Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Scared to Let go

I see professional ex-anorexic Emma Woolf has emitted a new more spiritual seeming tract; "Letting Go: How to heal your hurt, love your body and transform your life." I'd be happy to suspend disbelief, alas I don't believe a word.

A look at the contents and oh golly gee: "Chapter 6- Supersize v Superskinny." Spending 20 years in unwitting pursuit of lifestyle orthorexia/anorexia has acclimatized me to vain hopes repeatedly going down in flames, but even I can tell what's coming......
If its attacked for being shocking, it is - because they show shocking realities. They show the reality of the morbidly obese, gruesome weight-related illnesses, even supersized mortuaries -but this is fact, not fiction.
So achingly predictable, I can but laugh.
....many viewers credit Supersize with shocking them into making positive, healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle. In that way, it's an important -if brutal- wake-up call about the causes and consequences of obesity.
Funny how Zuperskinny just fades into the ether when there's any opprobrium about. In the spirit of the programme itself which obviously uses the thin to cover its "healthily-weighted" arse.

But wait a mo, be fair, how does she speak about anorexia-the most deadly psychiatric blah, blub, blurrr?
'Here are the ingredients for my special serial mix.' Pauline opens the kitchen cupboards and unloads an assortment of packets and jars.....
Excellent, we begin with a subject speaking in her own words. We are given her name. She's very much a person, not an amorphous dis-ease branding. It takes Pauline an hour to assemble her special brekkie mix, described in careful detail and an hour to eat it. Which, leaving this context aside, is a great tip for you fatz who keep woolfing down your grub, apparently..... What about "gruesome" effects?
The woman in front of me is beautiful but ravaged, her skin etched with lines, her long blonde hair dry as straw.... 
Awwww.....So far so muesli commercial. Be honest, if I hadn't told you what this was about, how long would it have taken you to guess?

Pauline goes on to speak of the impact anorexia has had on her life. She feels it has been stolen by it. Oh how many have more than an inkling of what that feels like! And, round of applause, she appears to manage all this, without leavening it with how repulsive and vile fat people are, [wait perhaps that's about recovery.] EW should take notes.

Woolfie goes on to tell us about Pauline's character, "warm and friendly" such as you wouldn't guess she was going through such "torment"....... Her time consuming eating rituals are punctuated by a "pointless punishing exercise regime." Yeah, tried that, just didn't have the 'discipline,' luckily.

What to say about the odd way 'obesity' acts again as a sort of mental colostomy bag for "honesty and bravery" about any chosen topic, in this case anorexia? The things Woolf is repressing about that is coming out in the way she speaks about fat people. There's a quite distinct split. That she cannot seem to talk about AN, without putting the boot into fat people is some kind of symptom-and it doesn't spell recovery. 'Obesity' is acting as a buffer zone, it's where her other feelings are being re-routed to. A nice comfy shield so she doesn't hurt herself in treacherous terrain.

She's right to be overwhelmed and scared, but she has access to resources and professional and other support. If she can't manage it........

This kind of peculiar displacement- and there's lots of it about-is far more insidious than slimz parading around in ridiculous fat suits, trying to re-take ownership of other people's experience.

When or if you ever do let go of your utter disgust, contempt and hatred for those who do not display anorexia's most associated trait- and have the boldness to integrate the feelings you're running from Emma, I'll be the first to cheer.

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