I was riding the stationary bike today and was flipping through the channels and came across this Travel Channel show, Man vs. Food. I’ve seen it before (my dad loves it…in fact, males in general seem to really love it) and actually used to enjoy watching it. However, today I was struck with a totally different thought. I don’t want to seem preachy or like I’m accusing the people who watch this show, or others like it. Just some thoughts rumbling around in my head…
As someone with a history of an eating disorder, I’ve become a lot more conscious of triggers, especially things in the media/marketing. A friend pointed out the other day about a menu she had seen in which the predominant line said “how can we tempt you?” We live in a culture that wants to tempt, seduce, and derail us from normal, healthy, and rational.
The premise of the show is eating competitions…the host travels around the country to see the most outrageous kinds of food and try to conquer eating challenges (like eating 5 pounds of hot dogs, chili, and French fries, or eating 5 pancakes two times the size of his face, etc.) I kind of felt sick as I was watching it…for a couple reasons.
- It’s promoting, encouraging, and glorifying bingeing and gorging ourselves-to the point of sickness. Not only does it place a stamp of approval on this one TV personality doing it, but it implicitly tells everyone else it’s ok to do that.
- Food was never meant to be something we “battle” against. I realize this kind of “competition” is a kind of shtick, but the heart of the matter is that food is dually an enemy to be conquered and a means of fulfilling a hunger.
I think back over some notecards I’ve made as reminders or truth:
“Show yourself an illustration to those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:12
“It is good not to eat meat or drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” Romans 14:21
“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14
Maybe I’m jaded by the media/marketing I see around me, maybe there’s genuine cause to be fed up with the messages with which we are bombarded. Either way, I can pick out for myself that there is an issue there, and if nothing else I’m more aware!