Dieting/WLS, Fat, Food, Pop Culture, Self-Image

I am in love for the second time this week

This time with an officially real person, Emily Blunt. That is, Emily Blunt, Doughnut Smuggler

On being monitored to make sure she didn’t gain weight while playing a diet-obsessed fashionista in The Devil Wears Prada, she says:

I understand why I was asked to be like that for that role, my character was surviving on cubes of cheese at one point in the movie. But you need some kind of comfort when you’re on a film set all day, and mine’s usually food. I was being watched like a hawk, but by the end I’d be sneaking in doughnuts just to annoy the producers.

And on Photoshopping:

I did this photo shoot with a big name fashion photographer and he said ‘Just so you know, if you don’t like anything about yourself I can fix it afterwards – like that, for example’ – pointing to my face. I was like, ‘My chin? ‘ ‘Yes, that cleft on your chin, ‘ he said, to which I replied, ‘I wouldn’t mind keeping it, as it’s part of my face, you know’.

I love the phrasing of that: “If you don’t like anything about yourself, I can fix it afterwards.” Really? Can Photoshop help me quit smoking or pay off my credit card debt? If so, maybe I’ve been too hard on it. And of course, the assumption that a woman so conventionally gorgeous she’s being  photographed for a fashion magazine must have a body part she doesn’t like… sigh.

In other news, I’m going out of town for the week, so posting (from me, anyway) might be even lighter than usual. Or I might be bored in a hotel while Al’s at a conference and end up writing up a storm. Don’t know yet, but consider yourselves warned. And if there’s no new content, feel free to use this as an open thread for linking to interesting articles or sharing what’s up your ass this week.

64 thoughts on “I am in love for the second time this week”

  1. Dear Photoshop Man,

    Please take the patriarchy out of my brain and culture. It makes me look ugly.

    A Sarah

    PS – Safe travels, Kate! :)

  2. Can Photoshop help me quit smoking or pay off my credit card debt?

    Yeah, can I get get ‘Photoshopped’ with some genius? I’d just love to see beyond all this.

  3. Wow, is a cleft chin supposed to be a no-no? I have a slight cleft in my chin, and I always rather liked it. I had no idea it was an abomination to be ‘shopped out. Huh. I like her reply. I’ll keep mine, too.

  4. Peggynature, of course it’s an abomination. It’s like chin cellulite. No one wants a fat chin. If you were a good woman, you’d diet that cleft right out!

  5. Emily Blunt is ace. So sensible, and seemingly BS-free.

    Why is it that cleft chins on men are often looked upon as attractive features (exhibit A: Aaron Eckhart…mmm…Eckhart), but they are unsightly photoshop-worthy flaws on women?

  6. The Devil Wears Prada would’ve been SO MUCH better if they’d cut out that boring wet lettuce Hathaway character entirely and just let Blunt and Streep show off their fantasticness.

  7. Photoshop me holding the sole winning lottery ticket for the biggest jackpot in lottery history, honey!

    cereselle: but isn’t a cleft actually the absence of a small bit of chin? Can one diet out an absence?

    Then again, I used to diet to fill a completely unrelated need in myself, so–not that it worked . . .

    And, just for the record, I happen to like the way cleft chins look on either gender. I think they lend distinction.

  8. Glad Ms. Blunt is exposing the ugly realities of our pop culture… Even though this film is a spoof of this same culture, it manages to reinforce the stereotypes during production. Photoshop your chin? Oh my!

  9. I have an ever-so-slightly cleft chin that is so slight that you couldn’t see it when I was thinner… it’s not so much removing the absence in the cleft as removing the slightly-bigger area around the cleft so you can’t see it anymore.

    My mother used to call it my double-chin and rejoiced when I was thin enough that she couldn’t see it anymore. “Oh LOOK, Megan, your little double chin is gone, isn’t that wonderful? Now you have an even prettier face!” …Sigh. :P

  10. But chin clefts are totally cute and even really sexy on some people!

    Oh god forbid people in fashion magazines look anything like humans instead of airbrushed skinjobs.

