Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Big 'O'

Oprah Winfrey may have something akin to what anorexics have, some kind of psychological and or physical dependency on dieting. Or the psychology of control underpinning it.

Due to the fact that fat people are supposed to become or imitate anorexia, this is not a particularly well explored possibility in fat people. The assumption is that if a fat person did become 'addicted' to dieting, they could not possibly continue to be fat, so it would be a good thing.

Diets not working is a moot point if you do not know or accept this reality. More importantly you've become dependant on them working. The fact that they don't, combined with this need can keep you endlessly repeating the failure, sure as you are that it will pay off. As you repeat, you become increasingly attached to them one day paying off.

When asked why they don't just start eating, or why are they trying to look like models-it's not necessary you know, they've repeatedly tried to explain to us that it's not about that, it's about control.

I must confess although I listened, I didn't fully understand that point at all, until I think now. Now I feel what they're getting at is what Oprah can't let go of. It's not just that she wants to be thin, is more that in her life she is used to marshalling and using a tremendous amount of conscious will and inner resolve to achieve the most outstanding things.

The belief that dieting will pay off with willpower and persistence fuses with the actual real payoff of using your willpower, and prevailing even in the most unlikely of contexts and becomes emotionally bound up in that. So ceasing to diet, no longer feels like an independent conclusion, it somehow feels like it's threatening to pull down the rest of your belief in your own agency with it.

So dieting becomes a strategy to prevent or see off a crisis of faith in oneself.

This is something of a surprise, even though it shouldn't be from the way dieting is sold to us cleverly as a pure assertion of willpower, not a separate choice in itself that has nothing to do with our capacity for success in other areas. It's why it's linked to our sense of moral credibility and the inheritance of enlightenment, Godfree will to power. Along with the fact that dieting has become disengaged from anorexia and you have a cover for these links to make themselves, outside your conscious awareness.

The reason I'm saying this is not for Oprah, but for all of us that have been in her shoes, still are frankly. It's important for people to know that dieting can be a really a hard habit to break and that those who are in this position aren't always just acquiescent to the prevailing mood.

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