Super-Sizing America

Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD

For some of us, food is warmth and love. We associate it with home and childhood: tempting smells that greeted us after school on a cold December afternoon. The kitchen served asrepparttar center ofrepparttar 131172 house underrepparttar 131173 kindly direction ofrepparttar 131174 Captain inrepparttar 131175 apron. If we were good, we might be allowed to stirrepparttar 131176 pot. If we were very good, we got to clean outrepparttar 131177 mixing bowl.

As we grew up, we found wonders elsewhere:repparttar 131178 coffee shops and diners where adolescents gathered and food was only a platform forrepparttar 131179 real business of talking, bonding, and flirting. We drank cola and root beer and discovered sundaes, pizza and french fries. But real food was what we ate at home.

Later, we moved on torepparttar 131180 pale imitation of food represented by college cafeterias and underground cafes that were heavy on music and political rebellion and light onrepparttar 131181 menu. We returned home forrepparttar 131182 holidays and again ate real food, as good as we remembered. Some of us moved on torepparttar 131183 non-food of C rations and swore we'd never enjoy eating again.

We moved intorepparttar 131184 world of work: automats and deli lunches or expense-account steak and martinis where evenrepparttar 131185 most exquisite fare took a back seat to table discussions. We married, moved into new homes, rediscoveredrepparttar 131186 warmth and intimacy of a family kitchen and embracedrepparttar 131187 delights of gourmet cooking, homemade bread, and nouvelle cuisine.

Atrepparttar 131188 same time, just below our level of awareness,repparttar 131189 fast food industry started to blossom intorepparttar 131190 billion dollar gorilla it is today.

At first, it was small hamburgers and hot dogs with french fries and a drink. At first, it was an occasional visit to "get mom out ofrepparttar 131191 kitchen." At first, it was just something fast that avoided interruptions in our race torepparttar 131192 top.

The menus expanded to encourage more frequent visits. Drive-Thrus that sat closed and empty until noon suddenly discovered how to make breakfast items that could be eaten atrepparttar 131193 wheel. Chicken, fish, and ribs were added, soon followed by Mexican specialties, baked potatoes, fried vegetables, and sandwiches. The burgers got bigger and so did we.

Somewhere, a brilliant light bulb exploded in an ad man's brain and "Super-Size" was born. If a burger was good, why not make it bigger for just a little more money? If fries arerepparttar 131194 staff of life for American teenagers, why not makerepparttar 131195 portions bigger? Why not makerepparttar 131196 best purchase value a whole meal, combining everythingrepparttar 131197 customer wants (and maybe something they don't)? Why not Super-Sizerepparttar 131198 whole meal and really make money?

Rather than an occasional change-of-pace,repparttar 131199 Drive-Thru gradually assumed a predominant place in our diets. Astute marketers targeted their sales pitches torepparttar 131200 most responsive and easily manipulated niche ofrepparttar 131201 population: children. Tired, time-strapped parents yielded to tearful pleas to visit Ronald or Jack. And our children grew fat.

Teenagers, with their deep-seated psychological preference to live in their cars existed on a diet made up, almost exclusively, of fast food, turning up their noses atrepparttar 131202 thought of a home-cooked meal. Active and full of energy, they ignoredrepparttar 131203 almost imperceptible puffiness that their intake triggered.

What was there to worry about? The Drive-Thrus were a gift from heaven: tasty food, fast access, car-proof containers, cheap satiation.

Then we woke up. We looked at a world where evenrepparttar 131204 average individual was clearly overweight and more than a third of us were obese, even our children. In a culture obsessed withrepparttar 131205 appearance of being thin, we were become permanently, indisputably, fat.

The few earlier voices of criticism increased to a low roar. The tasty creations of yesterday becamerepparttar 131206 now-maligned culprits of our condition. To keeprepparttar 131207 money-machine viable,repparttar 131208 fast food moguls adapted torepparttar 131209 cries for change:repparttar 131210 oil used for frying was trumpeted as unsaturated, salads appeared on menus, substitute sides for french fries became available, and "Super-Size it?" was no longerrepparttar 131211 order taker's standard refrain.