  11. Okay, so after reading this and especially the comments, I feel really bad for confiding to Nuckingfutz the other day that I sometimes get down on my chin-dimple and think it makes me look like I have a manly cleft chin (or maybe it IS a cleft, as I’ll admit under torture to not really knowing the difference… my mother used to call it a dimple so I assume that’s what it is).

    This woman is clearly awesome… so what the fuck was she doing in a movie like that?

  12. The Devil Wears Prada would’ve been SO MUCH better if they’d cut out that boring wet lettuce Hathaway character entirely and just let Blunt and Streep show off their fantasticness.

    Having watched the film for the first time on C4 last week, I have to agree with that. It was more feminist than I’d expected – but then I hadn’t expected much.

    On a more serious note (and assuming that Kate’s Open Thread already applies), I have just unexpectedly been presented with my BMI after filling out a survey (that’s the last time I try to help out a charity) and am in the throes of a full-on “I must lose weight” panic. Help! How can I get over this?

  13. I remember sitting through that train wreck of a movie thinking that Emily Blunt’s character was a far more realistic picture of what high fashion is like than any of that Ann Hathaway fairy tale garbage.

    Now that I look back on it, I think that the annoying cattiness of her character shows something real about the fashion industry: that thinness is more important than happiness and that the culture of extreme dieting makes people miserable, unhealthy, and overly competitive.

    That her real opinion of the madness is so realistic rather than glamorizing starvation makes me marginally less disgusted with the movie.

    But you’d still have to pay me to watch it again.

  14. On a more serious note (and assuming that Kate’s Open Thread already applies), I have just unexpectedly been presented with my BMI after filling out a survey (that’s the last time I try to help out a charity) and am in the throes of a full-on “I must lose weight” panic. Help! How can I get over this?

    Just remember that nothing has changed. Your the same person you were before you were presented with your BMI, and your body is the same. It didn’t suddenly turn unacceptable because of a number.

    I feel you, though. I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m like three pounds into the “obese” range right now, and part of me is like, “Hmm, if I just eat really, really small meals all week, I’ll probably be able to get myself to ‘overweight’ by the appointment, and won’t that make it go better?” But, I’m just trying to remind myself that starving for a week is not going to make me healthier, and that if three pounds meant that much to the doctor, I should be looking for a new one, anyway.

  15. ((GIANT HUGS for The Girl From Mars))

    I am right there with you. I’ve tried to deny that it’s happening, but I’ve pretty much started restricting again (in a small way, but it’s there).

    If you don’t mind my asking, why the fuck would they bother to figure out and then present you with your BMI? What kind of “charity” is this?! That’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.

    Telling you that you are perfect as you are probably doesn’t help (even though it is true). So instead, I will tell you what a wise being once told me:


    That wise being? It was my body. I generally only hear it on good days, but I’m pretty sure all of ours yell similar things, with increasing frustration, on a regular basis. Try to tune in. And in the meantime, sock it to the haters by continuing to be your fabulous self and not dropping dead despite all their doomsday predictions. ;)

  16. Thank you for the support, Lori and SugarLeigh. I think it was the shock of being unexpectedly presented with it that did it – I was completely unprepared to deal with it. The initial panic is starting to subside, but I suspect it will prey on my mind for at least the rest of the evening and probably for the next few weeks, whenever I’m not feeling great about myself.

    In fairness, the charity is one that focusses on snoring, so they asked me for information that might affect this (such as my weight/height, whether or not I smoke etc.). However, they didn’t need to calculate my BMI and display it to me in the “Thanks for completing this survey” box with no warning. Grrr. I might drop them a line and complain about it.

  17. the girl from marz

    I think it’s a good plan to tell them that sending people their BMI is NOT a Good Plan. People don’t think, but sometimes if you point out how things work they see your point. :)

  18. The Girl from Marz,

    BMI is a couple of lousy digits.

    Those digits don’t reflect your worth, your health, your beauty, your value or your entitlement to joy, love and happiness.

    Just repeat: BMI is total unproven bullshit. My awesomeness is NOT.

  19. Can I photoshop myself into a better housekeeper? This place is a mess. Better yet, I’ll just photoshop the house clean. Erase all the laundry, and while I’m at it, paste in a delicious dinner. That ought to work, right?

