Sunday, July 07, 2013
I want a discussion about this. If it's upsetting to you, don't worry about it.
I've seen this term tossed around in here quite a bit - "Eating clean." It has very OCD connotations to it to me (I have a Ph.D. in psychology).
It's the trendier, updated version of "being good on my diet." I think it has stronger eating disorder/orthorexic vibes though.
What does "eating clean" even mean? Washing your food first (haha)? Only non-processed food (and what do you define as processed?)? No "junk food" (same problem again). Eating all vegetables? No bread? No refined bread? No sugar?
I guess what gets me about this whole "eating clean" thing that I see tossed around quite a bit is that it has unhealthy connotations - especially if you say, screw up and eat a piece of pizza or something (that is apparently dirty?). The unsaid known that if you eat something "unclean" that you are now dirty yourself. That you need to be purified. And in that sense, it's a little puritanical as well.
What do you ladies think about this? I have to be honest, the term is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Can't we eat food without loading it with all of these latent cultural, disciplinary, spiritual and psychological meanings?
For more on OCD - check out this guy:
I mean, there are many of us on here (me included, in the past especially) who rather than cut out entire food groups, will focus near obsessively on the calorie content in food. Measuring out to the exact gram. And at the end of the day, if we are "over" our calories, we will comb through our food record that day.
"Where may I have mismeasured?"
"Oh, I guess maybe I only had a SCANT cup of that taco salad, so I'll say it was .9 cups..."
"Oh crap - I'm over my calories. I guess I'll do an exercise video before bed."
"I ate waaaaay to much this weekend. So today I am going to the gym to work off some of that food, and then I'm going to count my calories today and stick to the bottom of my range."
Sounds like typical weight-loss behavior, doesn't it? But there's something more sinister there. Who is in control, first of all? YOU? Or your compulsion to stay within some arbitrary (way too low, by the way) calorie range?
I think - and I know I'm not the only one who has this hypothesis - that the Empire (diet and weight loss industry) starves us, and tells us we have to perform these OCD behaviors or we will be punished with weight gain (and we ARE, to some degree, because we are in a constant state of starvation, and as soon as we can eat again, our bodies are like F*CK YES FEED ME YOU WH()RE I'M F*CKING HAAAANNNNGGGRRRY). Like the guy in the video, if you perform the behavior (see the el camino) your anxiety skyrockets, and you have to "correct" for the behavior.
The "clean eating" is just too much of a tie! Hand washing vs. clean eating. Is there really much of a difference?
So - before you tried to lose weight the FIRST time. Did you get fat eating bad for 3 days? A week? A month? No. But now we can see, that 3 days off a diet and we are 5-10 lbs undone. Because we're hungry, and our bodies are terrified. And it's making us crazy.