Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Emotional Eating is HILARIOUS according to 2 sitcoms last night. uh..not so much.

Last night I found it interesting that two sitcoms  joked about emotional eating. One focused on “grief eating” where the members of a support group helped their friend “heal” his grief by gorging over food and the other involved one of the characters telling a little girl that the best way to get over a heartbreak is to “fill the void with sugar” and demonstrated by jamming candy down his throat.

At the risk of sounding humorless, I didn’t like it. I understood it. But I didn’t like it. The writers were probably writing about a topic they could relate to and they thought enough other people would relate to, so what does that mean?

Could it be that some people overeat not because they lack self-control or discipline, not because they’re gluttons who just like to eat..but maybe…just maybe, it’s not always about FOOD. Could it be that the reason we are dealing with an obesity problem isn’t because there aren’t enough diet plans and programs out there (Lord knows, it ain’t hard to find diet advice) but maybe because we’re too busy criticizing, judging and making assumptions about people that we are avoiding the real issues behined the behavior. Personally, my eating disorder wasn’t about food. Food was just the weapon I used to destroy myself with, either by restricting it or compulsively overeating it, but it wasn’t the cause of my problems, just a symptom Fact is, it’s easier to try and deal with what we’re eating than to deal with why we’re eating it. I hit my rock bottom when the pain of how I was abusing food became more painful than why I started abusing it in the first place. Once I was ready to stop the behavior, I was free to tackle what was at the core of my disorder and start healing.
I know, I know, if I don’t like what I’m seeing, I don’t have to watch it. But let’s face it, ignoring an issue doesn’t make it go away. I get it, it’s a sitcom not a documetary, but if you’re going to tackle an issue like this with humor, can you not find a way to do it responsibly?
The writers behind the shows could probably relate to the content and assumed that many of their viewers would as well and I’m sure they did. I know I did. I also, believe it or not, can joke about my food history at times and understand that great comedians can find light in the darkest if situations, and hey, it’s just food,right?
But for so many people, it’s more than that and I know that it made me and many of the people I’ve been hearing from, more than a little uncomfortable.
We love it, we hate it, we fear it, we hide it, we celebrate with it, grieve with it, express love with it, restrict it, need it, overindulge in it and think about it waaay too much.
We spend so much time working against our bodies by trying to avoid eating, instead of working WITH our bodies and learning how to eat in a healthy, balanced way.
I guess I’m sensitive to this issue because I work with kids and parents who can’t enjoy a meal without it including a side order of shame and guilt and if we’re really going to get healthy, we need to be careful of the messages we send.





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