Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pet Peeves. Just in Time for Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

We will all rest more easily if we air
these 'pet' peeves.
Radio show host, Brooklyn Kitchen store owner and foodie Harry Rosenblum wants to know my food related pet peeves. He'll be interviewing me on March 16th on Feast Yr Ears about eating disorders and recovery with a particular interest in Cate and my book, Food to Eat: guided, hopeful & trusted recipes for eating disorder recovery. Pet peeves. Funny he should have asked; 'Thursday's patient' was just suggesting this for a blog post.

We all have them. Pet peeves are those things that drive us crazy that people and companies say and do that make us want to scream. But most of you don't scream, or even express your outrage. You might be annoyed, infuriated even, but you just keep it quiet and say nothing. Maybe you ruminate about it, or binge eat or don't eat at all. "I'll show them" may be your thinking. So readers, here's your prompt to share those things that piss you off. Ok, ok, not so fast. Let's narrow the focus to food and eating disorder related topics, okay?

I'll start us off with a few.

  • People who ought to know better, that assume weight loss is a good thing. Think doctors and nurses. Just 2 days ago a pre surgical nurse interviewing a family member asked if there was weight loss of more than 10 pounds in the past month. Yes, was the reply. "That's great!" she  moronically responded, naive to any underlying vomiting, pain, growing cancer, or depression that might have contributed. Brilliant. Or the pediatrician who praised the boy's weight drop from his high BMI, failing to ask the critical questions that would have diagnosed his eating disorder.
  • Food companies that sneakily shrink their packaging, thinking we just won't notice. 1/2 gallon of ice cream? Nope. Now it's just 1.5 quarts (vs 2 quarts). Kashi cereal boxes--same height, just a fraction of the content, with skinnier boxes. Call a spade a spade. Increase the darn price but keep the package size the same. Don't insult my intelligence, please! I'm waiting for them to fill my dozen eggs with just 10. Just you wait. 
Stop insulting my bread.
And please call it bread, not carbs!
  • Nutrition misinformation that people can't let go of--belief that gluten, or carbs make you fat. Not so my friends! There's no evidence to support this. It's like global warming for a particular US political party. They hold on to these beliefs in spite of all the science to the contrary. Ughh!
  • Food labels that shout out "high protein" or "low fat" or "gluten free" as if we should care. (If you  need to watch your gluten since you have celiac you'd better look for more that the shout out gluten text; you'll need a legitimate stamp identifying foods that have a measured low gluten level through careful factory testing).
  • People that think their food choices or diet type raises them to a higher moral ground. Choose to be vegan if you are concerned about the planet or animals or both. But don't wear it like a designer label because quite simply, I'm not impressed.
This is steak. It contains protein.
And fat. And other nutrients.
  • Calling food by its nutrient. As in "I'll have some protein with that" referring to meats or fish, for instance. Can't we appreciate and select foods for their other characteristics, too? For their flavor, or texture, their smoothness or crunch? The simple pleasure they give us?

What are your pet peeves? Let's put them out there and circulate them. And maybe we will raise awareness and create change.


  1. Thursday's patient would like royalties;)

  2. Cleanses and detox diets. People who say "just eat". Narrow- mindedness - such as a person who once said to me "anorexics are self absorbed narcissists". As you said, professionals who miss the mark, ask the wrong questions, are easily side tracked, and ask their patient to do something but then don't follow up with them to be sure they followed through. Maybe I will think of others!

  3. Everything about the term "clean eating" - food isn't 'dirty' unless I drop it on the floor and even then I've got the five second rule on my side!
    Also, doctors that don't take you seriously because you have a "healthy BMI", ignoring all other health and social and emotional indicators. BMI, *yawn*.
    Great post, thankyou for the idea Thursday's patient!

  4. People who give, "I love bread!" as the explanation for why they don't eat it.

    Employer wellness programs that do not take heed of the counter productive effects of dieting.

    Oprah, buying into WW.

    People who describe size 4 celebrities as "curvy." For that matter, the word, curvy.

    Public health officials conflating weight with disease.

    People who think shaming can inspire someone to lose weight.

    Thanks, I feel better now!

  5. Food shaming. "I have to go to the gym today bc I had a cookie". Oh - the one that really pisses me off - " I wish I could have just a little of your anorexia". Awesome.

  6. Wow, these are great! Thanks for contributing. Please pass this around to get others to contribute.

  7. Hi Lori, great article. Some of my pet peeves are:

    Medical professionals saying the wrong thing like my old cardiologist that told me in college that it was totally okay to restrict but just don't purge. Or the nurse that told me to "keep doing what I'm doing" when I wasn't eating at all. Or the doctor in urgent care that said "you look healthy", without running labs, checking orthostatics or an ekg and refusing to give fluids.

