100 lb. Club - Oprah and her Pecan Pies, Why? Why?




toomuchmoxie
04-13-2010, 08:18 PM
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.


Viviane
04-13-2010, 08:32 PM
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.

Michelle98272
04-13-2010, 08:34 PM
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.


mescelestus
04-13-2010, 08:48 PM
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!

JayEll
04-13-2010, 11:14 PM
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... :dunno:

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

Jacque
04-13-2010, 11:25 PM
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.

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... :dunno:

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. )

LitChick
04-14-2010, 12:26 AM
One of the blogs I follow has a timely post about food and addiction: http://open.salon.com/blog/justjuli/2010/04/05/thoughts_on_eating_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.

Viviane
04-14-2010, 12:29 AM
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... :dunno:

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.

mkyice
04-14-2010, 04:02 AM
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.

marigrace
04-14-2010, 09:26 AM
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.

time2lose
04-14-2010, 10:37 AM
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!

Belease
04-14-2010, 10:53 AM
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.

kittycat40
04-14-2010, 11:06 AM
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.

matt_H
04-14-2010, 11:08 AM
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).

JayEll
04-14-2010, 11:10 AM
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

JustBeckyV
04-14-2010, 11:25 AM
I think we can all relate to what our "two pies" would be in our world. People that have never been where we have been do not understand this and are usually not very forgiving. They only see food as a source of fuel and a lot of overweight people use it for the very same thing that a drug addict does. The difference I think is that it's even harder for someone to relate to this if they are not an over eater or a food addict. They have consumed and can stop so why cant' the Oprah's of the world? Just my 2 cents.

saef
04-14-2010, 12:25 PM
I think it's also due to the way this was presented in the book -- the way the book was written.

Probably because "two pecan pies" is a tangible image, within the realm of experience of most readers. We've seen pecan pies in their little brightly lit vitrines in diners & bakeries, and on the table at the end of celebratory meals. We know what they taste like.

Now "crack" to many of us is far less tangible, depending on our life histories & environment. Looks like a lump of baking soda, maybe? It's far more abstract. Particularly if, in the book, there isn't a detailed anecdote surrounding the use of crack on a particular occasion, with a measured amount, or something as vividly rendered as the detail of someone ordering it up through room service.

All that aside, though, it's interesting that Oprah gets a dispensation for having a problem with crack, but not with consuming pie.

I'm a binge eater in recovery & potentially, I could still eat two pecan pies in one sitting. (Actually, going by my experience, I'd finish one pie, and then, finding that had not soothed me, that the "want, want, want" was still not filled or sated, I'd move on to another thing in the spectrum of tastes & textures, maybe to ice cream, or to something salty, in an attempt to stimulate my numbed senses with a different sensation.) I will likely remain capable of that for the rest of my life. I will always have to be vigilant & eat carefully, to keep that behavior in abeyance.

And I'm probably under far less pressure & making far less stressful choices than Oprah.

Angihas2
04-14-2010, 12:33 PM
I think the biggest issue is that most people can not understand food in and of itself as an addiction. Just like any drug, there's a physiological response that starts the minute those of us who are -addicted- to food feel. A high, just like that of the drug addicts. The issue is, you can not live AND walk away from food forever. Or you die. Unlike people addicted to drugs who get clean, yes, they battle that desire every day to do drugs and some win, some lose it and as a society, we can feel sympathy for them. A food addict has to eat, they have to face that battle at every meal, every social gathering, every holiday. We can't even pump gas without being confronted by food. You go in to pay for gas, food right there by the register, if you pay at the pump, there's signs up advertising gas station food specials. It's everywhere. And, I don't know about you, but I can not remember the last time I saw a paid advertisement ANYWHERE to buy the latest version of crack cocaine. It's something we, as a society, need to realise can be an actual addiction. Not to the food, but to the feelings it invokes.

nelie
04-14-2010, 12:40 PM
I think it also deals with who Oprah is. I'm not sure when the pecan pies happened in her career but she overcame a lot and here she has this addiction which holds on to her. Would she ever eat 2 pecan pies in public? Would any of us who are binge eaters binge in public? I'm not talking about extreme overeating, I'm talking about the binge.

I'm a binge eater. It is an addiction. I deal with it every day. I wish I was 'normal' and didn't have this and 'only' had to deal with overeating.

Amarantha2
04-14-2010, 12:53 PM
Also a reporter and agree w/op ... would not have even gone there with the pie thing if writing about O, whom I don't like, but who cares 'bout some pie indiscretions!

Michelle98272
04-14-2010, 01:39 PM
Jay Ell: I don't take offense at what you said but am just a tad bothered that you would say it here in a forum of people who are seriously overweight. Not many of us got this big eating "normally". Much of my behavior around eating would probably disgust you. I'm trying not to take it personally as you don't know me but you do know that people who binge disgust you. It does sting a little.



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



So you DO get it then. It is JUST like that. Some people feel disgust at someone who can't control their liquor, or at someone who can drink a 12 pack of beer in one sitting, someone who drinks until they pass out, wets their pants, falls asleep in their own vomit. It is the SAME thing.

