If I am angry for a legitimate reason, I am usually good at expressing myself in the moment or after I've had time to let emotions settle and collect my thoughts. But sometimes I'm just angry and the reason is, in my opinion, kind of a waste of time. The thought occurred to me that maybe I could focus that anger toward something that benefits me in the long run.
Right off the bat I can confirm that this works because that's exactly what seeing "Fed Up" did to me. Hell, even the title suggests that I should be pissed off. Why yes, I AM fed up, thanks for asking. After watching that documentary like 10 times it was pretty clear to me where I should funnel my anger.
I'm fed up, pissed off, disgusted and repulsed by the food industry.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't personally believe that people intentionally set out to hurt each other. I think we're greedy little bastards and we've done everything we can to make money and the result is making everyone sick and miserable.
I know this because since my last blog post, I got re-addicted to sugar.
So many people I talk to about my journey say that they are envious of my willpower. I don't think that's how it works because life happens. Things come up and make everything more difficult than usual and it's SO HARD to not take the path of least resistance. I'll tell you something, friends, I don't have more willpower than you do. But my anger for the food industry is incredibly real and I think that's what saves me in moments of crisis. Despite my increase in sugar, I never went back to processed, pre-packaged junk foods. Everything I ate that was "stupid" by my definition was still mainly homemade. Cookies, in particular. Lots and lots of homemade cookies. So many that there has been a bag of them on the counter for a week and I have had no inclination to eat one. I think it's because I hit my own rock bottom again, not because of any willpower. I don't want it because of how incredibly shitty I've felt since eating more sugar. Crabby, headaches, tired. The same crap I went through the first time I gave it up. The crazy thing is that giving it up this time still felt really hard to do, even though my sugar consumption was WAAAAY higher back in 2015. The moral I'm deriving from all of this is that sugar is a drug and it's always going to be hard to stop once I start. So... maybe I can stop "starting".
The anger I feel toward the industry needs to be funneled once again to sugar, specifically. After all, most packaged foods have sugar added to them, which is why they're so addictive. We're smart enough as human beings to figure out that by nature we crave salt, fat and sweets. The fact that we are allowed to confuse the issue in order to sell products is rage-inducing for me. For example, Coca-Cola markets that "all calories count", implying that it's merely a matter of balancing how many calories you take in, regardless of where those calories come from ("so why not drink a refreshing Coke?"). I wonder how they used to market the product when the recipe still had Cocaine in it? The point I'm getting at is that it's WAY more complicated than just tracking calories. If calories were the ONLY thing that mattered, then why bother listing any other information on a nutrition label? In fact, I will remind you all that I went from obese to normal weight WITHOUT COUNTING CALORIES. I still don't count and yet I'm still resting in the normal BMI range, so interpret that however you want. Personally, I see that as a pretty clear message that counting calories isn't important in my journey. Cutting out soda and processed foods has been the only way I've been able to keep the weight off and improve my mental clarity. (Side bar, back when I cut out soda I lost 10lbs from that alone... just saying).
Look, I used to be ADDICTED to Diet Coke. Drank at least a bottle a day. My anger toward Coca-Cola started when I realized what it really is. A bunch of marketing bullshit in order to sell diabetes in a can. I don't care if artificial sweeteners are "better for you". I refuse to believe it based on my own evidence. I used myself as the lab rat and conducted my own experiments. Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame - and it's supposed to be better for us than sugar. Then why the hell did I lose 10lbs when I stopped drinking it? It has 0 calories... Hm.
Advertising is nothing more than some other people, human creatures like you and me, trying to make money. Some jerks get together and find ways to sell people a false hope, and we willingly let them do it by buying whatever it is they're selling. The hit all of our sensitive spots - family/relationships, hobbies and activities we tend to enjoy, sometimes it's just people's faces that trigger an emotional response. Now, we're not necessarily immediately thinking "Gee whiz, I sure could go for a soda pop about now!". it's more like, we associate good feelings from the images or story they show and make sure that their logo is visible throughout. It's a way to make you associate happiness with their product. That way, the next time you're feeling even a little bit down and spot that product (how many times a day do you see Coca-Cola's logo? It's e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.), you'll be emotionally compelled to grab one in the subconscious hope that it'll make you feel better, just like the commercial suggested.
I thought a Diet Coke made me look cooler. I thought Milk Duds and buttery popcorn from the movie theater would help me enjoy the film more. I thought the cookies last week would bring me nostalgic feels for the holidays. None of this has turned out to be true for me. With this discovery, I've started to see advertising differently nowadays. It's all lies. I don't see aggressive marketing of broccoli, do you? That's probably because the broccoli market isn't as profitable as diabetes in a bottle. (Great, now I have Genie in a Bottle stuck in my head).
Broccoli also isn't addictive. I mean, if you were stuck on a deserted island and only had the option to eat broccoli, you'd be fine with it, but it's not many people's go-to snack of choice. Most of my life I spent only eating broccoli when it was paired with some kind of meat and slathered with sauce.
Here are some examples of marketing that stands out to me as totally full of shit. You can determine how you feel about it for yourself.
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And, of course, Oreos selling that same emotional response. My dad/daughter nostalgia is tied to sweets, too, and have no doubt this kind of ad fed into that.
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All this rage has really worked up an appetite, so I am off to devour a salad.
Hope everyone has a splendid start to 2018!