  20. Reposting this because it totally sums up my feelings about the whole beauty thing.

    MissPrism, on February 16th, 2009 at 4:53 pm Said:
    And of course a cleft chin is a no-no! Any distinguishing feature is a no-no.
    We must strive for complete interchageability.

    Also, sign me up for Emmy’s photoshop redo. Along with her specifics, I’ve been “cleaning my desk” for a solid week and it’s still a good foot under on the left and pretty well covered on the right. It’s sad.

  21. What I’m not loving about my body right now is that I found a lump in my breast. My ob/gyn wrote me a referral for a specialist, but none of the ones I tried have returned my calls for an appointment, and I’m supposed to fly across the country in a few days. You’d think leaving a message with the words “lump” and “breast” next to each other would get your calls returned, but apparently not in this health care system.
    Maybe photoshop can help me with that.
    Sorry. Not handling this well enough to be witty about it right now.

  22. damn the med industry to hell, to them, a lump in the breast is such a common thing, the unfeeling bastards.
    han in there & good luck! let us know you are doing :hug:

  23. “Now that I look back on it, I think that the annoying cattiness of her character shows something real about the fashion industry: that thinness is more important than happiness and that the culture of extreme dieting makes people miserable, unhealthy, and overly competitive.”

    I was there, and I did love my job, but YES.

    I did not work in the fashion media, but the jockeying, self hatred, get-promoted-for-your-looks (and I know it happened to me, too) is more subtle, more pernicious, and WORSE than the movie makes it sound, from what I saw.

  24. Oh It, I’m so sorry.
    Maybe if you call your pcp she can light a fire under someone?
    Maybe if you wouldn’t mind saying where you are, someone on the thread might have an idea?

  25. Holls – I’m in NYC so it seems like I should be able to find something- I’ve tried calling around to the walk-ins, but it’s a holiday so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if they can take care of something like this. I’ll try the PCP too. I know that this happens all the time without it being the worst – to the point that doing self-exams results in a lot of negative unneeded biopsies as much as they find real problems – but you know, it’s not making me feel better right about now.

  26. Can he photoshop in an ability to do calculus well? Because grad-school is calling and my calc skills suck big time.

  27. @ It – Having your doctor’s office call usually always gets you in sooner. Im a little perturbed they didn’t offer that to you in the first place. Professional courtesy and all. I have both called myself and had the doctor call…doc ALWAYS gets me in sooner. As for the lump, just breathe. Most of the time it is something benign like a cyst. Either way, it needs to be checked and by god your doc needs to call. There is always breathing room in doctor’s schedules for this very reason. Keep us posted.

    On another note….I have been mulling around something in my head that I would love to hear a discussion about. I am trying to put this in perspective for me and need the fabulous minds of you posters to help me resolve this….so here goes.

    As a fatty who fully believes in self acceptance, HAES, and human dignity applied to all, I am finding that I am treading a very thin (ha) line between eating whatever I want when I want because dammit I’m hungry….and eating my version of healthy, and I’m wrestling with how that makes me feel. Years of battling the bulge can’t be erased or reversed easily, and I find myself picking up the guilty feelings when I engage in the eat when/what way. On the flip side, when I eat “healthily”, I feel so miserable physically AND mentally, as in angry, pissed at my body for being so fat storing efficient, along with all the side effects of being hungry.

    I try to do a lot of internal dialoguing, but often fail. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to how I look, and I think that is the biggest obstacle I have to overcome. Try as I may, I am still shocked at how I look when I see myself in the mirror. When not faced with my reflection, I am all about dignity, confidence, personal fulfillment,etc. I have had many friends tell me they didn’t think I cared about my weight because I come across as so darn confident/empowered. This statement is usually made after I express some frustration with my size and the desire to weigh less (which is usually after a mirror incident or negative shopping experience).

    So this brings me to the big questions….How do you resolve the inner conflicts that come from years of battling the image demons? How do you reach that place when you can view yourself in the mirror and REALLY love the you that you see staring back at you? And…how do you find the middle ground between eating healthy and eating for you without going to one extreme or the other? Am I alone in this struggle? I doubt that I am, but how do you truly resolve this and find balance in your life between what is at best, shady science, and what is best for you?

