“Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.” – Obi Wan Kenobi

The New York Times blogger, Tara Parker-Pope, blogged on Monday about “When Fatty Feasts Are Driven by Automatic Pilot.” She writes of a study that suggests new opportunities to control obesity with drugs that target the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The last line of Tara’s blog post reads, “but just because your brain is being hijacked, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to protect yourself,” seems, at least to me, to suggest that part of being responsible is existing in an atmosphere of body hatred and engaging in unhealthy behaviors, in this case, taking diet pills. And while not everyone develops eating disorders, this value system plays a critical hand in pushing the envelope for those who are vulnerable.

As time and science advance, we continue to learn more, define more and ultimately in some ways manipulate more, particularly in the vein of food, weight and shape. Societally we are drawn to the next quick fix. But what about the underlying motivations for our behaviors?  When do we take the time to understand why we are doing the things we are doing and the emotional undercurrents that lie beneath? When will we begin to use valuable information about how our body runs well, optimally and healthily to honor it rather than use it to manipulate and strangulate our bodies and our selves? Perhaps at this juncture in time, this is more of a personal question within a culture of thinness.

I am not in any way suggesting that science halt any and all research related to body weight, shape and size. My point here is not to support or deny that, perhaps, in some cases the use of medication may be an important facet within a multi-faceted approach to dealing with obesity. My intention is to highlight how we, societally and privately, use this information. While we continue to push for society to strive towards health rather than thinness at any cost, you, we, all of us, have the opportunity to make empowered choices that match our own internal value system, which hopefully includes living a well-balanced life without excess or restriction.

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About Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW, CEDS

Jodi graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY at New Paltz and earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University. In addition to over a decade of work as an LCSW and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with individuals, families and groups in her private practice, Jodi is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and created Destructively Fit®, a training that addresses eating disorders within the fitness industry. She is a former director of Day Treatment at The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders and a founding member of Metropolitan Psychotherapy and Family Counseling Practice. Jodi also specializes in infertility and has served on the Clinical Advisory Board of Seleni Institute since its inception. Jodi is the creator of a curriculum on eating disorders for the Graduate School of Social Work at New York University and has been teaching this course, as well as guest lecturing in the NYU Post-Master’s Program, since 2007. Jodi actively lectures and teaches students, families and professionals throughout the metropolitan area about the etiology, prevention, treatment, assessment and work with eating disorders. Through psychotherapy and supportive work with adolescents, adults and families, Jodi works to create a secure sense of self, increased self-esteem and a healthy relationship with self and others. She works with an eclectic person-centered approach and tailors her practice techniques to the unique needs of each individual. Please feel free to contact Jodi directly in her Greenwich Village office, 212.529.5811. View all posts by Jodi Rubin, ACSW, LCSW, CEDS

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