Monday, 16 August 2010

It's trusting yourself again

Ellen Satter's excellent blog which has lots of good thought provoking advice provides some insight into how the use of our mind's can derail our attempts to match our needs.

The report is on a study two things about sugar, that our bodies can regulate it's use, i.e. the sugar we take ingest in drinks means we cut down on it or food in other areas. Rather than the usual assumption that sugary drinks automatically add extra calories. And that the widely disseminated beliefs about the harmfulness of sugar affect the way we actually respond to it. IOW, expectations can create a nocebo effect.

This is the aspect of healthist eating that most broke the trust I had in it. That and the subsequent realisation that it, if not provoked, certainly sent my eating disorder to greater heights.

Unlike quite a lot of people in FA, my journey away from eating disorder has been negotiating myself away from what we deem healthy eating, or more pertinently, it's mindset as in part uncovered by the study.

The nocebo part isn't just about programming you to expect bad things from certain foods. I feel that shows that there is probably a lot of exaggerated wishful thinking-in a bad way-about the effects they would like to come from this food, which is rather unedifying and hardly healthy. It's also about the fact that a lot of advice has come from or through the prism of those who have disordered eating and sometimes even long term eating disorders themselves.

That in itself is one of the reasons why eating disorders especially continue to increase, over and above those that come as a side effect of weight loss dieting. There is something about someone who's not only got an ED or a disordered view of food and eating giving advice that causes us all to view eating more through their eyes. In no small measure is it that they believe in the way they eat, a bit like pro ana or feeders.

The quasi religious proselytising plus the fact that they want the world to be more conducive to perpetuating their way of eating and are never held accountable for their activities, no matter the costs.

In terms of malign influence they have been too much like those food companies who will do anything to sell us and to get us to eat more of their product, whether that would be a good idea or not. That is the major disappointment about what's happened with healthy eating.

At one point some people, me included thought they could act as a counter to the industrialised food machine that would feed us excrement, if they could make it cost effective, with their synthetic flavours and various coatings they like to cover the waste matter they call food in.

Alas, we were not aware of how unbalanced some of these people were. There is evinced by their unholy alliance with the hateful obesity crusade, where they have cynically used fat people to hide behind and say, we know about food, we can prevent you from becoming like these fatties. They drifted far away indeed from the more gentle hippy tradition of holistic eating.

They took that and added a new ingredient; rage. At it's directed at fatties who somehow represent everything that gets in the way of a closer and more intimate relationship with their eating disorder.

The fact that they cannot make you thin clearly cannot doesn't matter in this credulously superstitious atmosphere of trying to ward off the fat devil/genie/ hoodoo, any snake oil saleswo/man can get ahead by merely suggesting they have the antidote.

But it's the way we've allowed ourselves to be suckered in to their invasive bossy style that is shows the depth of the desire to be slim at all costs. I'm old enough to remember a time when if a 'nutritionist' told you to eat x and not to eat y, they would have been looked at with utter contempt, as if they were deranged.

Now we behave as if they are entitled to criticise us in invasive ways we would not otherwise put up with, it is they that have been prime movers in training others to violate the privacy of fat people in general and with regard to their eating in particular.

They often cannot do what they advise, it's just assumed, they are the experts, we are not permitted to pry into their dustbins (hint, hint) to see if they eat what they say we should.

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