So apparently we can get fat by being nice, as well as being lazy, neurotic and completely lacking in will power. Curiosity got the better of me, and the website had some excerpts, including the How Nice Are You? quiz. For the record, I come in only slightly nice, which probably won't surprise many people.
So this wonderful psychotherapist, Karen Koenig, is going to free you from your tendencies to help other people at your own expense, and she's going to start by helping you "to view yourself honestly and accept who you are -- warts and all." Warts you may accept, fat, on the other hand, must go.
So I read on to see what the platform is. She says lots of eminently sensible stuff about gender roles squashing women into nice personas, all of which I buy. I may have a teensy problem with this though:
By reading this book, you'll learn how putting yourself last and doing what others want rather than what you want has set you up to feel cheated and drives you to overeat.See, now here was me thinking eating was what I wanted.
The next chapter looks like too much fun:
In the end though, as much as I wanted to hate every bit of it, it seems like this book is actually about having a good relationship with yourself and a good relationship with food. Both of these things are admirable aims, and mostly the stuff I'm reading in there seems pretty good - if clearly not applying to me, since I'm not actually nice.
About the biology of eating and weight
How stress makes you eat
How personality traits push you toward food and away from people
There is this:
...we still have a long way to go not to be viewed as a bitch when we're outspoken and assertive. Even in this day and age, there are men (and sadly, women as well) telling us how we should and shouldn't act, what choices are okay to make and which ones will damn our souls to hell, and trying to narrow our rightful human potential.And this:
Recognize that women have a history of subservience and are fighting an uphill battle to be not nice and accepted in today's society. Men don't have to jump through these hoops. If the deck seems stacked against you, it's because it is!
So why the fuck is she selling it by demonising fat?
It's all about fighting societal norms, while endorsing one of the most pervasive and destructive ones out there. Koenig says:
Women are expected and socialized to be agreeable, pleasant, kind, comforting, nurturing, self-sacrificing, dependent, generous, good, polite, other-oriented, helpful, well behaved, gentle, sympathetic, compassionate, gracious, and, of course, respectful....and thin.
A lovely little elixir of self-empowerment washed down with a swill of self-hatred. Thanks for that.