This is going to be a rant. A snarly, pissy rant about a topic near & dear to me…and it may leave you shaking your head and telling me to get off the crack pipe, but still…I must rant. If you’re an emotional eater like me, however, it might be worth it to read.
This morning I rolled out of bed, did my personal bizniss, and went straight to my laptop to check email. Stuck in the middle of a half dozen advertisements was an email from a wellness publication entitled “Slimming Comfort Food Recipes”. Shit like this really sticks in my craw.
I’m really tired of corporations making money off of fat people in the name of helping us “get healthy”. It’s bullshit. People start businesses to make money. If they “cure” all the fatties, they can’t make any more money. However, if they keep feeding us pills and special diets and miracle cures and bullshit…they keep making money.
I know, I know, I know…this is only an article. They’re not selling us anything here. Sort of. But they chip away at our resolve a teensy bit at a time with shit like this. They keep our brains in a “Hey, I can have it all…I’m just not smart enough to figure it out for myself so I need this article” mindset. The verbiage “Slimming Comfort Foods” implies you can have your cake and eat it too. You can comfort yourself with food and still get slim. And that’s what gets me – because that’s how people like me got to be so overweight in the first place: comforting ourselves with food.
They’re not interested in telling us the truth, they’re interested in telling us what we want to hear. They’re interested in what’s going to sell another subscription. What’s going to get more clicks. What’s going to make someone read the article and see the ad for the magic weight loss supplements on the sidebar and…order now. We make them a lot more money staying fat than we ever will living a fit, healthy life.
What is the truth? The truth is that if you have a problem using food as an emotional band aid, you’ve got an uphill climb ahead of you. Because that pan of organic, lowfat lasagna that you just made in order to live a healthier life isn’t going to help you if you still eat the whole pan. And now you’re not only sick to your stomach because you crammed a whole pan of lasagna down your throat, you’re also completely grossed out that you ate something that tasted like new-age crap on a cracker. Because some recipes should never be fucked with…and sometimes you just have to let yourself eat the real thing. Because it’s worth it. As long as you can keep yourself from eating the whole pan after a shitty day at work.
The big truth I’m trying to convey here is that you have to make peace with food. I did. At times, I have to reinforce the peace when a craving comes along. And they come along. I know I’ll always have them. But I also know that I never have to act on them immediately. And I’ve learned what I can substitute and still enjoy…and what I must never mess with.
For example, I used to love a big bag of Wavy Lays and a vat of onion dip. Now? I make some seriously kick-ass potato chips from scratch…in the microwave…with no oil. They’re not fried, yet they’re crispy and crunchy and salty and awesome. They satisfy my cravings for chips 100%. And I came up with a totally yummy substitution for dip as well. Buffalo wings, on the other hand…not so much. After trying a million variations on a million recipes, I’ve come to realize that I really do prefer the real thing…and that the real thing is worth the sacrifice of extra time at the gym or having a light snack instead of a meal in order to make up for the calories. And I don’t eat them once or twice a week like I used to.
The article that caused my rant is, to me, useful and full of decent looking recipes. It’s the bullshit title I have a problem with. This is probably where you’re going to walk away from this post and say “That bitch cray!” That’s okay…part of this is just me being overly critical. The rest of it is dead-on balls true. I don’t even know if that’s a real expression, but it is now.
I don’t want to comfort myself with food. I don’t want anyone telling me it’s ok. I don’t want anyone telling other people like me that it’s ok. If I ever want to hit my goal and live healthy, I can’t do shit like that. The truth is…it’s hard to quit doing. But it is do-able. Especially for a bunch of badasses like us.
I’m going to talk more about making your peace with food in the next few days, but I just want to put this out there right now because it really grates on me to see article titles like this one. They’re everywhere. And the truth is that you have to always be mindful and true to yourself above all else. Don’t fall for this bullshit. Question everything.
“Slimming Comfort Food Recipes”, my ass. How about “Ways to Tell a Publisher to Piss Off”…how about that! I don’t want to comfort myself with cardboard fake lasagna. I’m all grown up ‘n shit. I can handle the truth. Sacrifices must be made.
The messaging gets in there even if you don’t click through and read the article. Your eyes skimmed it. Your brain read it. Comfort. Food. Slimming. I’m so busy half the time I just skim right past it. This morning I did a double-take and said “Whaaaat?”
I know this is hard and I hope it’ll be worth it. I know I won’t look like a fitness model when I’m done, but if I can at least look in the mirror without hating myself, I think I’ll be okay. What I’m not okay with is some jackhole who’s probably never been overweight a day in his or her miserable life trying to lure me into thinking of food as comfort….because I’ve been down that road many times and it’s full of fat pants and Little Debbie cakes.
I’m actually not talking about the actual author of this article, by the way. I’m talking about the marketing/SEO geniuses behind the creation of the catchy title. Give me as many light and “tasty” recipes as you want. Give me useful and helpful information…and thank you for it! But don’t try to get me to click through your email with brainwashing bullshit.
I guess I’m done ranting. For emotional eaters, making peace with food is hard. Shit like this makes it harder…and it adds insult to injury when it’s coming from a leader in wellness. That’s all I’m trying to say.
Next time we’ll talk about baby steps in putting an end to emotional eating. And I’ll try and curb the surly language. In the meantime, if there’s something that just drives you nuts feel free to share it here so I don’t feel like a total dork.
I need a margarita. Holy shit.
You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning