Susie Orbach's Fat is a Feminist Issue
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What is one of Orbach's alternatives to dieting?
Although Susie Orbach's Fat is a Feminist Issue was published in 1981, it is still one of the best books that attack the issue of women's weight loss. Some of the concepts discussed in Orbach's book include:
- Unrealistic expectations regarding your life after weight loss: Many women believe that if they can only lose 10 pounds, they will get the guy, get rich, get a promotion, win the lottery (well, maybe not) etc. When life doesn't automatically become amazing after weight loss, they regain the weight.
- Compulsive Overeating: One of the questions women should ask themselves is whether or not they are really healthy when they reach for something to eat. Orbach contends that women often overeat, and thus gain weight because fat is a protective mechanism.
- The Yoyo Diet Syndrome: You've been "good" on your diet for a few weeks, so you are rewarding yourself when you go away for a weekend. However, come Monday, you know that you are going back to the "diet jail," so you eat everything in sight. Since your metabolic rate is probably lower due to food deprivation, you can end up gaining more weight than you have lost.
- Feeding the Clock instead of the Stomach: This is perhaps one of the biggest issues in regards to weight loss. Do you eat at noon, even if you are not hungry? Have you ever consumed hundreds of calories of salad in an attempt to avoid eating a cookie, only to eventually end up eating that cookie anyway? Orbach suggests that we eat only what we want, and only when we are hungry.
8/27/2007 2:34:38 PM
Alice Baland, MA, LPC, RD/LD
Susie gave an excellent talk in Dallas a couple of years ago to our eating disorders seminar. As both a psychotherapist and dietitian in Plano, and an individual on a fairly strict food allergy diet, I've found that coming from a place of abundance in my life, rather than deprivation, and all the things I can't have because they are toxic to me, works better in the present and the long term. So I surround myself with fresh fruits, non-starchy vegetables, fresh fish, quinoa, corn tortillas, and eat them when I'm hungry. Eating enough protein with meals helps. So do regular meals. This really cuts down on compulsive eating. So does eating and living mindfully, slowly, with intention. Creating balance with food, daily exercise is rewarding, and including at least 1 favorite activity a day. I definitely agree with her about realistic expectations for weight loss, and learning new live skills to cope with stress.