Similarities Between Shopaholic and Compulsive Eating
Okay, so you’re probably thinking Sophie Kinsella’s Book, Confessions of a Shopaholic has absolutely nothing at all to do with our work at The Centre.
On first glance, it doesn’t. It looks like a light, fun read, the epitome of chick-lit.
Becky is a modern gal in her mid-twenties with a so- so job, living in the big city of London, dreaming big dreams. The book is all about her search for identity, her friendships, and relationships with the opposite sex, family, and— her obsessive compulsive disorder.
You see, Becky is in big doo-doo because even though she’s a financial writer for a boring financial magazine, she is clueless when it comes to her own finances. Basically, Becky uses purchasing things , pretty much any thing , as a coping mechanism. When Becky is feeling anxious, she buys little knick- knackish do-dads. Bored, coffee. Happy, clothes. Sad, clothes.
And like most of us, Becky has expensive taste, so by the time the book starts Becky is in serious debt, and denial.
Becky also has a problem with being honest. She tells people what she thinks they want to hear and she makes the fatal mistake that most of us make in our twenties, of, pretending to be, think, feel, and yes, spend, like the women we want to be in ten years. Becky hasn’t yet figured out that the way to be that glamorous, sophisticated, and together woman is to be honest, forthright, and vulnerable-right now. So, she paints a picture of herself that isn’t completely honest and spends a lot of the book getting out of well, doo-doo.
Confessions is fun and frivolous, it exposes Becky’s obsessive compulsive relationship with shopping with a light touch. And I enjoyed that because, substitute shopping for eating, and Becky’s story could have been my own. Sad, eat, Celebrate, eat. Anxious eat. Not sure? Eat!
When we think of compulsive eating, I know I for one tend to take a very serious tact. I approach it from a really all or nothing sort of stance. Every day, I meet women whose lives have been put on hold for years because of their relationship with food and boy focus, and that was certainly true in my case, as well. But reading about Becky’s capers in Confessions helped me to lighten up a bit and laugh at the silliness of it all. The circles we run ourselves in and how seriously we approach this-as if our relationship with food defines indefinitely-as if it’s all we’ll ever be.
Like Becky, we can grow and change. And the process of change doesn’t have to be a huge, all encompassing task, it doesn’t have be a big serious to-do with tears and teeth gnashing. The process of finding ourselves can be fun, comical, and even wonderful. After reading Confessions, I can chuckle at my creative rationalizations for just one more bite- – when I was already stuffed to begin with. I’m not saying its okay to judge those past behaviors, but, really what’s the fun in making a huge journey to find yourself if you can’t laugh at what you’ve learned along the way?
Reviewed by Brooke Finnigan