Normally, I am not a fan of the show Morning Joe. I think he’s kind of a jerk and I’m not a fan. I do watch it some mornings as I get ready for work because there is rarely anything else on that is any good. I like some of the people he has on his show and I am starting to really like Mika Brzezinski.
This week, however, I am totally glued to MJ as Mika has just come out with a new book: Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction – And My Own.
Mika co-wrote this book with a friend of hers. I have not read the book yet, but I am putting it on my wish-list! She and her friend have been discussing very honestly about their different addictions with food and the effect body image, food addiction, and eating disorders have had on their lives. Mika has talked about her bulimia and her friend was obese. Her friend has lost 75 pounds and Mika has gained about 14.
For the record, they are both beautiful women who need to change nothing.
Part of what motiviated yesterdays post about my own food addiction, apart from my mini meltdown on Sunday, was listening to Mika talk about her own addiction. She tells, and retells a story about how one night, she woke up and began eating an entire jar of Nutella. Her husband found her in the kitchen when he woke up with an empty jar and her hands covered in Nutella. Although I’ve never eaten and entire jar of the stuff myself, I completely understand and can identify with the feelings that compelled her to do this. I have certainly found myself in the kitchen gorging myself on whatever it whatever it took for me to satisfy that urge. Watching her on TV was like looking in a mirror, but a mirror where I am 5’10”, blonde, and totally hot.
I love the conversation she’s had about the shame of having an eating disorder. I can totally relate. And she talked about how she felt as if she had no right to come out about her own eating problems and her opinions about food and weight because she is thin and not fat. Which, I can kind of understand what she means. I have often listened to skinny girls who complained about their weight and thought, “yeah right, what do you know about being fat.” But what I have come to realize is that it’s not the fat that’s the problem. Whether one is fat or thin is immaterial, it is our own self-image that is messed up…that’s the real issue.
She has also talked a lot about how foods are designed to be addictive. She had the author of another book that I am adding to my wish-list, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.
Michael Moss specifically talks about how the food companies spend a ton of money to make sure that we crave their foods. It is easy to see how we have a huge obesity problem here in the US if the food we eat is made to be addictive.
It’s this combination of a destructive obsession with body image, fat, and self loathing and addictive foods that really seems to be at the heart of the problem. When 2 out of three Americans are obese or have some kind of eating disorder, we have a problem. People like Mika and her friend talking about their issues, is how we start to address it.
I cannot wait to read these books and I’m really looking forward to see what Mika has in store for tomorrow’s show!