Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eavesdropping in Starbucks

I was at Starbucks last night doing homework. I was enjoying my corner all to myself for the first hour or so that I was there, then 2 women came in and took the table next to mine. As it turns out, they were having some sort of a weight watchers/bible study meeting. The client (we will call her Pam) and the leader lady (we will call her Sue) sat down and pulled out their manuals. I was immediately annoyed with Sue as she was a constant gum chomper! This is my biggest pet peeve, it makes my skin crawl! Anyways, Sue asked Pam to tell her how the holiday went and basic information on how her eating was going. It was a little weird. I won't go over the entire conversation, but I feel the need to mention some of the key points.

At one point, Pam stated that she had made some dinners from her healthy recipe book. Sue stated that she was supposed to "throw out all recipe and diet books" as they were "too tempting to stray from what God is telling you to eat." Sue also made statements about the lies that research and "the world" tell you about eating healthy. Pam had mentioned that she likes to buy her snacks at Trader Joes. Sue said that this was wrong because she was listening to "the world"...Im not sure what that even means. From what I could gather the point of this diet is that it is not a diet, that there are no real rules, you just eat what God tells you to.....oh and what Sue tells you to, she was awfully bossy!

The thing that bothered me the most about this conversation is that Pam kept mentioning that one of her biggest struggles was that she was alone and she felt lonely and depressed about this which made her eat. Every single time she said something along these lines, Sue would say something about her husband; "yeah, my husband is great, he is my biggest support" or "my husband cooks me wonderful healthy meals." How rude is that? She was obviously supposed to be Pam's support, not make her feel worse!

I just thought this was really weird. I am not particularly religious, but I have no problem with a religion based diet program, I actually think that it could be very beneficial for someone who has a strong faith. This one just seemed a bit ineffective. Just eat what God tells you? What is wrong with a healthy cookbook or something. I could tell Pam felt a little lost and confused and she definitely wasn't getting any answers from Sue!

I am rambling though, I do have 2 main points out of this story. First, Sue quoted a lot of scripture during this meeting (usually when Pam asked a valid question and she obviously didn't have an answer!). One of these quotes was devotional that Pam was supposed to say when she felt like eating (as a way to speak to God I think); "see how I hate those who hate you" Um.....a) what does this have to do with warding off hunger?! and b) this is my problem with organized religion. It just seems so oxymoronic to me that hate is a part of any religion! Does anyone know of a religion that honestly promotes equality and an open mind?! In my mind, this should be the norm. What good can come out of promoting hate?

The second thing that bothered me about this was that Sue kept making statements against Pam's habit of eating alone. She said it was the path to mistakes (or something along those lines) and that it should be avoided, even at home! She even mentioned that "when I was a single lady, I used to eat my dinners on webcam with a friend or family member" Yeesh, what is wrong with eating alone?! I love to do things alone! What good is this going to do for Pam? I actually think it would just harm her by giving her even more shame about being alone. What are your thoughts on this? Am I the only one who loves to eat/go to movies/etc alone?!

Any other thoughts on this odd "non diet" diet?!


dewdana said...

I do everything alone and don't mind at all! I am not saying it is the way to be and I do enjoy company when I manage to break out of my hermit shell but I feel that some people do not know how to be alone and that can definitely be the path to mistakes! (i.e. being with ANYONE is better than being alone might drive one to chose less than ideal company). Poor Pam- she is reaching out and grabbed the wrong thing. I share your views on religeon and agree if it can give someone strength and comfort then go for it but I did not hear anything empowering or comforting in that conversation. I have heard of this method of weight loss (though in a slightly more structured way)... would not help me in the least, especially as outlined by sue! Poor Pam!

Lynn said...

I think I would have opened a can of whoopass on Sue. Ok, well, you and I both know that that is not really my personality but... I give you a lot of credit for sticking around to listen to (and evaluate) their conversation. I think I would have gotten fed up and left...

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I personally think a faith-based diet is really odd. A main theme of Christianity is that God loves you - no matter what. I'm not saying that means he wants you to be over weight and risk not living your life to the fullest, but I don't think I'd rely on my faith to help me diet. In any way.

And if someone quotes scripture when discussing weight, I'd probably think they were crazy.

And when someone is lamenting about the struggles of being single, it's kind of like pouring salt in a wound to mention your fabulous spouse. wtf.