    Paleo drives me nuts. I believe all of the kids and adults truly believe that any grains will make you fat.

    Oprah buying into weight watchers.

    Wraps! These wraps people are doing and posting. Um, water weight? The before is all stomach relaxed and pushed out and the after is always sucked in. How people buy into these dehydrating and very temporary "fluid but not weight" loss wraps is beyond me.

    When people say "just eat". Also when people think that because you've gone into a treatment center for a short stay that you come out healthy and completely healed and fine.

    Michele Obama and her healthy movement. These kids are getting the wrong message. We ate cookies, ice cream, canned foods and drank sugary juices. It's the portion sizes these days and the lack of play. It's not what's in the vending machines and what's in the school systems being served. Parents and kids can opt to bring their own lunch, we don't need to micromanage what is served as long as there is a healthy option.

    I think that's close to it :). Thank you for writing, your thoughts are always much appreciated!

    1. I totally agree. Michelle Obama can stay out of our kids' mouths. So annoying. She even used her daughter's high BMI (whatever that means) as an example! She's lucky her daughter didn't end up with an ED from that. A lesser comment sent me reeling into a 20 year fight with food and my body.
      She originally was against junk food, but there was too much push back from lobbies. Now she's saying exercise will save your chubby kids... ugh. She's so wrong.

  8. Paleo / Low Carb / Ceoss fit extreme folks.

    After losing 60 lbs on a very strict regime of XFIT and low carb, I injured myself and my trainer refused to modify my work-outs. I then ended up eating and bingeing my way into a gain of 90 lbs and type 2 diabetes.

    I found an excellent certified diabetes instructor and my DR. is very supportive.

    My registered dietician told me eat any carb I want - but you just have to balance it to maintain / control your blood sugar. In fact she told me to start eating more carb's ( I'd restrict than binge).

    She also told me to expect a bit of weight gain but to shrug it off until I feel settled.

    I've started losing ( I am 90 lbs overweight ) pretty much eat what I want, just in smaller quantities and in balance.

    I have so much more energy, feel much better. I'm actually doing exercise I enjoy.

    Carbs are just fine.

  9. I think anyone on a diet who talks about it is sort of annoying. There's usually this holier than thou element to those conversations. I think it is in France that they say that if you are going to diet, do it on your own time. It's rude to diet in company. I tend to agree! Please don' t come to my dinner party and make a big deal out of what you will not eat. Eat it and diet when your alone if you must. (allergies excluded, of course. I don't want to spend the dinner party driving anyone to the ER!)

  10. People who assume that when I say I need to eat gluten-free that I'm following the current fad of gluten=fat. No, it's because I have a freakin' wheat allergy now from 20 years of working as a professional baker with near daily 8+ hour exposure to raw wheat flour. Eating it causes hives, itching, mouth ulcers, and heartburn. Some of us are not actually gluten idiots.

    Fat shaming. Just because you hate fat people doesn't make you Jesus.

    The idiotic thinking that thin=healthy and fat=unhealthy.

    1. Yes, the moral higher ground that people think they are taking is absurd!

  11. Brilliant article as per usual Lori...Let's personal pet peeves?! Where do I begin?!:

    When 'well-meaning' family, friends or even ED team members (psychiatrist/therapist .etc) inform you that you are 'just fine now'...and that there is no need to 'worry' now just because the numbers have gone up (yet the mind is still in battle with the disease)...Also the idea of 'gain...but not too much'...very arbitrary, confusing and dismissing.

    Another...the loss of free will that comes with the territory (?) of recovery. Not feeling the freedom to be in the bathroom for over two minutes for fear that family will deduce that a purge is being performed...or having the right to say 'no' to second helpings or expressing fullness as an actual physical state, rather than serving as an 'excuse' to restrict.

    Feeling the need to 'explain' or justify wearing athletic shoes/attire to answer 'well-meaning' comments of the 'You're not running again' ilk.

    People saying 'I've been good today' or 'I've been bad today' ...based solely on what they have eaten. As if the act of feeding oneself is a moral issue...grrr!!

    'Nuff said for now...but I am certain there are more to be excavated!!

    1. Yes, the moral judgements of "good" and "bad" drive me crazy as well!

  12. The use of the term "processed" (and the even more evil "highly processed"). Aren't most foods we eat processed in some way? Wouldn't our diets be tasteless if there was never any "processing"
    Also "empty calories". Most anything that has calories has some value-- it gives you energy. Fats, carbs are nutrients too-- micronutrients aren't the only nutrients.