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Oprah and her Pecan Pies, Why? Why?

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default Oprah and her Pecan Pies, Why? Why?

This weekend, the NYT had an interview with Kitty Kelley, who is writing an unauthorized biography of Oprah. Now, I'm fine with Oprah. She does good, seems to be a good person, but I'm not a mega fan.

The interviewer said of all the things in the book, she was MOST scandalized by the story that Oprah once ordered two pecan pies from room service and ate them both.

The woman grew up dirt poor, had a baby at 14, took crack, was abused and made herself into one of the world's role models, but it's the PIE, the PIE, that horrifies the interviewer.

Full disclosure, I used to be a reporter in my real life, so I'm not going to blame the media. Part of me wishes I could be the kind of person whose life had not included eating two pies. OK, I never ate two pies. But I have eaten many massive meals in my life. I didn't get to 265 from eating strawberries and lettuce.

I don't know. I just think that overweight people are never going to get the support they need if our everyday lives horrify people. Like the trainer with cheesecake.

Am I overreacting? I don't know. Maybe it's just because I ate four fried chicken wings and beef and broccoli and I feel guilt.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
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I think it's because it's socially acceptable to have traumatic things happen to you and, because of that, react in certain ways (like the drug use). But, if you're fat and you've ever in your entire life eaten two whole pies in one sitting, then you're disgusting, were asking to be fat and it's acceptable to mock you for that one low point. It's seen as evidence of some character flaw that allows for you to become and stay fat.

You're not overreacting...it's messed up that the reporter would focus on that with all that's happened to Oprah.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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It is the skewed perception of "normal" that seems to set us apart from others.

I wonder if Kitty Kelly ever just really overate? That's all 2 pecan pie represents...that is Oprah's overeating, mine is sharing a family size pizza with the boyfriend, plus the bread sticks, plus a big salad and half a 6 pack of really good beer.

Normal is a setting on the washing machine...not a gauge for people. I hope someday, people will get it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:48 PM   #4
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I don't find anything more disgusting about society! That someone could try to discredit someone's amazing life because of what they ate!!!!! I mean if you are gonna judge something talk about the drugs...But no...somehow the food is worse??? I was never a food addict, but I was ALWAYS very over weight...My brother had been a drug addict for several years...and I was definitely judged more harshly by society. LEAVE OPRAH ALONE I SAY!
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:14 PM   #5
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I know those who have posted so far are not going to like what I'm going to say... And this isn't to set aside anything Oprah has done to create her own life. But, as a person who has never experienced that kind of binge eating, I do find the idea of someone ordering not one, but two pecan pies and eating them both to be disturbing. That's over 4,600 calories all at once. Now, I really do like pecan pie... but I would be so sick...

The only thing I can equate it to is addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I drank a lot more than would sound sane to a normal person. So it sounds like this way of eating isn't very different from that. I feel tremendous compassion for Oprah.

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle98272 View Post
It is the skewed perception of "normal" that seems to set us apart from others.

I wonder if Kitty Kelly ever just really overate? That's all 2 pecan pie represents...that is Oprah's overeating, mine is sharing a family size pizza with the boyfriend, plus the bread sticks, plus a big salad and half a 6 pack of really good beer.

Normal is a setting on the washing machine...not a gauge for people. I hope someday, people will get it.
This is EXACTLY my thought. Right down to the sharing an XL pizza, bread sticks and a 20 pack of beer with my husband.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
I know those who have posted so far are not going to like what I'm going to say... And this isn't to set aside anything Oprah has done to create her own life. But, as a person who has never experienced that kind of binge eating, I do find the idea of someone ordering not one, but two pecan pies and eating them both to be disturbing. That's over 4,600 calories all at once. Now, I really do like pecan pie... but I would be so sick...

The only thing I can equate it to is addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I drank a lot more than would sound sane to a normal person. So it sounds like this way of eating isn't very different from that. I feel tremendous compassion for Oprah.

Jay
It is an addiction. Unfortunately, most people do not recognize it as such.

I wouldn't say eating two pecan pies is any more disgusting than drinking an entire bottle of vodka in one night. (And I use that example because I have a very close friend who is a recovery alcoholic who used to drink a bottle of vodka every night. )
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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One of the blogs I follow has a timely post about food and addiction: http://open.salon.com/blog/justjuli/..._and_addiction

As someone who was/is an emotional eater, someone who binged and hid her food intake, etc. this post really spoke to me.

