Posts Tagged ‘eating issues’

The Undersea World of Jed Clamp-it

June 7, 2010

In the old days nursery rhymes like “Ring around the Rosie” were actually about bleak things like the plague.  In the spirit of getting medieval on the primeval black death tragically washing up on certain beaches, I found myself humming the theme to “Beverly Hillbillies,” but with some different lyrics spilling out.  Sing it with me—in honor of all our collective children.

Come and listen to a story ‘bout a Pig named Big

A company so rich it went dig, dig, dig.

From the bottom of the sea it was pumping up the crude

Until a pipe went bust and Big Pig’s being sued.

By everyone… Shrimpers.  Governments.

Well the next thing you know Big Pig is in the shit;

Execs and lawyers whisper, “we gotta get away with it.”

Said “Pretending that we care is probably the key,”

So they piled in the jet and they flew to “I can’t see.”

Facts that is:  dead birds.  Tar balls.


Well now it’s time to say good bye to Big Pig and all his bitches.

And he’d like to thank you folks fer kindly givin’ him the riches.

Yer all invited back again to this travesty.

To have a heapin’ helping of bitter irony.

Con artist that is.  Purveyor of fine sea food.

Throw another shrimp on the engine.

Y’all don’t get sick now, y’hear?


Eating Issues: Breakfast at Tiffany’s… dinner at home

February 4, 2010

At some point I went from seeing Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as an idealized anima to realizing that she (or at least her character) was an anorexic woman in a hat with a lot of issues (after all, Holly Golightly is essentially a self-involved prostitute who is ashamed of her uneducated hillbilly roots—a lost kitty in a rainstorm and someone who needs treatment more than a lover).

Given that body image, weight-loss obsession and eating issues are legion in our culture, I thought Privilege of Parenting would take a plate and get in line at the buffet.  My focus is on the parenting aspects of eating disorders (an excellent place to read and learn more about anorexia in a New York Times Health Guide on the subject which also has links to Bulimia, and other eating disorder sites).

I think that most of us get the general gist that anorexia is about dangerous levels of weight loss while bulimia is about eating and purging via vomiting, over-exercising or laxatives/diuretics.  A less well known, but more frequently diagnosed acronym is EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified); in this case some people, when given this less severe diagnosis, will actually go further in their extreme non-eating to, for example, stop getting their period and thus qualify for the full diagnosis of anorexia.  For more on this see a recent New York Times story on EDNOS, “Narrowing an Eating Disorder.”

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Sleeping Beauty and Precocious Barbie, bff?

October 17, 2009

quilt girlA cigar may sometimes be just a cigar, but when it comes to fairytales there’s almost always interesting subtext to be found.  Take Sleeping Beauty for example:  a princess has been cursed at birth to die when she comes of age by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel.  Spinning wheels are banned from the kingdom, but an old woman in a tower has one nonetheless and the princess, just coming of age, tries it, pricks her finger and falls fast asleep but doesn’t die (due to the effects of a good fairy’s counterspell).  A hundred years pass before a prince hears of the enchantment, braves the wood of thorns protecting the castle, and plants true love’s kiss on sleeping beauty, awakening her (and everyone else in the castle) to live happily ever after.

This story is really about sex and waiting.  The wicked fairy represents jealousy (and could be read as a projection of the queen’s Shadow side, unconsciously jealous of a potential rival for being fairest in the land).  Spinning connects to storytelling, and transformation (i.e. straw into gold in Rumplestiltskin), in this case the transformation of the girl into a woman.  The pricking of the finger and the blood is a symbol of the onset of her period and of sexual maturity.  Just as desire comes potentially into consciousness, the princess falls asleep—thus dodging the whole sex issue.  A hundred years is just about how long it would feel for a girl to wait from fifteen to sixteen or seventeen to begin dating.  The thorns that grow around the castle are an apt symbol of the rose as the symbol of love (in this case the princess is the flower, her maidenhood protected by sleep of her self and all potential suitors in the castle) and the thorns, which tell us that love always includes some suffering.

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Picky Eaters and Power Struggles

June 13, 2009

kids cookA reader asks for help on “power struggles about food choices (I only like restaurant pizza; I want candy, etc.).”

When I was a group home therapist we would cook and eat with the kids, and it was one of the most important bonding rituals that we had.  One day we were planning to make burgers and my lead staff, Chandler, suggested that we make “ghetto burgers.”  I was game and asked him how a “ghetto burger” was different from a regular burger.  He looked at me and leaned in closer, a bit conspiratorial, “I’m going to tell you what my mamma taught me… you have to put love in the meat.”

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