Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Anti-Diet Center


In a couple of weeks, I'll be moving my office about a block away from my current location. Not a big deal, right?

I'll be moving into a suite already occupied by a social worker and a neurologist. Perfect.

Now, here's the hitch: There are two other office suites (both in clear view) on our floor. One's a physical therapy office, the other, a nationally recognized diet center.

When I went to look at the office for the first time, I paused in front of the diet center. "What's wrong?" the social worker, who was showing me the suite, asked. "I'm just having a reaction to the diet center. I do a lot of anti-diet work." Oh, the irony, I thought.

It actually factored into my decision-making process. Should I not take the suite given its proximity to the diet center? Should I tempt my clients, whom I educate with anti-diet approaches, by offering them a chance to diet. . . on the exact same floor?

Ultimately, it wasn't enough of a detraction, and I'm scheduled soon to move. I'm also scheduled to begin an intuitive eating/body image group (essentially, an anti-diet group). I have a fantasy of erecting a sign advertising the title of this post. As clients exit the elevator, it'll say "Go left!" (toward my office), because dieting is "right," but often leads us in the wrong direction.

17 comments:

Rachel said...

I know it must be a temptation for your existing clientele, but as you noted, what a way to potentially reach other people caught up in that vicious dieting cycle. I hope you're able to negotiate a signage deal with the owners of the building so that you get more exposure than Evil Diet Company!

Alyssa said...

It may actually be helpful for your clients. It can open up a dialogue about the subtle and not-so-subtle messages we get every minute of every day about diets, our bodies, and food.

M said...

I am in recovery from an eating disorder and it absolutely drives me nuts how women at work are constantly dieting. I see them hurrying back to their desks with their little Lean Cuisine meals that cannot possibly leave them feeling satiated. And then they look at you and say, Wow, I wish I could eat that piece of cake. But it's too many "points"!
If we all just ate what we wanted when we needed it we'd all be so much happier. Instead we live in fear of deprivation- of that next diet- of that next day when we will not be allowed to eat the food we crave. What a nasty way to live life!

RAWR. said...

i've been reading this space for quite a while, and i just wanna say that you write really well, and put things into such good perspective. it makes identifying and relating easy. i always find myself nodding my head in agreement :)

kimmy.

PalmTreeChick said...

Ha, I like the sign you want to put up.

cggirl said...

Ha how interesting. I hope it works out for the best for you and your clients :)

And to m - I agree with EVERY WORD. Very well said.

Also, I just have to vent:
I was watching Dr. Phil, god knows why, I clearly have too much time on my hands these days working from home.

Anyway, it was about eating disorders. But what bugged me was a couple of things:
1. He said something like "there are many eating disorders, they run the gamut from being morbdily obese, overweight, to anorexia and bulemia."
umm... newsflash: being "obese" and "overweight" is not a disorder! i don't even agree that it's INDICATIVE of a disorder, and the assumption that it is only pushes more people into disorderes... but to define the weight itself as an eating disorder? I guess dr. phil is eating disordered too because by todays thin definitions, he's probably defined as "overweight".

2. At the end of the show he brought back a recovering anorexic who used to weigh 60-something pounds and he proudly announced she now weighs "a healthy 110 pounds".
holy crap! so much wrong with that!
a. it's SO triggering for disordered women to say that, esp since many of them may be aiming for 110 pounds or slightly below. any many are aiming for something different. it's not about the number its about the behavior!
b. once again we're labeling a relatively teeny weight as "healthy", implying that a low weight like that is somehow ideal, giving an excuse to the eating disorered guests and people watching at home to keep obsessing and fear that if THEY get better they might end up much heaveier than 110 and even dr phil said 110 is healthy. (not that anyone is mentioning height, or that anyone is actually taking a look at the woman's actual health... nevermind.)

there are many many more things wrong with statements like that but whatever. and u may not all agree but i just had to say something about it.

i really need to stop watching stupid tv shows and work more haha.

cggirl said...

