that nonjudgemental approach to food include accusing people of “shovelling down” food and “eating entire cakes”? Because that seems kind of, you  know, judgemental to me.
Chronic dieters in particular have trouble recognizing their internal cues, says Jean Kristeller, a psychologist at Indiana State, who pioneered mindful eating in the 1990s. “Diets set up rules around food and disconnect people even further from their own experiences of hunger and satiety and fullness,” she says.
Oh, hey, but diets totally work and if you’re fat you should totally diet so that you can be skinny. Even though it fucks up your internal cues and makes you unable to tell if you’re hungry or full or what.
“I don’t think about food anymore. It’s totally out of my mind,” says Mary Ann Power, age 50, of Pittsboro, N.C., a lifelong dieter who thinks she’s lost eight or 10 pounds in two weeks since learning the practice at Duke. “I think you could put a piece of chocolate cake in front of my nose right now, and it wouldn’t tempt me. Before, I could eat three pieces.”
I frequently have chocolate cake or other goodies around me without diving face first into them. I currently have a Vosges Gianduja Bar on my desk that’s been here for two weeks. I love this chocolate bar, but haven’t been hungry for it. If I want it, I can have it, but I haven’t wanted it. Sorry, this fatty isn’t really in the habit of “shovelling down” available food. I don’t need to, because I don’t deny myself and categorize food into “good” and “bad” subsets. It’s just food. I mean, you know, good on her that she no longer feels the urge to binge on chocolate cake. But still.

One of the most frustrating thing about this Hot New Practice!!!! is that it has its roots in Buddhist medidation. It’s like aping Ramadan’s fasting rules or giving up eating for Lent for the vain purposes of losing weight. It’s cheapening a religious practice, removing all the religion and spirituality, and using it solely for vain, earthly purposes. And that is FOUL.

I really don’t see Buddha usind Mindful Eating as a weight loss measure. Do you?

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Bad Advice: Binging on the weekend

April 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm (advice, binging, diets, disordered eating)

I want to start doing a theme where I take advice column questions and answer the answers. Today’s question comes from About.com
Weekend Diet Traps

I eat a healthy diet Monday through Friday, but on the weekends, it’s no holds barred. How do I bring in the reins?
…Your mindless weekend binge just ruined an entire week of healthy eating. Then the guilt sets in. You get back to your routine diet on Monday, feeling bad and vowing to eat right next weekend. But then Friday comes around and the whole cycle starts all over again. …

Your mindless weekend binge ruining an entire week of healthy eating is one way of looking at it. However, what if you aren’t “being bad”? What if your body is desperately trying to make up the calories you’ve been denying it all week by being “good”?

Most of the “tips” in the article have to do with face-stuffing and offer helpful suggestions like “don’t keep food in the house” (ok, I’m exagerating slightly) and “don’t order vast amounts of food at restaurants… if you do, don’t eat it all.” They push fruits and veggies, under the asumption that you’re not eating them at home, I guess. And then there’s the slide into disordered territory. Log everything you eat. Keep track of every calorie consumed, every bite you take. Hungry? Take a walk to distract yourself! You’ll burn calories, too! Want one thing? Have another! Have some fruit. It’s mostly water and fiber.

Nowhere does it address the actual problem, which is a repeat pattern of binge behavior. Nowhere do they ask “are you really binging, or just not dieting? And if you are binging, what’s the reason behind it? What’s causing it? What aren’t you getting that you’re trying to replace with food?

I also don’t like the assumption that a “healthy” diet is one that’s bad or boring. It’s very possible to eat healthily and enjoy your food. In fact, that should be the default… enjoyment of food. Scandalous, I know. But what happens when you don’t enjoy your food during the week? You stick your face in a pie on the weekend. Yeah. That’s healthy.

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Food Dreams

March 28, 2008 at 10:15 am (binging, disordered eating, dreams, fasting) (, , , )

The problem with fasting for a long time is that after awhile you get hungry again. Sure, you can ignore that hunger for a few hours, a few days. You can ignore the light-headedness and the confusion and the shaking hands. But after awhile your body reasserts its claims, its needs. And then you get hungry. Ravenously hungry. Out of control hungry. Your body craves fuel, craves sustenance, craves life. Driven by my body, I would binge.

I’ve read accounts of other people who binged (and usually purged. I never did. Not out of any reason other than I have a paranoia of vomit.) where they recount the tubs of ice cream, entire cakes, multiple bags of chips they devoured until they were stuffed and groaning and distended, unable to move. I would eat… wait for it!… several pieces of toast. A sandwich AND chips AND soup! A bag of chips! A carton of Chubby Hubby Ice Cream! You know, amounts of food that were fairly normal for most people, but I’d internalized the idea that since I was big fat fatty mclardass I must automaticaly be eating more food than other people and therefore when I ate a meal I must be pigging out and cramming mass amounts of food down my gullet. So a fast food combo meal or dinner at a Greek restaurant became not a meal but a horrible binge, more fat coins put into the lard back that was my gaping maw.

I started having horrific dreams where I’d wake up terrified, soaked with sweat, and feeling huge whomps of guilt. What was I doing in those dreams? Eating food at barbecues. Buying cakes at bake sales. Eating. Or… trying to eat food at barbecues, trying to buy cakes at bake sales, trying to eat. The dreams would often involve me feeling so shameful and guilt ridden that I couldn’t eat in front of other people, or I’d be unable to find my money and thus pay for the food, or everything I wanted would be snatched away and I’d run through mazes trying to find it. Or I’d eat and eat and eat to satiety and wake up feeling guilty because I was full and satisfied in the dream. And I’d feel “off” and shaken all day, and depressed. I felt bad about food even in my dreams. I felt bad about eating even when my dreams were trying to tell me to eat.

When did food become the enemy?

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