Today has been a near-orgy of productiveness, even considering I woke up at 1pm. I've done some decorating, some organizing of the disaster that is my pile of stuff from my apartment, baked muffins, emptied the dishwasher, finished doing my taxes, etc, etc. It's like this near manic frenzy of activity and productivity. Even though right now I'm seriously ready to drop and I've only been up 7 hours thus far, I can stand back and say "Wow. I got a lot done today."

My other thought was "Hopefully I burned some extra calories, too."

Hrm. Okay, scratch that last thought.
What bugs me is how much society doesn't want me to recover. There are millions of dollars invested in making me want to spend money on products to "enhance" my beauty. And lose weight. Yet if these diet products actually worked, companies would lose money. You'd buy the pills, the patch, the Thighmaster once, the products would do their magic, and you'd be on your way. I've heard that if you visit any Weight Watchers meeting, more people than not are "repeat customers." These companies depend on that. Depend on the failure rate. Succeeding at a diet is a freak occurrence. In what other industry would you spend money time and time again for a product where results aren't typical? If you pay for phone service and it suddenly fails, you don't blame yourself. If you have your car fixed, and then the muffler falls off, you don't blame yourself. Yet if you go on a diet and fail to lose weight, it's suddenly your fault.

My co-worker. Full scholarships to undergrad, master's degree, and headed to medical school next year. Had a hard time losing weight at Weight Watchers. I think she can count up her Points. She might irritate the living hell out of me, but I'm fairly sure she can add. Yet she blames herself for not losing weight.

And what is "succeeding" at a diet? Technically, I "succeeded" at diet. Except that diet was called anorexia, and it was really no diet at all. But if anyone asked, I lost vast sums of weight, lowered my blood pressure (to 75/45!) and my body fat percentage (never measured that thank the Lord). A success story. Right?

What irritates me is how many women are sick of Size Zero models, yet models are basically as thin as ever. We hate that we're being told to look like a freaking stick, yet we still think we're supposed to aspire to that. The problem is that too much money is invested in the "thindustry."* By us, by corporations, by ad agencies, you name it.

I was looking up one of the meds I was taking on WebMD and I saw an ad at the top of the screen for their online weight loss program. So whatever. What struck me was the little comment in the corner of the box: "Learn how to diet safely!" At first I thought that at least there was an admission that dieting could be unsafe. Then I thought that if dieting could be unsafe, why are we doing it at all? "Learn how to use crack safely!" Or how about safe cigarettes? Safe heroin? Safe drunk driving?

Those ads wouldn't last a minute.

*Yes I realize that "thindustry" is not a real word. But I have a book from Oxford University Press, editors of the oft-quoted Oxford English Dictionary. So I have Oxford on my side. Do you have Oxford on your side?

**And if thinspiration can be a word, so can thindustry. So there. ::sticks out tongue::

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æ said...

actually, I already felt compelled to comment on the sheer genius of thindustry. "Studies show" that recovery from an ED gives people great capacity for word play.

(Okay, it was my own unfunded study of three, but my results were 100%!)

Jeanne said...

Absolutely, there is a thindustry. Which is why I try (although often unsuccessfully) to support those companies who advertise real women with real figures or who at least celebrate women. Dove is the classic example, but Luna (owned by Clif Bar) is another that comes to mind.

mary said...

If I could teach you one thing Carrie it would be that 'what others think' is none of your concern! Not right now. What the thindustry tries to shove down our throats comes at us as propaganda. I did take that course way back in H/S and I'll tell you it was one of the better ones I took. I've been in the antique business and know a little history too,long enough to know that they've been selling us their load of crap for longer than they'd care to admit. The stuff they came up with is amazing. Sad thing is that they still get away with it yet they lock up people for being poor. Some of the stuff should be considered criminal or at least false advertising.
It takes many of us healthy humans till we reach middle age to actually relax enough, get comfortable enough, with our own selves to NOT GIVE A DARN what ads or models or lex luther or anyone else really thinks.And that's if we are the lucky ones! Yes, it's great when someone in the limelight says something wise, but the truth is, they are not our leaders!
This is what you can get out of recovery. You can become so sure of yourself and your own body that you no longer need to compare, count, or look for reasons outside of your own head. This war is an inner one and the only weapon you need is the ability to let go of all the stuff that's still trying to suck you under.
Food is your medicine. It's what fuels your vehicle as you share your gifts. We need to stick together in freeing each other from all the media exploits telling us what we think and stick to facts. We need more classes on propaganda for ALL kids, not just as an elective. Last time I read what 'I' thought I didn't recall giving MY opinion. I think someone said that the public is fascinated with celebrities. Really? Are we? Or is the media trying to sell us another story so they have jobs? hmmmmm It's all RELATIVE as you recently shared a post or so down. This is the opinion you need to look for, your own. Be comfortable in your own body and mind and no one will be able to mess with you again.
About the crack. We actually have a clean needle program for our addicts! Yes, they want them to be safe.
I think if you went to wikepedia you can put in your definition of thindustry. : )
goodnight Carrie..
oh, what kind of muffins did you make?


Your study is far more scientific than many I've read on the "obesity epidemic." Besides, now that we're not so obsessed with food, we have brain power to spend on inventing new words.

I'm so happy to hear that you're using your voice and your dollar to support your views. I love Dove products too and try to buy them whenever my budget permits. I love Luna bars too, though I'm partial to the original Clif.

One of the advertising industry's greatest accomplishments is making us think that we're not affected by advertising, that we're buying product X because we really want to. I was never that paranoid about the color of my teeth until I started seeing all those teeth whitening commercials. Then I started looking and thinking "well they could be whiter..." But it's not that big of a deal to me and I realize that the seed was planted by someone trying to sell me tooth whitening products.

I don't think I'll ever not care about what other people look like, think or do. The point I want to arrive at is not basing my self-esteem on how I compare next to them.

marcella said...

My daughter having been treated in hospital in Oxford by some excellent nurses and the most wonderful psychiatrist I feel that I can most definitely say we have Oxford on our side. Pity they lost the boat race, but there's always next year (for those of you who don't understand this British sporting reference, google it, it's an interesting tradition)


OK you win. :)

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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