Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Comfort Food Or How I Gained Ten Pounds Watching 'The Real Housewives'...

The women on Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise (pick a city, any city; it's all the same!) are so stick thin I often find myself wanting to force bacon cheeseburgers through my television just to attempt to get them to eat something. You'd think they would inspire me to strap on a pair of stilettos and hop and skip around shopping areas for some exercise. But no. Instead I find myself devouring bowls of kettle corn, half an ice cream cake in one sitting, and bags (yes, plural) of mini Oreos. You see, I eat when I'm stressed, and watching The Real Housewives is quite the stressful occasion!

In fact, I have actually had to stop watching the New Jersey incarnation of the series because I couldn't take the petty, high school style drama overshadowing an attempt to raise money for a baby with cancer. However, last night I tuned into Watch What Happens Live because I heard through the grapevine (aka Twitter) that Danielle Staub would be debuting her single "live" on the show. And that I just had to see. Or hear. Whatever.

Unfortunately after only the first segment I was squirming in my seat and reaching for the chips and dip. As I was stuffing my face, craving a peach but going for the gross, greasy comfort food instead, I actually mumbled that I was quite literally "eating my feelings."

The reason I first fell in love with this franchise was because it showed that no matter the women-- in geographical location or age range-- just because they had monetary wealth did not make their lives better than mine. Sure they most often lounged around "designing clothes" or hitting the spa or a restaurant in the middle of the day, but the problems they obsessed over were so just so ridiculous and unnecessary. It would make me laugh, sitting in my one bedroom apartment that these grown, ten or fifteen year older than me women didn't have their sh*t together more than the average teenager.

More recently, though, as seasons and new cities kept coming with no growth or maturity in sight, I have kept watching out of loyalty and feeling the need to be a "completionist" and see it through even though week after week I get an almost heavy feeling in my chest when I flip on Bravo to see the latest drama go down. I suppose that heaviness could just be my arteries clogging, though. I literally can't remember the last time I watched without a snack in hand.

And at first it wasn't so bad. At first it was once a week when I'd eat later than usual, eat consistently through the hour, just to keep myself too busy and preoccupied to yell and throw things at the crazy on my television. But then they started putting two seasons on at a time. So I was watching Kelly Killoren Bensimon break down on Thursdays and Danielle Staub embarrass her daughters on Mondays. And in the last week there was even some overlap with the New York reunion show being three parts. Let's just say I went to sleep with a rock in my stomach and a wee touch of acid reflux for a couple of days...

I'm really not sure why I watch at all. I grew up watching people fight night after night. Sure, those people were my parents, while now they're women of no relation to each other, but fighting is fighting is fighting after awhile, you know? And after awhile watching their problems doesn't make you feel better anymore because you're so immersed in their lives that they are a part of yours. And you just feel crappy and weighted down from all the negativity. And then you-- or at least, I-- eat to forget or suppress or whatever the reasoning (Jillian Michaels would have a field day with this, I'm sure!). And then you wake up the next morning feeling crappy and literally weighted down from all the extra calories you consumed the night before. Rinse and repeat.


...By the way, I just did a YouTube search for Staub, trying to find her performance from last night, but all that came up was her "leaked" sex tape. You would think that would make me too nauseous to think about food for awhile, but no; that's not how my mind works. It's become a reflex now, and I reached for vanilla pudding. But at least this time I went for something sugar free and low fat. Maybe there is hope for me after all!

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