Tag Archives: emotional eating

If you’re happy and you know it, Weight Watchers says you probably shouldn’t be…

When Can I Get Some Food Around Here_MASSIVE MEGA TRIGGER WARNING.  I’m going to be talking about an unbelievably annoying Weight Watchers ad.  If you don’t want to hear about a lot of icky concern trolling, food phobic, fat phobic nonsense, please skip to the bottom and look at the video with the Sparta the fighting Kitty in it.  (‘Cuz Sparta rules!)  Otherwise read on.

Scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a post from a friend of mine calling out a recent ad from Weight Watchers.  Here it is, watch at your own peril…

Okay, let’s break this down.  Weight Watchers took a happy little children’s song that happens to be all about being happy right now as you are and letting everybody around you know the same thing and turned it into a fat-phobic hate fest.  It basically says, if you’re happy and you know it, and you happen to also, you know, eat something, then you are bad.  If you are sad and you eat something you are bad.  In fact if you are doing anything in the whole wide world other than calculating the WW Points value of anything you are eating to eight decimal places, you are bad.  Because clearly, experiencing any emotion at all at the same time means you are EMOTIONALLY EATING.  (Well at least emotionally snacking to be precise about the lyrics.)  And everybody knows emotional eating is bad, right?  RIGHT?!

Except kind of not.  Just because we are eating an ice cream cone or potato chips or broccoli while we are sad or happy or lonely or angry or bored doesn’t mean we are eating those things because we are daring to have feels while we are putting food in our mouths.  It doesn’t mean that that food has no nutritional value or we are somehow not allowed to eat those things while we are feeling all the feels.  It’s the whole correlation versus causation argument demonstrated using snack foods and a rhyming children’s song.  I simply refuse to submit to the notion that the only feelings I am allowed to feel while masticating my meals is either:

1.  Guilt because clearly I am ingesting too many WW (TM) points, or

2.  Smug righteousness because I am ingesting the proper number of WW (TM) points.

Because, best I can tell, the commercial indicates that I shouldn’t eat when I am:

happy

sad

angry

bored

sleepy

human

Which pretty much covers all of the things.  Which means I am not supposed to eat any more ever.  (Which is kind of counter intuitive, because then how could I buy all the WW frozen, tasteless, low-points, you know, THINGS?)

No freaking way.  Sometimes when I am happy I will eat ice cream.  Sometimes when I am happy I will eat salad.  These conditions are also true if I am sad or lonely or bored or angry.  I am an emotional  person.  Hell, sometimes I dance around the living room at the mere thought of ice cream.  I have a special SONG I sing almost every night to signal that it is time to wear my jammies.    If I find that I am using food as a primary method for avoiding the feeling of any of these feelings, I may or may not choose to find some help to change that.  But I guaran-freaking-tee you that I won’t be seeking help from the double doubleyou.  But there is no way at all, that I’m going to let some company tell me that it is not okay to have feelings and eat at the same time.  Because I want to live!*

*Oh, in the interest of full disclosure, while I am from a “Jazzed Up Generation”, I haven’t killed anybody and most of my friends are pretty good.  Just so you know.

I want to live.  And I refuse to let a weight loss company tell me how I can live, including when I can be happy or when I can eat.  Or when I can look at ADORABLE CAT VIDEOS like the one below.

Enjoy!

Love,
Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to talk about intuitive eating at your school or organization? Click HERE!

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Right Now Show Episode 010: Craving the 2K Cookie

Many of us have been taught that cravings are something to be thwarted, ignored or denied.  But our bodies have a way of insisting on getting what they want.  In this video you will learn about why it’s so important to pay attention to cravings, what happens when you ignore cravings and the very simplest and most effective way to deal with cravings.  You’ll also learn about the 2,000 calorie cookie, so check it out!

Intuitive eating can be extremely challenging.  But there is help out there.  Here are a few important resources:

The Fat Nutritionist

Ellyn Satter (especially in the area of family nutrition)

HAES(R) research about eating

And the amazing Golda Portetsky

Hope you get a chance to be good to yourself and treat your body well, right now!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Cravings

Recently, a very dear friend sent me a link to this video.  I think it’s partly because she knows how I feel about cookies.  But it got me thinking about what length I would go to to get a chocolate chip cookie and all about the nature of cravings.

In a recent post I talked about the “Big Fat Cookie Cycle” and how deprivation and binging go together like peanut butter and jelly.  There is no question in my mind that systematically restricting our access to certain foods gives us cravings for those foods.  But it seems to me the whole issue of cravings is somewhat complicated.

Cravings can also be driven by nutritional needs.  And as we become more in tune with our bodies I think we can learn to listen when our body is asking for certain foods.  Sometimes I crave things based on what my body needs like vitamin C or protein or carbohydrates or all the happy stuff in green leafy vegetables.

But what about chocolate chip cookies?  Does vitamin C stand for “cookie”.  (Alas, no.) Cravings can sometimes be about nutrition, but cravings can be about other things too.  Am I craving sugar because I’m looking for a boost?  Am I craving cookies because they just taste delicious?  Am I craving a chocolate chip cookie because it is simply one of the best foods invented ever?  And so sometimes these cravings happen and I’m okay with that.

Sometimes I crave a cookie because I’m feeling sad, tired, overstressed, lonely, depressed, or just feel like I need a pick me up.  And you know what, I’m okay with that too.

Sometimes I grab a cookie because I have three minutes in which to stuff food into my body before my next appointment and a cookie will allow me to quickly get enough energy to get through the next two hours and still keep one hand on the steering wheel.  Unfortunately cookies consumed for expediency as opposed to genuine desire do not taste so good.  So I’m working on this whole aspect of things.

The truth is, I crave different things at different times for each or all of these reasons.  I am not an “intuitive eating” ninja who always understands why I’m eating what I’m eating.  I don’t always have 40 minutes over which to enjoy a leisurely meal complete with linen napkins and candlelight and savor each bite of deliciousness and ponder its purpose in my life and resultant effect on my well being.  And I don’t only crave foods that my doctor or the latest diet guru says I should.  Sometimes I crave kale and sometimes I crave chocolate.  I am a real person with a real life.  And so I can’t always tell you why I want a cookie.  I just know if I don’t get a cookie when I really, REALLY want a cookie, (see above video) there’s likely to be a backlash.  And when that backlash hits, one cookie simply will not do it.  Take away my cookies for too long and I don’t even know if that jar on top of the fridge would be enough.  So I will continue to eat cookies when I really, really want cookies and try to make time for the deep philosophical pondering later.

Then again, had he lived in our time, Freud might have said, “Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie.”

Love,

The Fat Chick