I can only speak for myself but I imagine there are A LOT of us here who are 100lbs or more overweight that can easily see themselves doing something like this. Personally, I am not a fan of super sweet stuff so I couldn't eat two pecan pies but a bag of corn chips and a jar of cheese dip, washed down with some really cold beer? That is food enough for 6 people to eat "normal" portions...Yep, I could do that. On a bad day?? Maybe two bags and two jars of dip.

I don't like the "Us VS. Them". That is exactly what judging people is all about. It creates divisions amongst mankind. It is what allowed Hitler to kill jews and allowed the KKK to hang innocent men because of the color of thier skin.

I can't judge an alcoholic for their behavior as I haven't lived their life nor walked in their shoes. I can't judge Oprah's behavior as I've not lived her life. The only life I have any business judging is my own as I've lived it.

JayEll
04-14-2010, 02:02 PM
No, Michelle, people who binge-eat don't disgust me. But the behavior kind of horrifies me. Just as my own behavior with alcohol kind of horrifies me when I look back on it. rockinrobin mentioned that people tell her, "I never saw you eat that much." Well, most people never saw me drink that much, either. But I was doing it.

Now, I never did wet my pants or pass out in my own vomit, thanks so much for that image (and stereotype)... ;) but, my behavior was quite bad enough. I drove under the influence many times and am lucky I didn't kill someone. I ruined relationships, behaved irresponsibly, and even lost a job or two because of drinking.

However, I became obese not because I binge-ate, but because I consistently overate every day--enough to pack on pounds every year as the years went by. And I know that there are hundred-pound losers on 3FC who got there that way, and not by binge eating. So, it seems that everyone isn't the same, even in this.

It's true--Oprah's life is her life, and mine is mine. And interviews are done to sell advertising, not to present an even, balanced view.

Jay

shortandfluffy
04-14-2010, 02:30 PM
The title of this thread caught my eye so I had to come investigate.

After reading through all yalls comments only one thing really sticks out in my mind. Eating can be an addiction.. I've been there. AND I would hide it. When I still lived at home I bought a bag of mixed chocolate candy around Christmas time. I hid it in my bedroom so nobody else could eat it. I can confess something like this here, because I know someone here can relate.

Nobody.. not even Oprah wants it talked about. But if she is going to be talked about for her pie eating, then all the other things from her past need to be discussed too. I didn't even know about all the things she had been through before this post. So I don't think her and her pecan pies should be the spot light.

Hope all my rambling makes sense.. haha.

nelie
04-14-2010, 02:36 PM
I think it is more of 'look at what she overcame at a young age but yet this is what she still has'. It is more apt to talk about someone's recent history than their decades old past.

Michelle98272
04-14-2010, 02:37 PM
Now, I never did wet my pants or pass out in my own vomit, thanks so much for that image (and stereotype)... ;) but, my behavior was quite bad enough. I drove under the influence many times and am lucky I didn't kill someone. I ruined relationships, behaved irresponsibly, and even lost a job or two because of drinking.


Jay

Just wanted to let you know, and not to further sidetrack this post...those are alcoholic behaviors that I did (and much worse!) as a person who has a drinking problem. I wasn't meaning you specifically. ;)

shortandfluffy
04-14-2010, 02:45 PM
I think it is more of 'look at what she overcame at a young age but yet this is what she still has'. It is more apt to talk about someone's recent history than their decades old past.

That makes a lot of sense. At least she isn't like Whitney Houston. In the line at the grocery store a magazine cover was talking about how she was sniffing cocaine in public. I used to love her music... what ever happened to her. Sorry.. really OT. :dizzy:

Elladorine
04-14-2010, 03:44 PM
This made me think of hitting the clearance section of the store a few months ago. I absolutely love pecan pie (which is why I don't buy it, lol) and I typically only have one or two slices a year when at the relatives' for the holidays. Heck, I don't even walk through the bakery section of the grocery store! Anyway, I saw whole pecan pies sitting right there on the clearance shelf for only $1.50 each. I picked one up, but put it back as soon as I saw how many calories it had. Not just by serving because as I always do these days, I quickly calculated how many the whole pie would be in case I had a moment of weakness. :o

Not sure if I could ever eat two at once, but I could easily eat a whole pie in one day, probably spread out over just a few hours. I take safeguards against that kind of thing anymore, mainly by reading all labels of everything I put in my cart and calculating how much the whole package would be if I know it could be a trigger food. I also making sure I'm not hungry when I go shopping . . . I can't splurge or binge in a moment of weakness if I don't buy it in the first place!

Restaurants and eating out in general are more difficult for me, as it's easier to turn a blind eye to something that doesn't come with a sticker or label with the calorie content. And yes, I understand that you can often look these things up ahead of time and typically do, but it doesn't help with potentially spur-of-the-moment splurges. I've only had room service once in my entire life but I imagine that could be an easy trigger for me to order something from someone I'd likely never meet again and eat in the privacy of my room . . .

