I Overate Because I Felt Guilty Eating
What if I just have a small slice of raspberry cheesecake? I was good today, I deserve it. Maybe a bigger slice would be okay if I eat celery later? They would cancel each other out, right? Or I could eat the cake while jogging in place?
These are the musings of a young woman’s mind in a Yoplait yogurt ad. Sound familiar?
Does to me. Evokes the mantra that once ruled my twenty-something brain. Back then, food was both magic and evil. That’s a noxious combination, known to create obsessions and addictions.
A person who feels guilty about eating often overeats. They obsess about food. Food calls to them. Think you’ve had a little too much? Feel guilty! Now that you’ve sinned you might as well go all the way. Besides, the Häagen-Dazs “good-feeling” crowds out the “guilt-feeling.”
Works the same with alcohol. To the Irish, spirits magically change your mood. But overindulging brings shame and disgrace. Imbibed a bit too much? Might as well drink more and feel better. The Irish have fairly high levels of alcoholism. It’s different in places where alcohol is simply a part of dinner. A good wine is a dining must in France. And alcoholism is low.
But back to eating disorders. Some are more serious than mine had been. Jenni Schaefer survived both anorexia and bulimia. She told the Huffington Post that you start to divide foods into “good” and “bad” until they all seem bad,
I was shocked by how (the Yoplait ad) really nailed it on the head. That’s exactly what I thought every time I opened a refrigerator door.
Experts worry that messages like these make the obsessive thinking seem completely normal, leading, alternatively, to too much eating or too little. At least Yoplait pulled the ad when concerns surfaced.
When I was struggling with my own food-obsession I was shocked to find a diet that proclaimed that food is good, not bad. Maybe because the book, Eat to Win, was written for athletes.
The notion that food is good and shouldn’t be an obsession had a profound affect on me. I highly recommend a healthy perspective on food that recognizes the need for both nourishment and enjoyment.
Note: I’m doing reruns for the holidays.
Posted on January 1, 2014, in body image, feminism, psychology, sexism, women and tagged body image, eating disorders, feminism, psychology, sexism, women, Yoplait commercial. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.