Why Food Rules Piss Me The Fuck Off

(Or, "In Which I Eschew My Usual Eschewing of the F Word ['Fuck,' Not 'Fat']")

I was about to go to Starbucks.  I was going to get an eggnog latte.  I googled to see if I could determine the eggnog latte's availability so far this season, and the top page was this one:

You know where that goes?  To a nutritional chart right smack dab in front of your face.  I didn't know how many calories were in an eggnog latte.  I didn't want to know.  I wanted to go order a tall nonfat fucking eggnog latte with no fucking whipped cream, and I wanted to fucking enjoy it.

Know what happens now?  I have two choices.  I can go to Starbucks and get a tall nonfat eggnog latte without whipped cream, and I can drink it, and I can try to enjoy it, but I can just about guarantee you that I will crash and burn at that one.  Or I can sit here and not have an the latte, and not feel disgusting and horrific about myself... Until I start tallying up all the other calories from today, because seeing calories is a huge trigger for me.  All I wanted to know was whether the eggnog latte was available yet.  What I got instead was (to me) harmful information without my consent.  (Getting pissed off writing this post is my attempt to distract myself from the urge to tally until it passes.)

Last Friday, Mike Huckabee was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, and they talked about the "nanny state" and weight loss.  (Huckabee used to be quite overweight.)  Maher (about whom I have such mixed feelings that they could've come out of a blender) told Huckabee he was wrong about Mayor Bloomberg wanting to institute a salt restriction on foods in NYC restaurants.  No, Maher said, what actually happened was the public decided it wanted less salt and restaurants started to respond to that.  Capitalism.  Actually, Bill was wrong, and Mike was right.  I posted about the NYC salt restriction at the time, pointing out that our Mayor was imposing his own food hang-ups on our whole city.

But you know, it doesn't matter, ultimately, if a food rule imposed on the masses came down from on high or evolved from a grass-roots obsession.  Starbucks, for instance, posted calorie information long before Bloomberg instituted his calorie rule (which was separate from the salt issue).  In the obesity panic, no one stops to consider whether the obsession gets us anywhere, and people like me (sorry, I do occasionally insist on being counted, you know) don't just get disregarded; we get hurt.

Another thing Huckabee noted in his Real Time appearance was how he'd grown up with a mindset that allowed him to have a very unhealthy relationship with food.  "Were you good?  You get ice cream!  If you weren't good, you get no ice cream."  (I paraphrase.)  Huckabee had to re-contextualize food in order to have a healthy relationship with it.  Do I ever get that.  Food as reward or punishment is huge in America; all splashing calories around at "celebratory" food places does is add a really sick ingredient to an already ailing recipe.

Contextualization is key in the whole obesity panic/disordered eating dichotomy.  So what the hell kind of context are we constructing with the passive-aggressive posting of calorie info, whether at the supposed behest of the masses, or at the father-knows-best recommendations of public policy makers?  We're constructing a shitty, passive-aggressive context, and that is why food rules piss me the fuck off.


Trigger Happy

I could itch my skin off today.  Since I am not an allergy-prone person, this is either dry skin or a psychosomatic symptom of wanting to GTFO of my body.  (Probably it's a combination of both.  It's happened before.)

Triggers are everywhere I look lately.  When one is so inclined, just about anything can be a trigger to obsess about body or food or both.  That thin woman over there?  Trigger.  The post-partum weight loss post on a friend's blog?  Trigger.  A dinner scene in a TV show, my in-laws buying lunch, doing the laundry, getting dressed, getting undressed, sitting in a particular position, looking at clothing in person or online, hearing about the weight loss efforts of others, eating anything, simply being hungry, seeing babies (sets off thoughts of whether I'll ever be healthy enough to have one), seeing old people (sets off thoughts of long term realities of always! being! thin!), talking to my parents, checking my email, ignoring my email, going for a walk, sitting around like a slug, breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, reading the feminist blogs, stumbling across news related to food/diet/obesity/health.  All triggers.

Basically, everything is a trigger right now except for books, and the cat.

There we go.  That's better.


Work, Pancakes, Blah Blah Blah

Work is conspiring to make me into a hollow imitation of a well-rounded adult.  I have to train someone starting tomorrow and I am not so very hot at delegating.

To say that I fulfill the control freak stereotype of the eating disordered person would be inaccurate.  ... But I don't really want to teach you how to do that because I can just do it myself and that way I'll know if it's done right and if it's not I'll know what's wrong with it, how 'bout you just watch YouTube all day or something, no, this is not too much work for me to handle on my own, I don't know what you're talking about.

Because that always ends well for everyone.  We're certainly not going to talk about how it ends for the food or lack thereof or glut thereof or stressing over thereof or what-have-you-ing thereof.  (Why ever would we talk about that on an eating disorder blog?  Psh.)  We're mostly not talking about it because my higher brain functions have all been subsumed by work, and, re: the food thing, are only capable of producing this kind of analysis:  ".... Uhhhhhh...."

While work is eating my brain, please have a symbolic-type picture, courtesy of Cheezburger:

Get it?  Because if I can conquer eating pancakes (e.g.) appropriately and happily, I can conquer the world?  Get it?  Get it?

Oh, never mind.  I'll just go back to work now.



The husband is trying to lose weight.  To this end, he's eating more healthfully, and to that end, he's taking alli.

I have thoughts, the not least-disordered of which being, "If he's doing it, why aren't I allowed to?"

I can't stand my body right now.  I really can't stand it.  I'm being generally better to it, and I feel as if it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and....

I hate being stuck in the hate.  I would love to love my body.  I would love to love that I breathe without thinking about it, that my neurotransmitters are basically on track, that the little wounds I accumulate from living heal a little more each time I sleep.  It ought to be enough.  I try.  I go through the motions.  I try to make it enough.  It ought to be enough.

Who's up for a little Regina Spektor?

(I've got a perfect body, but sometimes I forget)
(I've got a perfect body 'cause my eyelashes catch my sweat)
(Yes they do, they do....)


Boobs. I Have Thoughts On Mine.

I have to buy some bigger bras.  I have larger sized ones than those I'm wearing now, but the band size on them is still too big.  I need to buy my current band size and a larger cup size.

I have in my head the belief that most women under a certain cup size would enjoy this fact, or even be tickled by it.

I would like to get out some Ace bandages and get this shit under control.  We're not talking A to DD here, either.  We're talking 32C to 32D*.  I also have 34B and 34C idling in my lingerie drawer, but they haven't been used lo these many months.  I'm just.... not amused.  I am so very ready for my body to quit it and do what I tell it to.

(Right.  Because it always does.)

* I swear, it would make my life if American bra designers would actually have a constant cup size from band to band.  Does it drive anyone else nuts that the B cup of a 32B and the B cup of a 34B are two completely different B's?  Because I find that just so ridiculous and nonsensical.  If I could have an actual 32 band with the C cup from a 34C bra, my life would be complete, but no.  They're forcing me to buy a 32D because They want more of my money, because They are greedy assholes.