I'm Not Fat, I'm Fluffy

Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD

I'm Not Fat - I'm Fluffy!

A distorted body image is one ofrepparttar symptoms that define anorexia and related eating disorders. Patients may be painfully thin but still see themselves as fat while they continue to cut calories, over-exercise, purge, or use enemas in an effort to lose more and more weight.

Those of us who enjoy normal weight often also suffer from a warped view of our physical selves. Likerepparttar 131170 old carnival house of mirrors, we fail to seerepparttar 131171 true reflection of our bodies because of an inner eye that focuses onrepparttar 131172 elements we hate: sagging arms, nobby knees, saddlebag thighs, a roll of belly fat. That personal distaste for certain body parts is what drives slender, attractive, healthy individuals, despiterepparttar 131173 adverse reactions of family and friends who see no need for change, into cosmetic surgery.

Those of us who are overweight also display selective vision. We tend to avoid full-length mirrors, preferring to focus on just our upper body and face. When we do catch a full glimpse, we suck in our stomachs and look at ourselves sideways, trying to convince ourselves that we don't look as overweight asrepparttar 131174 scales so nastily suggest. We believe that our clothes shrank inrepparttar 131175 wash or thatrepparttar 131176 size tags are in error. In our mind's eye we see ourselves as we yearn to be and linger long onrepparttar 131177 fantasy of how great we will look when we can get into our favorite outfit.

So no matter our weight, our body image frequently fails to reflect what is inrepparttar 131178 mirror but represents what is held in our mind's eye. The closer we can approach torepparttar 131179 differing views being compatible,repparttar 131180 more comfortable we will be in ourselves andrepparttar 131181 more valuable any changes we seek to make.

You may have gained, and lost, an appreciable amount of weight several times on your life, as many of us have. There were undoubtedly times, on your way up and downrepparttar 131182 weight ladder, when your appearance and your self-image diverged. This can be a critically dangerous time. If you are on a diet and losing, but still see yourself as fat, you become anxious: "This diet isn't working," andrepparttar 131183 chances of your just giving up become significant. If you are gaining and still see yourself as thin, you ignorerepparttar 131184 need to take immediate action until one day you can't button any of your clothes. You look atrepparttar 131185 scale in confused surprise: how did this happen without my noticing it ten or fifteen pounds ago?

To permanently control our weight requires a constant awareness of our body in all of its full reality. It doesn't matter if we want to be model-thin, enjoy a middle ground, or even have no emotional distress at remaining pleasantly plump, we need to be aware of our external presentation in order to accurately internalize all aspects of our appearance.

An accurate self-appraisal of your image-in-the-world makes so many decisions easier: should I eat dessert? Should I drive over torepparttar 131186 gym? Should I take a walk or start that new thriller I've been dying to read? Because you're aware of what needs to be done, and what is allowed, you shakerepparttar 131187 burden of guilt off your shoulders and can truly enjoyrepparttar 131188 activities you choose to pursue. Your mental and physical efforts are synchronized which avoids self-destructive vacillation -- "Should I or shouldn't I?" - andrepparttar 131189 later self-disgust when you feel you maderepparttar 131190 wrong choice.

How do we train ourselves to coordinate our self-perception with our self-presentation? It is undoubtedly a difficult task to accomplish. How many times have you been astonished to learn that others see your words and actions in a totally different light than you meant to convey? We judge others, and they judge us, by external criteria. I am only completely and intimately knowledgeable about one person inrepparttar 131191 world, me, because I am privy only torepparttar 131192 internal criteria of myself.

We are now going to try to turn ourselves inside out in order to look at ourselves with both an internal and external view.

Here are some personal characteristics and attributes. Since we are focused on weight and body image,repparttar 131193 primary listing relates to that. Since you're going to a lot of effort to get this information, and to create confusion in your respondents about what is your primary area of concern, I suggest you addrepparttar 131194 additional areas.

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