(oh and by saying being obese and overweight is not a disorder, i must say even if u for some reason define the weight itself as a disorder, its not an EATING disorder. an eating disorder is about how you eat, think about food, etc. how can weight BE an eating disorder? that's not logical. it's like saying straight hair is an obsessive compulsive disorder.)

Alyssa said...

I'm really learning to hate Dr. Phil. I WOULD hate him, if he hadn't been on Sesame Street making fun of himself.
And what's up with this whole "Dr. Phil House?!" Why does he take 7 heinous people and give them publicity on national television?!?!?!?!

Spectra said...

Being next to a diet center might spark some conversations with your patients...you can use it as an example of what NOT to aspire to. I'm not a fan of "dieting" because it just preys on the insecurities of women in our society. My mother has spent more money on "diets" that never worked than I've probably spent on anything in my life. And of course, none of them worked because they didn't address her emotions and why she chooses to eat the way she does.

April said...

Dr. Stacey,

Did you get my last comment, or did it somehow not get through? I doubt that it would have been offensive, so I'm figuring that it got lost in the system. Just let me know, okay?

thank you!

a

Anonymous said...

Do you only include comments that support your point of view? I've read on two other blogs that comments were left about one of your recent posts and yet I cannot find them included in your comments section. Wouldn't it help to inform your own thinking and the therapy that you provide if you were to engage in discussions with opinions that challenge your own?

--Jen

drstaceyny said...

rachel--true. Ha!

alyssa--good point.

m--it IS a difficult way to live, for many.

ptc--thanks.

cggirl--thanks for filling us in on Dr. Phil. It is frustrating to hear someone refer to "overweight" as an e.d. Good analogy w/hair and OCD. Get back to work and stop reading these comments! ; )

alyssa--I haven't seen that show--I'm going from your rec that I shouldn't!

april--I didn't get the other comment. Please re-post!

jen--nope. I don't approve or read the comments before they're posted. In 1.5 yrs of writing this blog, I've only deleted one comment, b/c it was verbally abusive toward another reader. So, if a comment doesn't show up, it means I never saw it. I actually enjoy those comments that differ from my point of view 1) b/c they make me think and 2) b/c they help me write a better, more informed book.

spectra--you're right.

Kiki said...

I'm struggling with emotional eating and fasting. I'm starting to gain control, but I relapse so much at night when I should be sleeping. I'm so angry at myself, so much of the time. I don't know why, I'm a healthy weight and have many people who love me and care for me. *sigh* It's nice to know there are doctors like you out here on the 'net. Diets are infuriatingly inane and hurtful to ourselves and our society. So much emphasis placed on perfection and body image. The twisted thing is, I'm in culinary school and I have an eating disorder! How ironic....

I am very much interested in the intuitive eating concept. We are taught nowadays to ignore our bodies and respond to impulse, buy buy buy consume consume consume. I love food (hence why I'm training to be a cook) but I need to relax and realise that it isn't going anywhere, I have the rest of my life to try everything. It's all about being comfortable, eh?

April said...

Hey Dr. Stacey,

I posted my response on my own blog, so check it out there if it be thy will to do so:

http://www.mprize.org/blogs/archives/2007/11/all_the_right_r.html

a

Emily Jolie said...

Dr. Stace, the sign idea is absolutely brilliant! I love it!!

CEDhelp said...

Best of luck at the new location- I really hope you can reach some of the people going to the diet center. I also love the sign idea, its so true! Here are some thoughts (from the The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt blog)on how diets can lead us down a dangerous path.

tany583 said...

I am a 26 year old, 5;5", 112.6 lbs. female who suffered from depression and anxiety about 2 years ago due to a very bad, abusive relationship. This in turn caused me a major amount of weight loss. I have just recently started putting on weight but am looking for ways to add on about 10 more pounds. I have no seen any sites online that relate to anything your site does. Do you have any suggestions?