Dedicated, not Obsessed

- POSTED ON: Mar 04, 2011


Here's my Opinion.
Lighten up.
Having a "Food Obsession" is okay.

Personally, I have no desire to reduce my own "food obsession".
I'm the kind of person who really gets into anything I do, any interest I have.
So what if I'm not "normal" around food.
So what if food, and issues around food, are important to me.
So what if I spend a lot of my time thinking about food and/or weight.
I'm not going to waste my life shaming myself because of it.
Food is just as important or interesting as anything else... fact it is the one thing that is vital for life to exist.

Just because a "saying" is old, doesn't make it right.. 
  I think "Eat to Live, not Live to Eat" is just a B.S. Value Judgment.
It really is just another way for people who don't share my values to negate them.
Am I REALLY going to let that part of Society legislate my morality?

Acceptance of oneself and one's personal interests apply generally,
in that much of modern Society now has a "live and let live" morality,
or "do what you want, as long as you don't' hurt others" ...
....but it makes a BIG EXCEPTION
about allowing a fat person to feel okay about food and their fat,
and it generally agrees that it's okay to tell a fat person
how they are SUPPOSED to feel and behave,
and to try to shame them into feeling guilty for what is natural to them.

Just watch one episode of the TV show, The Biggest Loser,
and see Society's current value judgments about the obese contestants.
Notice how the obese contestants buy into those negative Beliefs about themselves,
and how they state their belief that unless they are thin, they have no life.
Notice how they feel they deserve the ill treatment they get on that show,
including severe verbal abuse...and even (what I would call) physical abuse.

Then, when they lose weight, notice how they are encouraged to become
missionaries to the world and work to convert other fat people to their new beliefs.

"Obsessed is what the weak and lazy call the Dedicated"

Society in general, finds it acceptable for people to be obsessed with
exercise, sports, television shows, video games, hobbies, work, money,
shopping, relationships, family, sex, parenting, vacations, etc. etc. etc.
But, God Forbid, that anyone should feel okay about being obsessed with food.....

ESPECIALLY, if that person is overweight, obese, or very thin...
Only a "normal" sized female can acceptably demonstrate a strong interest in food...
and even that Acceptance is very limited.
Actually, this Quote is not exclusively related to food issues.
Dedicated, not Obsessed, could be an extreme interest and focus on Anything at all.

Terming someone as "Obsessed" is generally a negative value judgment
concerning the extreme interest and focus of another,
while terming such behavior as "Dedicated" is generally a positive value judgment.

The above quote is an amusing,  rather clever "return put-down" to negative people
who label those with an excessive interest and focus in any subject as "Obsessed".
The point of the quoted statement is that terming anyone "Obsessed" is totally unacceptable.

In this saying, the negative label: "lazy and weak" only applies to those people
who GIVE the negative label "Obsessed" instead of a positive label like "Dedicated".
i.e. IF YOU THINK I'm "obsessed", THEN I THINK you're "weak and lazy".

Someone who feels that it is acceptable to refer to someone as obsessed,
might be offended by seeing the original insult: "obsessed",
returned by another insult: "weak and lazy, even when this is done in an amusing way.
To anyone who is offended by this quote: 
I didn't create it, I merely quoted it. It is, however, one of my favorites.
I think it's amusing, and I like it.  Probably because I've had personal
dealings with negative people who term anyone with a strong focus as "obsessed".

It could be that some people need to actually have experiences similar to mine
before they can fully appreciate the "black" humor within the statement.
The saying is essentially an amusing twist of semantics,
and like any kind of humor...
if one just doesn't "get" a particular joke, an explanation of that joke
still doesn't make it funny to the one needing the explanation.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Mar 03, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I think "Eat to Live, not Live to Eat" is just a B.S. Value Judgment. It really is just another way for people who don't share my values to negate them. ****** I remember when I first read this idea of yours many moons ago and thought, that is how some of my in laws think and talk and it is a self righteous attitude. I have since said so whenever it has come up. Even though I am thin & trim, and maybe because of it and of course family members health problems, I think about food and its effects. I do not plan on stopping. I look forward to my meals. I savor them and think about other foods that taste good and are good for me long after the chewing is over.

On Mar 03, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, I am so pleased to see your weight-loss success. Clearly, you are making the right choices for yourself.

On Mar 04, 2011 Sienna wrote:
While I don't think that *all* obsession is bad, I do think that some degrees of obsession are bad. I also think that a behavior that is fine for one person may not be fine for another. Mostly I believe obsession crosses over from "dedicated" to "unhealthily obsessed" when it starts to negatively impact quality of life. ***** Writing down everything in a food journal, counting every calorie and weighing everyday? Fine if you are happy with it and it feels comfortable or even enjoyable. Unhealthy obsession if you have a panic attack when you can't find the exact calorie content of your soup or when you miss a day weighing because your scale is broken. Some people will find it easy to be obsessed with calorie counting (or any other behavior) without it becoming an unhealthy obsession, but for others it may be all or nothing for that behavior. **** For example, I weigh daily, track my weight loss, have used Excel to perform a linear regression tracking my weight of loss, and have predicted future weights based on this loss. I spend maybe 5-10 minutes a day weighing and assessing my progress. This "obsession" helps keep me on track, give me concrete goals to work towards, and maintain hope that I will one day meet those goals. For me it is a very moderate and healthy obsession. I have a friend who CAN NOT weigh daily or track like this without having a minor mental breakdown anytime the scale is up even a tenth of a pound. She tried it, it quickly became a very unhealthy obsession, and she quit. She's happier not weighing very frequently. **** So basically, it's fine to be obsessed with something, so long as you aren't unhealthily obsessed. So I say that as long as you have a good quality of life and aren't alienating your family and friends - embrace the obsession!

On Mar 04, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Sienna, you covered a very interesting point here. It appears that you have a great deal of experience in tracking food and weight, and know exactly what is best for you to do. Thanks for sharing that experience and your opinion here.

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