Yes, it is disturbing and disordered eating. But I don't think that justifies judgmental attitudes and the way in which people with food issues are treated by society.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
I know those who have posted so far are not going to like what I'm going to say... And this isn't to set aside anything Oprah has done to create her own life. But, as a person who has never experienced that kind of binge eating, I do find the idea of someone ordering not one, but two pecan pies and eating them both to be disturbing. That's over 4,600 calories all at once. Now, I really do like pecan pie... but I would be so sick...

The only thing I can equate it to is addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I drank a lot more than would sound sane to a normal person. So it sounds like this way of eating isn't very different from that. I feel tremendous compassion for Oprah.

Jay
I guess this is where "to each his own" comes in. I cannot imagine drinking on a regular basis, let alone to the point of addiction. Alcohol just doesn't do it for me. A glass of wine every once in a while or a margarita on a hot summer day and I'm set for months. But, I can imagine eating an entire pie in a moment of extreme desperation. Now, I'm not that fond of pecan pie and two whole pies goes far beyond what even I would put away on a binge, but I can see where it could happen.

Some people are fat because they eat the wrong things, some are fat because they indulge too often, but I really believe that many are fat because they're actually addicted to food. It's a matter of degree and poison of choice.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle98272 View Post
Normal is a setting on the washing machine...not a gauge for people.
I love that. I may have to start using it.

I can understand being able to eat 2 pies. I have never eaten 2 pies, but I can eat an entire carton (half gallon) of ice cream by myself if I am stressed or upset about something. Now I try to avoid eating when I have that I need to eat to feel better feeling, because I know I will eat massive amounts of junk.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:26 AM   #10
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I was familiar with Kitty Kelly's name, but not much more than that. So I found a picture on line, and looked her up on wikipedia. She is skinny (lol) and it seems, a professional opportunist, because she relies on sensationalism to sell her books. I guess that after Oprah's many public weight loss sagas, this was the best dirt she could come up with. It is very sad indeed.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #11
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I don't think that anyone is disputing that eating 2 pecan pies is disturbing. It is the fact that someone finds it more disturbing than poverty, drug abuse, teen motherhood, physical and sexual abuse. It reminds me of the recent articles in which Kelly Osbourne says that she was criticized more for her weight than for her drug addiction. In general, it does seem that people (or is it the media?) have less tolerance or sympathy for obesity than drug use, etc. It just does not seem right!
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #12
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Hmm, I think it's perhaps more to do with the fact that this kind of behaviour is really unexplored in society - people don't talk about it, you're not going to see it in dramas, you're not going to hear about it in magazines, etc. Extreme diets, yes, maybe pictures of celebs who got fat, but not really a discussion about food as an addiction or binge eating. It is sad that this is a big deal, because it's making out that no matter what Oprah achieves, she'll always be the woman who ate two pies in a row.

Really all you can do with something like that is own it. "Yeah, I ate two pies in a row. I like pie." Own it, but don't let it own you, I suppose. I don't know, I've never been in that situation myself, so perhaps I shouldn't even be commenting, but it just seems harmful to allow this behaviour to turn you into a victim, which is what the book could end up doing with Oprah.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:06 AM   #13
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To be honest, not only can I relate to eating 2 pies, but I also thought, I would have had a pint of vanilla ice cream with them.

But, yes, of all the hardships and horrors mentioned, it is a bit absurd that the pies are the worst to Kitty Kelly.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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LitChick,

That is a great blog post!

She captured so many of the feelings that I had during binge episodes.

I don't think I ate two pies. I have ate two large pizzas (I guess that is a pie in a sense).
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle98272
Normal is a setting on the washing machine...not a gauge for people. I hope someday, people will get it.
I think "normal" has different meanings and we're mixing them up here. If we label every deviation from the majority's average value as "abnormal," then we are doing a statistical disservice to millions of people, as well as making an error. All statistical determinations of "normal" have a range of variation. That goes for all those ideal "normal" numbers, like ideal blood pressure, ideal cholesterol and triglycerides, ideal blood glucose, and so on. Ideal weight is another of those skewed "normal" numbers.

However, in the realm of behavior, the word "normal" is used far more loosely. It might be better to drop "normal" altogether and just refer to some behaviors as "unusual" or "atypical" and get away from the hot-button term "normal."

Drinking a fifth of vodka every evening is unusual and atypical. Eating two pecan pies, likewise.

Calling them by different names doesn't make them less disturbing, though.

I do think it's interesting that the interviewer picked that one instead of the others, but if Oprah had downed a fifth of vodka, that might have seemed notable as well.

Jay
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