Archive for May, 2009


“Have you lost weight” can generally be taken one of two ways. 1) Wow…you’re looking really good! I can visibly tell that you have lost weight and I like it. Or 2) is everything ok? Are you eating properly? Are you making sure not to over-exercise or obsess over your weight?

Back in my pre-cheeseburger days, I used to love when people asked me this question. It meant that I had accomplished my goal of looking thinner. I had lost weight. I had won the battle over fatness. I was thin! But now, I know that when my friends ask me this question, they are asking out of concern. They are keeping me on my toes and making sure that I’m not reverting back to my old ways of crazy dietary restrictions and countless hours at the gym.

I’m not saying that everyone who loses a few pounds is secretly trying to starve themselves down to a size 2. Or that thinness is some kind of indication of a bad body image. In fact, from my experience, weight fluctuations are quite common. But I am saying that I think in our society, that question has become a type of compliment. To ask someone “Have you lost weight” in an optimistic tone is to congratulate them on the fact that it’s noticeable. They are meeting their goal! Keep it up!

Now what happens when people ask the opposite question: “Have you gained weight?” Well first off, most people who have any social scruples wouldn’t ask such a question; mostly because that question is considered insulting, absurd and totally out of line. Why would anybody put you through such humiliation?! I think it’s interesting that the question “Have you lost weight?” can be the ultimate compliment in our society while “Have you gained weight?” is a complete social taboo (not that that stops people from asking it).

As much as we believe here at EAC that weight is not a public issue, I do believe that there are situations where we can discuss it in private settings without offense. I mean, body image is such a huge part of our world as women, so we have to be able to talk about it with each other. For me, when my best friend asks me if I’ve lost weight, because she knows my checkered past with disordered eating, I see it as her way of showing her concern for me. She wants to make sure that I’m ok and that I have not gone down the “bad road” again.

Of course I acknowledge that this doesn’t hold true for everyone. And some people would rather their friends not ask them this question at all which I completely respect. Perhaps instead of asking each other “Have you lost weight?” we should ask each other on a frequent basis, “How is your body image?” “How are you doing with accepting yourself as you are and loving yourself?”

I think being a good cheeseburger friend means unlearning what we have always accepted as true from media and our society in general when it comes to weight and body image. Being a good cheeseburger friend means learning to stop asking the question “Have you lost weight?” as some kind of disguised compliment.

So I pose this question to you: do you have good cheeseburger friends in your life? To me, a good cheeseburger friend is one who doesn’t let me talk bad about my body. It’s someone who challenges my thoughts and helps me question what the media feeds me about my body. It’s someone I can always go grab a cheeseburger with:-)

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The other day I was on Facebook and noticed in my news feed that one of my FB friends announced their plans to diet over the next several weeks. Facebook status updates annoy me in general (if their not lame, or lacking in wit, they are usually way too long and involve way too much information), but this status update in particular really got under my skin.

First of all, I understand it’s a free country and all that, but is Facebook really the place to announce your new diet to the world? If you do choose to diet (and it’s certainly your prerogative to do so although we here at EAC don’t promote dieting), do you need to make sure that each person in your life knows about it? I suppose it’s justified by the old diet advice that goes something like “the more people know about it, the more likely you are to stick to it.”

Secondly, (and this piggybacks off of my first point), weight is not a public issue! We just can’t say that enough here at EAC. Your choice to diet or not diet, is your personal business and one in which, the hundreds of people you know on Facebook really didn’t need to know about. Contrary to popular belief, I do not see Facebook as the appropriate forum to announce personal life choices.

Lastly, I think it leads to unnecessary comparisons. It may lead one to believe, “Well if Sally is going on a diet, and she is a size 4, perhaps I, a size 8, should consider dieting too! I’m like a whale compared to her!” Now although I certainly believe that we should all be secure enough to not compare ourselves like that, realistically, we do compare ourselves like that! So why give people the opportunity to do so by plastering your diet/weight loss/gain news all over Facebook like that?