I haven't done this in years and years now but I've eaten whole cans of frosting in one sitting. :o

So I feel for her. I used to be a chain smoker and became an alcoholic , but neither of those were nearly as difficult for me to get under control as food has been. As it's been mentioned right here in this thread, you can shut certain things out of your life but you can't give up food completely, it's a battle you have to face every single day for the rest of your life. Not only is food everywhere, you have to eat in order to live.

Summerblue
04-14-2010, 05:12 PM
WELL.....if the worst thing Kitty Kelly can dig up is the fact that she ate 2 whole pies - then I'd say Miss O is just fine. LOL

I was wondering if one of those authors were going to do an unauthorized bio on her, interesting I am sure, but I am sure they will say the oddest of things.

rakel
04-14-2010, 07:11 PM
I can definitely sympathize with those who are binge eaters, although I would not classify myself as one. At the moment, the only thing I can remember "binging" on was an entire bag of tostitos hint of lime chips right after they came out. I plopped myself down in front of my computer and licked the whole thing off in a matter of a couple hours. It wasn't until I pulled the last few chips on there that I realized that I had actually eaten the entire bag. I was horrified, but not sick to my stomach. I have done about the same thing with Munchies & Chex Mix, but since the experience with the hint of lime tortilla chips, even when I was not trying to diet, I would put them away if I noticed half the bag was gone. Now I realize the benefit of measuring out a serving.

So, while that was never a regular occurrence for me, I could definitely show how it could be and without a conscious effort to stop it, it could have happened more often. I believe that my "ultimate" guide to gaining weight lies in over eating, over-indulging in sweets on a daily basis (but not an entire pie, or an entire package of ice cream, etc, more like candy, and then a good size bowl of ice cream after dinner), and a slow metabolism to top it off.

Star2Be
04-14-2010, 07:49 PM
Wow, this is an extremely though-provoking thread. I am a recover[ed/ing] binge-eater (it varies depending on the day! :^:) and I can honestly say that I have eaten the calorie/volumetric equivalent of 2 pecan pies and more in one sitting during past binges... I don't think I could do it right now, because my stomach is no longer used to being stretched out so much, but I *know* that I have been both physically and mentally capable of that behavior at previous times in my life. As others have said, food was often like a drug for me, and my behaviors were extremely comparable to that of a person dealing with any other kind of addiction. (In fact, this is incredibly cheesy, but I remember seeing that terrible movie "Orphan" this past Summer and welling up a bit during scenes that addressed the mother's alcoholism, because they hit so close to home!) Secreting away my "stash," hiding my binges from my friends/family, thinking of nothing else but my next binge and the next food, feeling intense shame and anger at myself--yep, I've had all of that.

To be honest, it scares and disgusts me a little to know that this kind of behavior exists inside of me somewhere, but it's just something that I've had to learn how to accept about myself and allow my awareness of it to serve as my best weapon against it. As many others have said, I think it's one of those things you really can't understand unless you've struggled with an addiction of your own... It's incredibly disturbing to someone who's never been there, yes, but then I certainly feel there's no reason to find Oprah's pie-eating any more horrifying than alcoholism, drug use, etc. I think saef pretty much hit the nail on the head in her post--although addiction as a whole is difficult for an unaffected person to understand, what they can recognize is their own lack of desire to eat two pecan pies. It's much "easier" to be disgusted by something like that than try to wrap your head around something for which you have no basis whatsoever, such as some of the other things Oprah's been through. It's not right, and I find it pretty sad that anyone would fixate so heavily upon something like that. Especially when you consider that the actual act was probably driven by something much more serious going on in her mental condition, you know? It's a little like missing the forest for the trees...:shrug:

LuvMyMr
05-01-2010, 12:07 AM
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!

I agree with this.

Hiya
05-01-2010, 11:25 AM
I think though that Jay (finding the pecan pie thing a bit weird, though compassionate since Jay him/herself has struggled with alcohol binges) makes a very good point.

The point being, of course, that whatever "addiction" (food, drink, drugs, porn, shopping, gambling...does the list go on?) we personally may struggle with never seems *quiiiite* as weird/disgusting as the addiction we don't have a problem with.

Right? I have struggled with food binges (pie no. Ice cream, o yes. I can eat an entire gallon---that'd be two big cartons to you ice-cream innocents out there---and be ready for lunch. I have also struggled with binge drinking (ice cream. Such a pleasant substance to vomit after a nice gin binge. Cool and soothing.) BUT....gambling? Shopping? Huh? What the **** is there to be all addicted and guilty and struggle with?

I find that very weird (and disgusting!) behavior. But I bet a lot of people would way better pin the "disgusting" label on me....

Jen415
05-02-2010, 09:26 AM
The Big Book of AA says: "Remember that we are dealing with [the name of your personal demon]--cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us." Food addiction (my personal disease) is all of those things. How could a carton of ice cream or a box of Little Debbies have power over ME? But it did...and still does. Even if I am not actively eating it, I am still an addict.

I have been in recovery from food addiction for 59 days now, and I have learned so much about the disease. I know that all it would take for me to get right back into it would be JUST ONE BITE. Very scary.