    Thank you in advance for your smart and honest answers. I love that there is a forum such as this to ask such a question and know that you’re going to get heartfelt, honest answers. You guys rock!

  28. I certainly haven’t resolved it completely, and probably never will, but I do keep in mind that:
    I followed the “instructions” of those feelings, and ended up the most unhealthy I’ve ever been (eating disordered), and didn’t ever feel any better about how I looked. .
    Also, in order to recover from a lot of the food restriction I’d taught myself, I had to eat a crapload of “bad foods” before they finally lost some of that allure and I realized I liked all kinds of things, and I wouldn’t eat cookies and chips forever.

    You are certainly not alone. It’s a battle every day.

  29. *hugs* for It. I hope you can get things resolved tomorrow when everything is open!

    Also, can they Photoshop out my social anxiety and add a couple of zeros to the end of my bank balance? KTHX.

  30. I would like Photoshop to fix my credit score and get rid of this damn head cold. Making me a millionaire wouldn’t hurt either.

    Were those baby flavored donuts that Emily Blunt was sneaking?

    I’m heartened by the actor/actress confessionals about the brutality of weight loss in movies. Maybe if enough actors said no to starving themselves silly we could get a sea change in Hollywood. Perhaps Ian McNeice could get more work and the universe would explode, and it would be awesome!

  31. Can photoshopping get rid of this mutant, unexplained rash on my neck that makes my skin peel like that of a reptile and oozes orange goo?

    Oh, wait, it actually can…in my dreams…too bad I can’t sleept at night if it itches/stings/burns too much.


  32. @ regina t:

    How do you resolve the inner conflicts that come from years of battling the image demons?
    the best i can do most days is to just refuse to give them voice, whether aloud or inside my own head. when i was a depressed teen, a friend challenged me to go an entire week without saying “i hate myself.” i couldn’t do it. i tried, i tried mightily, and i failed. that experience made me much more aware of the influence self-talk has on how i feel about myself. there are times when it’s worthwhile to talk back at those destructive voices with conviction and logic on your side, but a lot of the time, the best thing for it is to just shut them up. not allowed to think it. not allowed to say it. i can now go entire months without saying, thinking, or even wanting to think that i hate myself. i’m hoping that the image problems will eventually give way before similar treatment.

    How do you reach that place when you can view yourself in the mirror and REALLY love the you that you see staring back at you? seeing myself in motion is helpful. seeing my body do things is tremendously encouraging. finding the muscles, the glow, the angles where the curves strike me as beautiful and beautifully defined. being loved has also helped. i try to see what my almost-husband sees. i sometimes draw him. other times, i try to draw the me he sees. (he writes stories. i draw. every so often one of us goes to the other and says “look, honey, i made porn!”) it’s sort of kick-ass. i don’t always see that self straight on, but i see her more and more. i’m hoping i can progress in positivity as i age instead of losing it all again.

    how do you find the middle ground between eating healthy and eating for you without going to one extreme or the other? Am I alone in this struggle? I doubt that I am, but how do you truly resolve this and find balance in your life between what is at best, shady science, and what is best for you?
    i definitely struggle with this. what works for me is to not think about it. this is why i can’t be a vegan or even a faithful vegetarian — they require so much thought in a meat-loving omnivorous society. if i think to much, i get into orthorexia, which then turns into starvation vegetable diets and much too much exercise. so i don’t. i also need to have a lot of control over the food around me. my roommates have to accept that there are certain things they can’t touch or certain things they have to leave a portion of to me. without guarantees, i start eating what’s there instead of what i want and need. with guarantees, it is easier to eat appropriately for a given moment.

    i love healthy foods. i love whole grain breads and fruit (mmm, fruit) and vegetables and cheeses. i also love things that are unabashedly sugary but not things that are sweet. (straight jello powder – yes. cherry pie filling – no.) i try to trust that i’ll make up for having three hot dogs in a day another time. (this was my food yesterday: three hot dogs, four slices of whole wheat bread, some tomato/onion/ketchup/pickles, a medium white tortilla with leftover grated mozzarella and leftover chicken, salsa, a v8, water, fresca, blueberry soda, an apple. it was a stressful, school-focused day.) i try to take note of what i want to eat and then revisit it later, when eating is appropriate, to see if it was more than a whim. sometimes i have to promise myself i’ll eat item x later because i just can’t get it now. very often, what i want most in the world is carrots or broccoli. i have to believe that’s okay.

