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Eating Disorders affect more than just your Body; Maura Kelly

by Deborah Cruz

Maura Kelly, sex and relationship blogger for Marie Claire, wrote a post yesterday titled, Should “Fatties” Get a Room? (Even on TV?).The post was about the sitcom Mike & Molly, “the show centers around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group  has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren’t comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors.” In her post, she expressed her disdain for having to watch two “Fatties” make out, or simply walk across a room. This post garnered a lot of attention on the blogosphere and spread through twitter like a wildfire. I know, I was there..fanning the flames. I thought, what a monumental asshole this broad is behaving like. My next thought, who the hell is running that joint Marie Claire? Are there no editors? Talk about free speech!

OK, so she wrote a post about a sitcom. The problem is how she wrote it. The voice she used was very condescending and insulting. I agree with her that I don’t like to watch two people make out either but it has nothing to do with size, shape, color; I simply do not want to feel like I am watching porn. If that is what I wanted, well, I’d let the Big Guy choose something. But Ms. Kelly just kept repeatedly stepping in the proverbial dog shit. It was as if she backed up and stepped in it all over again, just to make sure she got it on her shoe. As evidenced by this quote

So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

As if that were not enough, she continued on

But … I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.
(I’m happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them — but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it’s cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you’re getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there’s plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you’ll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can’t afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)

This part is simply insulting to injury because you see Ms. Kelly has had self-admitted issues with eating disorders, anorexia in particular, herself. So, really she shouldn’t be giving diet and nutritional advice to anyone. ANYONE! She claims to be recovered. Of course, having had my own experience with eating disorders, I know that being a recovered Anorexic is about the same as being a “recovered” alcoholic. You may have stopped the behavior but you have to take it one day at a time because you can’t unlearn what you’ve already become privy to. You may decide that it’s not the way for you and stop the behavior but your mind still knows the path.

I’m no shrink but I’d say, from my own past experience, I had NO tolerance for overweight people because I was insane with an obsession with my own weight. I felt like if I could control myself from eating, what I ate, how much I ate, when I ate, if I ate; then why couldn’t others show the same self-control? You develop a disgust because partly they don’t have your self-control, but with that, they also do not have your misery. The misery that wanting brings and this causes some jealousy and resentment. I’m not saying she still has eating issues but I think maybe she still needs to work through to her own resolution. This is not an excuse and probably not understandable to anyone who has not experienced these issues.

I’ve been “recovering” from these issues for 13 years and I still battle with acceptance of my own body. I have chosen to do it the right way, the slow..healthy, working out, eating the right way. With the time it takes the body to heal it also gives the mind and spirit time to heal, appropriately. I do not cringe at heavy set people anymore. That was my own self-loathing being externalized. I say to each his own. There is a terrible obesity epidemic in the United States and, for health’s sake, I hope people can come around to healthier lifestyles.

There is nothing wrong with the show Mike and Molly, it is representative of a large part of our population. What’s wrong with having a show that lets us see these two people falling in love? Don’t they deserve the same happiness that anyone else deserves? Shame on you Maura Kelly for projecting your own issues onto the overweight people of the world. Does it make you feel better to make them feel worse? Just remember how miserable you felt when you were obsessing over your weight, and now realize that your piece may have done that for some poor overweight woman or girl! If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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parenting ad absurdum 2010/10/27 - 12:35 am

Great post, Debi. I find her words incredibly offensive and cruel, and really, even though it's about both Mike and Molly, symptomatic of the huge problem of women hating on other women. It's sad, it's mean, it's destructive, and it's a horrible example to set for young girls and boys.

Mari 2010/10/27 - 12:38 am

Very thoughtful. Thanks for posting about this.

Big Fat Gini 2010/10/27 - 12:45 am

Am I allowed to say A-fucking-men?

What a great role model she is for young girls. I hope she doesn't spend a great deal of time wondering why women spend so much time trying to achieve perfection, sometimes to their own detriment. And I certainly hope she doesn't spend time wondering why men treat women the way they do or have an unrealistic view of how they should look. Because, if she does, she only needs to look at her own words.

Jennifer Juniper 2010/10/27 - 8:43 am

Great post. I was very offended by her tirade. Some of us are predisposed to obesity and have to fight tooth and nail just to keep the scale under 200 – its very easy to see why someone with those problems give up and just let nature work.

BuenoBaby 2010/10/27 - 9:29 am

Awesome post. [Yours, not hers.] Speaking of hers, I love how she gets all supportive at one point, "YOU CAN DO IT."

I've stopped buying magazines altogether, because of the visual punches [I'm mostly talking about the altered photos]. I think Marie Claire's post sheds light on the messages which are promoted from within their publications and then dumped into our psyches.

