Maybe you’ve heard of the latest diet craze? I first heard about it on the news but now have seen countless stories on it. It’s called the K-E diet or more descriptively, the feeding tube diet. And yes. It involves an actual feeding tube.
I suppose adding my opinion to the mix won’t really matter here – it seems like people are appropriately up in arms about this diet, about the doctor who is promoting it and about the women who are on it.
Oh, and about the society we live in that might give rise to such behavior. I support any and everyone who thinks this goes way beyond drastic and thinks that it is a wildly bad idea.
As a recap, if you haven’t heard, the feeding tube diet involves an 800 calorie a day protein powder mixture that you carry in a purse over your shoulder and ingest via a feeding tube that is threaded through your nose down through esophagus and into your stomach.
Only, why is this the thing that seems unreasonable? Yes, it’s shocking, but what about everything that came before? As if injecting a known toxin into your face or sucking your own fat out of your ass surgically (only to have it re-injected into your lips) is not a shocker. As one commenter on Dave Berry’s column You May Now Remove the Bride’s Feeding Tube said, common sense is not so common.
Here’s my thing: as a mom to two young daughters, how do we stop this body issue epidemic? It’s not about the big bad media. It’s not even about the princess industrial complex and their hourglass figured, happily every after BS campaign.
It’s about being hungry. And no, not in a nutritional way. It’s about being hungry for love. Love of our inner selves just as we are.
I have a friend who recently told me that we fill ourselves when we are not fulfilled. She’s right, only I’d add that we yearn to escape so we medicate. Medicate with traditional meds but also with beer and banana nut muffins, endless tweets and sweets.
We are so connected right now we are disconnected.
Trying to piece together the perfect parts of ourselves in an identity collage, ignoring the jagged lines and glue splotches that make us real, living people incapable of being perfect. What these doctors should be doing is treating the patient – the unhappy person – not the symptom of the cellulite or jiggly tummy.
If only these women on this diet could remember this: brides are beautiful on their wedding days because they cast off embers of happiness. Their happy fires are burning too bright to contain. Grooms, too. That’s beautiful. It’s all that love floating around in the air, all that possibility. Not the body. Not the dress.
So while my daughters have a long long long long time before considering being a bride, I think my work is now. They couldn’t be happier with their little bodies, and rightly so!, and I want to help keep it that way.
I caught myself asking my husband if a dress I had made me look fat the other night. I turned around to see two little eyes looking at me with such love. For a second I imagined her asking me if she looked fat in a dress and I was appalled at the thought.
What do we – as moms, parents, sisters, brothers, dads, best friends, daughters, sons – what do we have to do to nurture ourselves to feel fulfilled enough to not fill ourselves? To then diet all that unfulfillment off?
Take a walk in nature, read the paper, do yoga, breathe. What works to get in touch with yourself? For me, it’s music. Every time I listen to music I feel fine.
So that’s my take away from this whole feeding tube diet craze. What can I, my own little self in my own little world, do to combat this craziness? Learn to accept who I am: the shape of my body and the curls of my hair, my boney feet and knobby knees.
I am who I am.
That’s what I want my daughters to be armed with as they venture out into the unbalanced world out there. That’s what I want them to remember about me. That’s what I want them to remember about themselves.
photo credit: francisco_osorio