    if i’m feeling off for some reason — dizziness, too cold, pinpricks, whatever — i try to specifically eat foods to help how i’m feeling.

    none of it’s perfect. i ate a couple of pop-tarts this evening even though they were vile. why? because i like other flavors of pop tarts, and i feel like crap, and i didn’t feel like making something sweet. the pain meds i’ve taken today could be causing some weirdness, or maybe not. i still think i shouldn’t have eaten them. (also, for all pop-tart lovers in the world: never, EVER buy strawberry shake pop tarts. the filling is bubblegum pink and tastes nothing like anyone’s idea of strawberry.) we’re low on fruit. whatever. for the most part, i think i do okay on my own. around my parents or his, eating is an entirely different experience. i’m working on it.

    i ignore science, though, except on things like which fruits i should buy organic to avoid pooled pesticides. so much contradiction. too much for me to keep up with unless i make it a primary pursuit. i just eat what seems good to me, and my doctors have yet to fault my diet for anything at all.

  33. Regina T, as you know, there’s a lot going on in your question. But what popped out at me is that (and tell me if I’m wrong) you kind of feel bad about feeling bad. I’m really good at that myself; always adding new layers of self-surveillance, obsessively running the internal scanner. A post by fillyjonk several months back (“Bring in the noise, bring in the fat”) really put things into perspective for me. Specifically, this bit: “am I making positivity into a new club to beat myself with?”

    Personally, I’ve found that “middle ground” is less of a steady state, and more a case of having good days and bad days average out. So some days, after trying every tool in the kit to fix my mood or change my perspective, I say, “Fuck it. This is obviously one of those bad days. Go ahead and wallow in it, try not to make anyone else suffer for it, and check back in the morning.”

    Hope that helps.

  34. can photoshop remove this back spasm? i cannot afford to be less than fully functional right now. seriously. for the next three days i need my body to cooperate. now.

  35. @thegirlfrommarz – Sending feedback to the charity sounds like a good plan. Really, not only is presenting people who give money with their BMI not helpful, if anything if people realise that they’re going to be presented with that it may put some of them off giving. I know I’d be annoyed if I was trying to donate and someone suddenly asked me for my weight. Apart from anything else it’s just rude and intrusive.

  36. Can they photoshop out my fear of failure and tendency to procrastinate, please? Oh, Mr Photographer, you actually mean make my nose appear smaller…yeah, I have to say, personally I consider the procrastination far more of a crippling problem.

  37. Thanks, Regina and killedbyllamas. I will keep you posted. . . I’ve been doing my best to breathe – my leaving town involves visiting a friend with a very sick baby, so I’m having a very need-to-keep-my-own-shit-together-to-be-there-for-others kind of moment.

  38. IT’s been crazy a long time! I remember in the late 80s a friend of mine foudn that Some Magazine (Cosmo? Glamour?) made 20-30 airbrush corrections on Madonna when she was on teh cover. Madonna was young and hot then. If they needed that many corrections why didn’t they get someone they *wanted* for the cover?

    Now being 20 years more cynical, I doubt there’s anyone that’s “Good enough” for the cover.

  39. It – My sister lives in NYC. She had a breast cancer scare two years ago and had a very difficult time not only getting appointments but getting decent care from those appointments. After about 6 weeks of intense stress she picked up the phone, called Sloan Kettering, received prompt, competent and compassionate care. My sister was absolutely fine and truly wished she had called Sloan Kettering sooner. When you have a premiere medical establishment locally it does not hurt to try and use the resource.

    This time is incredibly stressful, sick babies also incredibly stressful. Please take extra good care of yourself and know many are sending good thoughts your way.

  40. Regina T, adding to the other things that people have said, one way to help find the middle ground might be to experiment more (if you haven’t already) with what actually *is* a healthy diet for you. In my case, I spent years eating a low fat diet with lots of rice and pasta (because that’s what the dietitians told me to eat). A few years ago I discovered that for me, wholegrain carbs during the day and none at night combined with a massive variety of food genuinely made me feel healthier and happier. I was less inclined to eat rubbish (particularly the crap I eat that I don’t even really like) but I didn’t really lose weight, nor did I ever come close to the standards required by the dietitians I had seen. Other people I know thrive on rice and pasta. It might be worth trying a few different versions of “healthy” to see if there is one that makes you feel better.