MWD 2010/10/27 - 9:58 am

OMG, that is f-ing ridiculous. I really don't have anything more to say. She should have been your throat punch this week because there are really no words to adequately describe her stupidity. You go on with your bad self!:)

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 8:39 am

I agree, the stance she took and the condescending way she wrote about it, especially being that she has had her own issues is really insulting.It's like telling poor people how easy it is to be rich and successful,when the way you got your money is by whoring or selling crack.It's cheating and its pretending its easy when in fact its near impossible.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 8:41 am

@ Mari,
Thanks. I know there are 2 sides to all stories.I do understand her mentality behind her words but it was a cruel and derogatory piece.She was very callous, even her apology was unapologetic.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 8:45 am

@ Gini,
I think she understands it all too well. There is self loathing in her words.But those of us who don't stand up against this sort of mindset and keep trying to fit into the impossible mold and standard set by society, will always fall short because the standard is unrealistic. WE can't walk around real life in airbrush or being photo shopped.Women are hard enough on ourselves,we don't need a reminder from her that we're not perfect!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 8:47 am

@ Jennifer,
The piece was not written by a person who was functioning at full capacity. She let her own issues cloud her judgments which may be fine in her personal time but not when she is writing for a national mag. I don't understand how editing didn't catch this "tirade".

The Empress 2010/10/27 - 12:54 pm

I think she did it to get noticed and bring traffic.

Why do I say this?

Because no one can be this stupid. NO one.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 9:08 am

I do understand what she is saying because when you have eating disorders yourself it makes you less tolerant of people who you feel are "not trying hard enough", in an anorexics crazy mind. I remember those days. I remember a boyfriend telling me that I was getting too skinny. In my mind there was no such thing so my response, "It's not my fault you are used to dating FAT girls".I was 23 and in full on eating disorder mode. Since then, I have switched my way of thinking and been in recovery for 13 years. I do think it takes a Lot of self control coupled with a shit load of crazy to become so obsessed with restricting yourself and have an eating disorder but I also know how frigging hard it is to lose weight the right way. It is a monumental task! I've been recovering for a long time and I have been up in my weight and down in my weight.I've learned that quick fixes don't work, the only thing that works is eating the right foods, the right portions and exercising and its HARD and it takes a LONG time.Currently, I am in a heavy stage and it is frustrating so , for me, that means that I have to start doing something productive about it. SO, I am embarking on a new journey..zumba and Nutrisystem. It's a far better alternative to what I did in my younger days..for my mind and my body.It's hard to find time and energy to workout and watch what I eat with 2 little girls and a hectic schedule..damn near impossible, that's why I want to try the Nutrisysytem. It will eliminate the guess work of what to cook and calories and portion size, leaving me to fit in the Zumba.

I myself am not predisposed to being obese, I take full responsibility for doing this to myself no genetics required, but I have a friend who was predisposed to obesity.She has been overweight since we were small children.She has hated it.In our 20's she turned to eating disorders…of the diuretics and ephedrine pills variety. She did become thin. Sickly thin. Then as soon as she began to eat normally again, she packed it all back on plus some.Now, in our 30's , she needs a pacemaker from the damage she has done to her heart. NOW, she is doing it the right way. NOw she is losing steadily but it is taking a long time and a lot of hard work. Don't give up just don't make it a race. I've had to change my way of thinking to..any pound down is better than any pound up!Stay positive. Don't listen to this woman and her tirade. AS hard as it may be, feel sorry for her. She is in misery with herself. However, I am still wondering..who the hell is running Marie Claire that let this post go through?

Chin up, love!

Justine 2010/10/27 - 1:32 pm

I agree with The Empress. It's part publicity stunt, part wearing an "I'm so honest you'll love me" persona and ALL incredibly insensitive.

It's a shame that someone like her gets to be published. Good for you for making your voice known against this atrocity.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 9:39 am

@ BUeno Baby,
Thanks!It bothers me because I have 2 little girls and I know the damaging effects that eating disorders have on women, first hand. I try my damnest to make my girls feel comfortable in their own skin.I don't ever want them to have to worry and obsess over there weight.It's very hard in a world chocked full of airbrushed, rail thin women to tell your little girls that its OK to be who they are.To be the best them they can be, measured to no other person.Of course we want our children to be healthy, but that is our responsibility to teach them about making healthy lifestyle and eating choices.Get them involved in activities that foster physical play. I don't want my girls to think their worth is tied up solely in the size of their body.Ms.Kelly's piece was filled with such disdain that she made it seem as if she were offended to even have to share the world with such disgusting creatures. She must have no children, if she did, she would know that everyone is somebody's child and has worth in this world. I feel sorry for her and her warped view of the world.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip 2010/10/27 - 1:57 pm

