“If you’re not obsessed with food and, for that matter, sex, you’re not really normal. Because food and sex are about survival and obsession with them is hard-wired into us. Food is about surviving in our own lifetime. Sex is about surviving as a species. So, the problem is that we have these native human obsessions in a very non-native habitat.” – Dr. David Katz [on “Morning Joe”]
THERE are few smart things said these days about food and sex, but Dr. Katz managed to say a mouthful in just a couple of sentences.
Food and sex obsessions, which Americans have in great abundance no matter the economic world we inhabit, are normal. It’s the challenge of being human. The act of slaying or making peace with our demons is the job of life.
Starting young with the desire to be a professional dancer on Broadway, whatever normal food obsessions I had were magnified ten fold. If you add the pageants to help me make money, and a competitive drive, as well as the will I had to make it through college, the result was a combustible blend. Then there were the emotional challenges in any life like this that only compound the obsessions.
It’s why when I saw the article recently about the CBS Houston blogger who called a great looking blonde NFL cheerleader “too chunky,” I couldn’t help but feel the young woman’s pain.
A CBS blogger is under fire after ridiculing an NBA cheerleader for her weight, asking readers, is this girl “too chunky” to cheer?
The post was written by CBS Houston sex writer Claire Crawford, reportedly a pen name for Anna-Megan Raley. It was removed from the website Wednesday afternoon, but cached versions are still available.
Somewhere this week between Chris Christie’s lap-band revelation and Mika Brzezinski’s confession and advice that we should start using the word “fat,” Dr. Katz rose to the top of the noise and offered digestible wisdom to make sense of how we get where we do. It’s odd, really, because few other medical professionals or so-called experts have put it half as well.
Dr. Katz provides the foundation for where we get our normal food and sex obsessions and why it’s never going away no matter what we do. Diets certainly won’t do it and neither will support groups alone. You have to change your entire lifestyle and there has to be a component that connects with our emotional center to make a dent on the normal obsessions that can derail us in an instant.
However, just hearing that our food and sex obsessions are normal is quite a relief.
We eat comfort food to soothe ourselves.
We starve ourselves of food to reach a weight goal or to fit into our skinny jeans.
We over exercise to make up for the food splurge over the weekend.
We fast to clear our bodies of the hamburger and fries that are making us feel bloated.
Round and round it goes, but somewhere inside the hole remains, which for each of us is different. It drives our normal obsessions to take over. At least if we know our base food or sex obsessions are normal we won’t feel so bad when they inevitably go haywire. No one’s perfect.
Sex can bring out the same thing as food, but in different ways, but it’s all self-medicating, while being life-affirming.
Having studied and worked in both the sex and relationship worlds, my expertise in both comes from practical knowledge and lots of research. We’re talking about food here, but as Dr. Katz explains in the video above, like any food obsession, the craving and the sating is the same for sex. The type of feeling a mirror image, it’s just a matter of immediate survival versus the need to feel vital and young while stamping out our fears of death, or the desire to capture youth in a release.
Obsession explosions breed through the secrets that always harms us eventually, whether it’s food or sex or something else. The hidden things inside we won’t admit even to ourselves, let alone someone else. We get comfortable with these secrets, too, they become our companions even as they kill us. There’s a reason the truth sets us free when we unload what we’re hiding. It’s written in scripture that whatever we don’t bring out in ourselves will doom us and it doesn’t have to just be a hurt and grievance.
Sometimes it’s avoiding making decisions about doing something in our life that will fulfill us, but comes with a huge risk. Can’t do that. Too many people choose the safe path and deny the dreams that play in a loop in their head along side the tape of people who tell you whatever you want cannot be done.
Dr. Katz is right. Food and sex obsessions are normal.
What a relief someone finally said it and did so while combining food and sex in the same sentence. It’s all about human appetite.
If we had it for truth we’d be in business.