    I have never managed to get to the point that I feel like I am only eating stuff I truly want and need. I don’t know if I ever will. But I find that the guilt is much assuaged by knowing that my complete inability to recognise my own body’s needs is at least underwritten by a healthy range of food.

    I wish you well, in finding a way of eating that is easy and in finding yourself beautiful.

  41. Can someone please point me towards some resources re: HAES and diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc.? This is where I’m struggling now.

    My whole family’s overweight and most have type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. (One of my relatives recently had gastric bypass to help her diabetes.) No one has had a heart attack or stroke, as far as I know.

    My blood sugar and cholesterol are already (I’m 34) in the “we’re keeping an eye on that” range. So while I believe that people can be fit and fat, I have trouble telling myself that *I* don’t need to lose weight, or watch what I eat. What are some things I can read to learn more about the supposed connection between weight/diet and blood sugar/cholesterol?

    (I’ve read the “Don’t you realize fat is unhealthy” post and will do so again. I also read Junkfood Science.)


  42. Hi Amy & others – Thanks. I finally was able to make an appointment with the original doctor my gyn. referred me to, which seemed best as I do trust her and seeing someone good seemed the most important thing – it’s for right after I get back, just about a week away, so while it’ll suck to wait, I feel better having that in place. When I asked about preauthorization, the women from the office said “we’ll take care of everything” and, no shit, “we’d never stick you with the bill – that would be wrong when you’re dealing with something like this.”

    Score one for humanity!

  43. Elizabeth – taking care of your body comes first but controlling your blood sugar is not about losing weight. My suggestion? Use a glycemic index as well as have a conversation with your doctor – or even a nutritionist if you can do that – and find out how to use the GI to your benefit. Make it clear to them that you are not trying to lose weight but control your blood sugar. A good one will listen; if not then keep looking. You absolutely can be healthy while controlling your blood sugar without losing weight.

    When I decided to finally take my blood sugar issues seriously and change my diet to control it, a good 20 lbs or so fell off without even trying (and that was not my goal!) and my doctor celebrated it but when I plateaued because my body made a new set point, my doctor basically accused me of eating all wrong again. Pissed me off. But I straightened him out and have continued to eat in such a way that my blood sugar is not all over the place and have made peace with body. I’m in relatively good health and I’m well into what is considered “obese”.

    That’s my $.02.

  44. ((((((It))))))) So glad to hear you got the appointment. I hope you don’t mind my saying so — I’m religious but don’t judge or consider it my business whether anyone else is — but I’ll be praying for you. And best wishes for safe and pleasant travels, with at least a few stretches of time that you’re not thinking about this!

  45. I’ve emailed the charity – I hope they get back to me. I was nice as I am sure they thought they were doing it for the best, but it really isn’t on.

    It – very sorry to hear your news. It must be very stressful – and has put my issues into perspective. I’m glad to hear you have an appointment – nice to see some humanity for once!

  46. Regina T. wrote:
    when I eat “healthily”, I feel so miserable physically AND mentally, as in angry, pissed at my body for being so fat storing efficient, along with all the side effects of being hungry.

    Jean Antonello argues that dieting puts us on a “feast or famine cycle,” and that as long as you continue limiting what you eat, you’re going to be on the cycle. “The only way off is a feast” – in other words, for most people who’ve dieted, their bodies are desperate for high fat, high calorie food and less interested in high quality, because survival means you prioritize calories first and worry about nutrients after your body’s sure you can get enough calories to keep going, y’know?

    So forcing yourself to “eat healthy” when your body is clamoring for high calorie stuff doesn’t work and actually isn’t what you need for health. You can maybe choose whole wheat buttered cinnamon toast over a big ol’ caramel roll so rich it’ll make you sick, but if you don’t indulge your body in some fats and calories you’re not going to start feeling any better. And a lot of us do not think of cinnamon toast as remotely healthy, so the minor modifications that’d improve our diet while still satisfying our needs don’t even occur to us.