So please people, realize that Facebook is really not the place to post your personal weight loss goals online for the world to see. Weight is a private issue, and in case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook is a public forum.

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In the last post, we discussed the use of the word “whopping” in celebrity tabloid magazines as it pertains to celebrities gaining weight. After reading about Kirstie Alley’s recent weight gain, I noticed quite a few more. Do you ever pay attention to the redundant phrasing these people use? Here are a few examples:

“going from flab to fab”
“packing the pounds back ”
“drop the weight ”

Besides the endless clichés I’ve noticed in these type of articles, I think what bothers me the most about the entire Kirstie Alley weight gain saga, is the fact that she feels that she somehow “let everyone down”. Like her weight gain is somehow a justifiably public issue that should be thrown about the tabloids like she is the latest Swine Flu victim.

As many of you remember, we were quite annoyed back in January when Oprah made her big confession regarding her weight gain. Although Oprah made a big public spectacle about the changes in her body, she at least made her weight gain personal and didn’t take on some large social responsibility.

For Kirstie Alley to somehow feel that just because she was Jenny Craig’s spokeswoman for the three years, means that she should feel responsible for being some kind of large disappointment to millions of women everywhere is ludicrous. After all, weight should not be a public issue!

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Before getting into the “meat” of this post, I just wanted to apologize to all of our faithful fans for our long absence. We have both been so crazy busy but please rest assured that we still love cheeseburgers and still adhere to our cheeseburger rules!

On that note…

Have you ever noticed when reading magazine/tabloid articles about celebrity weight gain that they like to use the word “whopping?” Take this article for instance:

“In 2004, Milla Jovovich topped Forbes Magazine’s “Richest Supermodels of the World” list, but after putting on a whopping 70lbs while pregnant with her first child (she gave birth to a girl in November 2007) the stunner has had to sweat it out big-time to save her strutting career.”
What do they mean by whopping? Webster’s dictionary defines whopping as “something exceptionally or extremely large” and is often used as an intensive. So the language in articles like this one lead us to believe that Jovovich’s pregnancy weight gain was incredibly unusual and a really big deal. I’m not sure what a “normal” weight gain for pregnancy is (if there is such a thing) but after reading this article I would assume that 70lbs is simply unacceptable.

The article continues as Jovovich describes what she did to lose the weight:
“Diet and lots of exercise, I worked my big, little butt off,” Jovovich told Tarts at the recent Montblanc Signature for Good Gala at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios. “It’s been a lot of work and I’ve been working with Harley Pasternak and his 5-Factor program, they actually have diet food sent to my house. At one point I just ate oatmeal, salmon and artichokes everyday for a week. It was definitely a lot easier putting it on!”
I really can’t imagine what it would be like if I had to lose weight in order to keep my job. But I guess that’s what its like for an international supermodel (and celebrities in general). A huge part of post-partum recovery for these people is an intricate plan of how to lose the post-baby weight in as short amount of time as humanly possibly. I use the word human to refer to the title of this article “MILLA JOVOVICH BECAME A ‘CRAZY ALIEN’ TO LOSE 70LBS.” I think there is truth in this statement in that women who work to lose this much weight in a short period of time really have to alienate themselves in order to lose it. It becomes like a full-time job (and in Jovovich’s case, it really is part of her job).
When asked if she will be having any more children any time soon, Jovovich answers:
“I do want another baby but not for a little bit,” Jovovich said. “I’ve only just lost all the weight so I want to enjoy my old body for a while before I have to become a crazy alien again.”

Wow! Such a simple sentence can say so much.

I’m not saying that the pressure to get back to your pre-baby body isn’t real in our society today. I’m sure after I have a baby one day, I myself will struggle with the pull to try and manipulate my body back to it’s “normal” self. But to imply that doing so means isolating myself from people and being miserable for a period of time due to lack of food and crazy exercise, well, that just seems a bit extreme.

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