Fantastic post, Debi!!! And I completely agree with you. I also suff a past of eating disorders and I agree that when you have your mind all obsessed over control and food that you can be extremely judgemental about how other people look. I am heavier now than I have ever been in my life. I'd like to lose some weight and tone up, but I am also nervous to get trapped into feeling obsessed about my body again. Although I'd like to be thinnner, I hate the obsession that comes hand in hand with it (for me). But this IN NO WAY excuses what she wrote. I think judging people based on any physical characteristic is mean-sprited and wrong. No one is perfect. And some of us hide our imperfections better than others. Why should we judge one another? Women need to support one another and lift each other up. Which is why I come here to read your blog. Aside from the fact that you are an awesome friend and a wonderful person, you are a great writer. And you always care enough to bring up the important issues that need to be discussed. Great job, Debi!! You are awesome.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 10:38 am

Thanks! I was actually thinking the very same thing! I'm pretty sure that she may still make an appearance. Her unapologetic apology was the kicker!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 2:04 pm

@ The Empress,
I hope that you are right and she is just a traffic whore and not a callous, unfeeling asshole.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 2:06 pm

@ Justine,
Again, if its for traffic sake this is so wrong that she would exploit such a delicate subject for numbers.
On another note, it is a shame that someone with this voice is published on such a wide venue yet someone like me is not.So, though my voice may be heard and counted by my awesome readers, hers is being shoved down the throats of the general public!

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 2:14 pm

@ Naomi,
Just one more thing we have in common.Are you sure you are not my long lost sister?I know that when you have a past with eating disorders, its a damn slippery slope to try and lose weight.The only way people like you and I can lose weight now is the right way…the long way..the hard way. BUt being that we come from the same place she has, we know that this behavior and post is intolerable.Just one more example of why I am all about honesty and fostering sisterhood not competition.AS if all the airbrushing and photo shopping is not enough, we certainly don't need the added pressure from one another.
Thanks for reading me. You know I feel the exact same way about you, my friend!

Day 2 Day Living 2010/10/27 - 10:02 pm

I don't like this show, but I don't like it because it's about their weight. I wish people would get off weight issues. As if this world and kids don't already have enough to force them into thinking they have to be one thing or another we keep adding to it.
I struggled for years with a eating disorder and still struggle every single day to accept my body.

C 2010/10/27 - 8:38 pm

That woman's whole post sounds incredibly, incredibly self-centered. First we've got judging others, then telling them how to fix themselves, then wrapping it up with a "I'm honest and I'll tell you straight" bullshit coupled with condescendingly giving fake encouragement. Ick.

It sounds to me like this woman has nothing else going on to be so paranoid and inward-looking. Do parents really struggling to take care of their families worry about this? No. Do people taking adventurous risks and enjoying life worry about this? No. Do people who have much more important things to think about have these major concerns that they need to project onto everyone else.

Nope. Too fucking busy being happy.

Truthful Mommy 2010/10/27 - 10:14 pm

I think it would be easier to get off weight issues if we didn't have such a weight centered world. I also hate that its OK to be disgusted by people being overweight but in this country you can't buy anything from a restaurant that doesn't come in a portion size that could feed a small village.Yet, we photo shop and airbrush everything.Real life is not airbrushed. We all need to do our part, stop making the portions so large, stop making it so greasy. eat more healthy, take away the tvs and video games and computers and get people up and moving,interacting. Then maybe people can recognize other humans and get to know them and care about real people and not just what a magazine,billboard, tv, or movie says is real.Its all smoke and mirrors and when it comes down to it, people are left with shitty options and a status quo of laziness. My kid only gets recess once a week. WTF?We want our kids to be fit but then they take away recess and make kids meals that have ridiculous amounts of calories and preservatives. Damn, you can't win for losing. Things need to change. People need to change their way of thinking, eating, living!

Reckless Sarcasm 2010/10/28 - 8:16 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
That was a great post. I was so offended by that post. Not that I don't know that people feel that way, but the fact that Marie Claire would publish it. There are so many girls out there that read that publication who may not even have a weight problem, but may think they do. That just reinforces all the negative thoughts in their head.
Who knows, that could be the catalyst to a lifetime of misery. Yeah, maybe they would have something else happen that would produce the same result, but they don't need any help.
It was poor judgment.
I'm all for freedom of speech, but be ready for the backlash for speaking your mind.

ugh…. still upset.

~*Jess*~ 2010/10/29 - 2:26 pm

Incredibly awesome response. One of the best I've seen.

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