    Baby steps may be the key – substituting whole grains or otherwise more wholesome ingredients while still allowing a high calorie diet with rich food may be the right first step for some, and if you’re unsatisfied with what you consider a healthy diet maybe you could try riching things up a bit. Having healthy veggies but adding cheese sauce, or having sugared asparagus rather than asparagus with lemon juice and nothin’ else kind of changes.

  47. Regina T,

    Antonello also suggests coping strategeis that range from those I find kind of silly (writing new sizes in your clothes) to ones I’ve found pretty useful (surround yourself with positive images of ladies who don’t fit the current beauty standard – she suggests classic art, which I’ve used, but there’s also stuff like adipositivity and etc.). Her underlying argument is solid, IMHO – even if it seems silly, if it works for you, make use of it. Sometimes the silliness of what makes you feel good (the right weight on your scale, clothes of a certain size) exposes the silliness of our cultural values.

    Reading Shapely Prose and other HAES blogs helps a lot if social pressure is what you’re most vulnerable. If you’re more influenced by research, Junkfood Science is a great resource that challenges a lot of presuppositions (she has a series linked to along the side that IIRC is particularly good) along with Gina Kolata’s book.

    I think a lot of it is just finding the resources you need for where you’re at, which may change with time (i.e., at one point you’re more intimidated by studies and at another but the belief “no one thinks this way”). But since fat hatred and believing that limiting calories “makes you a good person” are sooooo pervasive in our society, I think most of us have to expend a fair amount of energy fighting these assumptions one way or another.

    Which is kind of irritating because once you recognize the wrongness of it all intellectually if seems like you should be able to just ignore it, but few can, in my experience. The battle has to be fought, and it’s an ongoing battle.

  48. It, I’m so sorry. That must be nerve-wracking. Please take good care of yourself emotionally while you’re waiting for your appointment. I’ll be sending good thoughts your way. <3

    Also, dear Mr. Photographer, can you please Photoshop in some idea of what I’m going to do with my life after I graduate? Thanks ever so much.

  49. Thanks, A Sarah! I’m mostly a lurker here but I have a big blog-commenter crush on you ;) I’m more of a good-thoughts-to-the-universe than prayer person, but that difference doesn’t seem quite so important in times like these.

  50. I don’t have a cleft in my chin, but I do have a long and prominent chin. I was hanging out with a guy friend of mine, looking at pictures, and he surprised me with something he said about it. I think it was a picture where I didn’t look like myself and he said “I’m trying to pick out the features…your chin is there…why don’t you look like yourself in this picture?” I wouldn’t want to edit out certain features that a photoshop person may want to edit out, and thinking of that reminds me that friends wouldn’t want that either, they may actually like those features. Another friend of mine has a poster of Frances O’Connor that’s huge, and all her little dark freckles on her back and neck or wherever are airbrushed out. My friend wishes they weren’t because she likes the actress just the way she is.

    I love Emily Blunt in Prada, her character could’ve been 1 dimensional if Emily didn’t do a good job with the acting, the chracter isn’t very likeable, but because of Emily making the most of every moment and delivering a 3-D character I cared about her.

  51. Regina T, as far as healthy diet is concerned my take would be that if you really feel horrible on it then chances are it’s not actually a healthy diet for you at all. Isn’t the definition of healthy “promotes health”? If you’re feeling awful all the time then clearly that particular diet plan isn’t meeting your particular needs.

    I dunno, I’ve seen some awfully wierd, overly restrictive diets promoted as “healthy” over the years so I’m a bit skeptical in general. Take the super low fat idea….lots of nutrients are fat soluble, if you cut out fat almost completely you’re probably headed for some serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Low-carb tends to lead to low energy, and I really don’t see any good reason why people should seriously restrict their carb intake unless they’re diabetic and really have to. Everyone I know who tried that one felt awful.

