Posts Tagged ‘triggers’

I was flipping through the channels on TV tonight and came across “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”

This is a new show so here is an excerpt from the site describing what it’s all about:

Yes, Jamie Oliver is here to start a revolution. The impassioned chef is taking on obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the USA, where our nation’s children are the first generation NOT expected to live as long as their parents. Jamie is inviting viewers to take a stand and change the way America eats, in our home kitchens, schools and workplaces with the thought-provoking new series. In the six-part series, Jamie heads to Huntington, West Virginia. Why? Well, Huntington has been called the unhealthiest city in America. Jamie wants to do something about that. Through his efforts in this one town, he hopes to start a chain reaction of positive change across the country.

Of course, because it involved food, I couldn’t stop watching. It was incredibly disturbing and triggering and fascinating–all at once. [For clarification some of my biggest triggers are unhealthy food, healthy food guidelines, overweight people, people talking about how terrible the obesity “crisis” is in the US]

It was so sad. He quizzed some elementary kids on vegetables and the majority of them didn’t even recognize common ones like tomatoes and potatoes. That makes me really sad.

He went into a school kitchen and was completely shocked at what American school children eat. It was such a familiar scene to me. The trays looked precisely like so many meals I myself have been served, and I might add, never liked.

Jamie showed kids a freshly butchered chicken. He cut all the expensive cuts off and with the remaining bones, skin, and tendons he blended them, added lots of random things, and then actually made chicken nuggets. Honestly I was impressed that that could be done by hand. But the kids, even though they were completely grossed out by the process and the raw materials that went into them, eagerly ate these freshly fried, disgusting nuggets.

I do think this is something that needs to be done in America. I have always vowed that my kids will know what real food is, how to make it, how to grow it, and realize how much better it tastes than fake processed stuff. Seeing this reminded me of all the processed stuff I ate growing up and how much I hated it. Even though I thought sometimes that the kids who always brought lunch were a little strange, every day I think it is more likely that my own children will be them. But they will like their food, they will be healthy.

This show makes me not want to touch any food. Will I continue to watch? Yes. I find it fascinating. And it includes a sexy Englishman with a slight lisp…I’m in love.

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I know the typical treatment program’s view on triggering language, behavior etc. I also understand why many of them have those rules.

My most recent treatment program had none of that. We were able (in some cases encouraged) to talk about specific behaviors we had engaged in and in fact some of the therapists would purposely used triggering language during groups. Why? Because that’s how the real world works. Outside the walls of treatment people talk all the time about food and fat and calories. The entire population doesn’t walk around thinking “I wonder if she has an eating disorder? Perhaps I should say this in a different manner or avoid it altogether.”

And you know what? I liked it. A lot.

I have had my times when things have “triggered” me–sitting in a psych lecture where we spent an hour talking about obesity and how to avoid it and then some time spent talking about eating disorders with triggering pictures and whatnot. It was an incredible difficult lecture, in a class of 1000 people, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who struggled with it. But would it have been okay for me to talk to the lecturer and tell her that? I don’t really know. She was just doing her typical teaching thing, 99% of the students probably didn’t have a problem with it, and how often in life am I going to get into similar situations where I don’t have the right to bring such subject matter up?

No matter how careful a person is and how much she tries to avoid triggers, they will happen. And if I am restructuring my life to avoid ED triggers, then I am not enjoying full freedom from the eating disorder.

If there is a time and place to learn to face and deal with triggering language, therapy is it. Surrounded by supportive people, with a chance to express and deal with emotions, one doesn’t have to just stuff it down. They are in a unique position to face the underlying issues about why that language triggers them. There are other ED sufferers that understand the difficulty in hearing it and there are professionals trained to help them work through it. I think that a treatment center that is willing to face the realities of this is very intelligent.

And now that I’m out of intensive treatment, I find that having to censor my thoughts is very difficult. It’s cumbersome and it distracts me from what I am thinking and feeling about the real issues I have. There’s always that voice in my head going “Can I say this? Should I say this? How much of this should/can I say?” and if that inner dialogue goes on long enough it becomes “Well, I don’t really know where the safe zone starts or stops, so I guess I won’t say anything.” And that is where a ban on triggering language moves from being a safeguard to being a liability.

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