We all scream
For ice cream”
– “Ice Cream” by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert King
We have all at one time or another over-indulged, whether in a pint of our favorite ice cream or a family size bag of chips. And will again. Food may not be a substitute for love, but it is readily available.
The need for love and connection is closely related to that for sustenance. The need to reproduce is equally primal. Human beings could not have survived without these needs being met, which is why they are so deeply ingrained in our nature.
Weight, however, is tied to self-loathing in our culture. What American woman has not stood naked on the scale, waiting with bated breath for the dial to stop?
As many abuse victims know, the shame of abuse can be transferred to our weight. The ongoing battle with weight provides us a permanent opportunity to vilify ourselves. Inversely proportional to our weight, our self-esteem can, quite literally, be measured by the pound.
When the damaged self-esteem resulting from abuse and the pressure on American women to be a certain size coincide, eating disorders frequently result. Anyone acquainted with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating knows these are often hidden. The shame of these disorders coupled with the shame of abuse can be overwhelming.
There is worse. Some of us have eaten out of the garbage can. This practice is not limited to the homeless among us . There could hardly be a more apt symbol of low self-esteem. Continue reading