    Personally I got rid of my hypoglaecemia by switching to basically what my grandma would have fed me. Lots of grains, produce and protein and as little processed food as I can manage without being obsessive about it. Sweets totally allowed. Not much dairy because I’m lactose intolerant (that’s what I meant about a healthy diet being what works for you personally – everyone is different and has slightly different needs). A bit of everything, no “forbidden” foods, pay attention to what you’re craving because there may well be a good reason for it (I crave meat when I’m menstruating, which several doctors have pointed out is probably because I tend towards anemia).

    OK, babbling here but I think the basic principle is if it doesn’t make you feel good, it’s not a healthy diet for you. No matter what any “experts” say. I have a friend whose mom’s doctor put mom on a less than 800 calorie a day diet with whole food groups “banned”, and big surprise, she felt terrible. There’s nothing “healthy” about that, but a whole lot of people sure will line up to tell you that it is.

  52. Elizabeth,
    Seconding the idea that you can be careful about what you eat but not think of it in a weight loss kind of way, and remember that a good portion of it is out of your control altogether. I just got results back from annual bloodwork and my cholesterol has gone down 30 points in the last year, but I haven’t lost a single pound, and I’m not really eating all that much differently. The weight is in a lot of ways as unconnected to your health as your eye color. I’m starting to have blood pressure issues, but my doctor was very clear in saying that even if I do everything “right”, sometimes it’s still high and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m rambling and not making a clear point, but I think that it’s the way to look at it is to look at each of the issues you know exist in your family and with you and address them on their own, not as something connected to your weight.

  53. Also what shiloh said perfectly illustrated what I was trying to say – why should we consider cinnamon toast “unhealthy”? Unless you have a specific medical reason why you need to limit carbs, or a gluten allergy, whole wheat bread is good for you. Wheat and sugar are not the devil. Probably wouldn’t be good to eat that for every meal since balance is good and so is protein, but there’s absolutely no reason why people should consider toast with a little sugar bad for them.

    Let’s all keep in mind that there are people who insist that CARROTS are bad for you. A vegetable that people have been eating for thousands of years. This is what happens when “healthy” is re-interpreted to mean “get as skinny as possible without dying”.

  54. It is of no suprise to me that I have gotten some AWESOME responses from some of you rockin ladies regarding my post. I can’t thank you enough Cassandra, Car, Krista, Richelle, Libby, Ariane and Shiloh, among others. Your responses were…are…amazing. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to actually hear some of the internal dialogues, self-perceptions, and kick ass methods many of you use to work towards developing premium self actualization.

    I was pretty sure most of us have the same internal struggles as I do, but it feels good to actually see it in writing….mainly because it removes the solitary-ness of my thinking fueled by those old demons of mine that try to tell me I’ll never be good enough. (do those messages ever go away completely?)

    I think what I have learned from all of you is that I need to keep experimenting with food to find what works for me, continually monitor and rewrite the script in my head when it stops working for me in a positive way, keep reading and learning about how messages are sent that have no truth to them and cause damage, and stay in tune as best I can with the signals my body sends…truly listening to the needs and desires of it and keep trying.

    Thank you all for your insight and thoughtful responses. This forum has been a godsend for my sanity and is very freeing for me overall.

  55. I’m so glad people on this site are writing about Jean Antonello. I recommend anyone dealing with food issues related to weight/body size/dieting read her books. (See Amazon for titles). It has taken me a long time to understand what she’s writing about and implement it even some of the time.

    I noticed in half a year ago that starting 5 years ago, my weight has stabilized within a 10 lb. range after having increased for the previous 3 decades. Wow. Finally, stabilization. That began when I started to more consistently eat breakfast and lunch.

    For decades, I had typically skipped either breakfast, lunch, or both. Working with Jean’s ideas, I’m now eating at least 2 meals per day at regular times, then tend to eat a second dinner at night. If that doesn’t sound great, consider that I used to rarely eat before 4 pm daily. Then I’d inhale large amounts of ice cream, candy, and/or chocolate chip cookies. Eating 2 meals per day at regular times has at least stabilized my weight.

    Now I’m curious to see if I can work up to eating 3 meals per day consistently (at regular times, not skipping a meal then eating two dinners over the course of the evening.) I’m curious if my weight will remain plateaued, or if it will actually cause weight loss.

    Has anyone else here who’s read Antonello found they actually lost weight with her recommendations, please? I’m wondering how accurate her claims are.


Comments are closed.