may you have a lifetime of hunger

Note: the Dr in this article is Judith Beck, not Martha Beck. Sorry for the mistake.

Is that a curse or a blessing? This is the kind of thing that drives me absolutely out of my mind: How to think like a thin person.

It’s absolute bullshit!

This was in my Oprah’s Spirit Newsletter today under the headline Top 10 Ways to Kick-Start Change. This is particularly disgusting since it’s in a “Spirit” newsletter. What does starving yourself have to do with your “spirit”, the thing that is you, and will be you even when you no longer even have a body? Let me explain.

Martha [correction: Judith] Beck is an O Magazine “expert”, and her ideas are everywhere on Oprah’s website.  In this article written by some poor sap desperately trying to lose weight, Beck says, “I’ve discovered that to some degree almost every thin person restricts what she eats.”

Really? How did she discover this? Did she conduct a study? Was it double blind with a random sample? No. No she did not. She’s just saying shit that she believes because that’s her experience. She lost 15 (15, ohh ahhh) pounds years ago and now she thinks she’s got the answer to everyone’s weight loss “problem”.

My experience is just the opposite. To my great annoyance, I meet naturally thin people all the fucking time! And most of them are aware enough to know that it’s just their metabolism. They’re constantly annoyed when people say to them, “Oh you’re so thin, you must not eat anything.”  One of my thin friends drinks Dr. Pepper all the time. That’s soda with high fructose corn syrup. And she’s bone thin. I drink maybe 6 sodas a year and when I do I make sure they’re made with pure cane sugar, not HFCS. What do I get for that? Not a damn thing!

OK. So, so we’ve established now that her entire premise is based on a personal anecdote. Great.

The poor sap tries to explain, “… mostly I eat only when I’m hungry, which is fairly often, because of my hypoglycemia.” But…

Judy wasn’t buying it. “If you’re trying to lose weight, you can’t go by hunger; you have to go by a plan. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to figure out that I can stand being hungry no matter what,” she said, beaming. “Before I was able to keep weight off, I always worried about being hungry.”

Beck goes on:

And most people who struggle with weight loss tend to feel hunger pangs intensely and often eat to avoid those feelings. But the point is, hunger comes and goes. Thin people know this and don’t worry about being hungry.

OH. MY. GOD!

Martha Beck is anorexic. Not only is she anorexic, but she’s claiming that most thin people are anorexic. And she’s actively encouraging fat people to adopt the behavior of anorexics. Let me restate the above so it’s clear what she’s really saying:

In order to be thin, you have to ignore your hunger no matter how intense it is or how it affects you physically. Once you learn to ignore your body, one of your body’s most basic signals, I can’t tell you how wonderful your life will be!

When did being hungry become an abnormality or a sign of mental illness? Hunger is a basic, and I mean basic instinct. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if an expert said “Don’t pee when you feel you have to. That’s emotional peeing. You can hold it in. Ignore it. You’ll feel so much better about yourself,” would you do that? Only at your peril! You’d just end up peeing on yourself! And then how would that make you feel?

This article also has something else that I hate about diet “experts”. Fat people are constantly given mixed messages. At the beginning Beck is all, “Almost everybody has the idea that once they stop dieting, they’ll be able to eat whatever they want, but that is absolutely false,” and “I had to accept that for the rest of my life, I would have to eat differently from how I used to eat.” But then later she says “Rigidity is essential right now, but it’s only temporary.”

Huh? But before, and I mean just before, didn’t she say that we desperate to be thin people needed to eat this way for the rest of our lives?  “You have to do this for the rest of your life. But it’s only temporary.”  So no matter what we do we’ve done something wrong and if we don’t lose weight, or we gain weight (god forbid such a fucking tragedy how will I be able to accomplish anything in my whole entire life if I’m fat), it’s all our fault and has nothing to do with the so-called “experts” fucked up advice.  Because anyone who’s ever lost 10 lbs (and kept it off!) gets to say they’re an expert no matter how uninformed and insane they are.

For so long I thought I was insane because I was fat. But it’s believing in shit like that’s insane.

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March 15, 2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

The Oprah Thing

The Oprah Thing has been raging for almost a month now and I’m wondering why no one has mentioned race?

I know that we’re supposed to be all post racial in this new Age of Obama, but I find it really interesting that authors and articles haven’t picked up on one of the most disturbing elements of this debate: The most powerful black woman in the world surrounds herself with white men who tell her she’s not good enough.

How fucked up is that?

Two really good articles have come out recently: The Oprah Syndrome in the NY Post and Spanking Oprah on Salon. They both mention that Bob, Dr. Oz, and “Dr.” Phil as the strong paternal types who keep her in line. But the article don’t seem to “make the connection”.

There are so many socio-racial-sexual things going on here I’m not sure where to begin.  The standard of beauty in the west has not included the black woman. That may be changing.  I’ve been shocked by the media singing of Michelle Obama’s beauty.  I don’t disagree. I’m just not used to the world seeing a black woman who’s not really light or with white features, as beautiful.

I remember once reading in O (I have no idea which issue) that Bob said to Oprah when she was gaining weight something like “Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?”  Tell me what was she supposed to see in the mirror, Bob?

But this pretty white man has the nerve to tell this powerful black woman who made his career, “you’re disgusting”.  And she let’s him.  And she reported it in her own magazine, not in outrage, and with an eye toward banishment or shunning, but in gratitude as if to say, “Finally. Someone is being honest with me and telling me I’m worthless.”

Oprah’s weight is the least of her problems.

January 29, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

the most wonderful time of the year

I’m so fucking tired of exercise and weight loss commercials. Seriously, do I need people telling me every five minutes that my life is meaningless and a waste of time if I’m not thin with a flat stomach.

These commercials play on people’s self hatred, their sense of worthlessness, which most of us have whether we’re thin or not. It’s just that if you’re fat the world tells you you’re justified in your self-hatred. I’m so sick of hating myself because I’m fat. I’m so sick of the next plot to get thin. It’s all so tiresome. I just want to eat what I want.

Oprah said “I started eating whatever I wanted — and that’s never good.” What else does this apply to? Let’s change the word ‘eating’ to see what happens:

I started doing whatever I wanted — and that’s never good.

I started saying whatever I wanted — and that’s never good.

I started fucking whomever I wanted — and that’s never good.

I started living how I wanted — and that’s never good.

I started believing whatever I wanted — and that’s never good.

See where I’m going with this? Sometimes I feel like my life is just all about the suppression of desire.  Food, sex, what I say, what I do, what I even think.  Do I really need to suppress every desire I’ve ever had?  Can I even figure out what I want? There are so many ‘No! Bad Girl!’ shouts I have no idea any more. Have I ever known.

My stomach hurts.

January 11, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.