The Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club | September

Eating Mindfully

No doubt many of you have seen or heard about the Miley Cyrus VMA performance debacle. She allowed herself to be objectified for reasons only she can answer, though I can promise her that if she believes sexualizing herself in front of millions of people allows her to retain control she is sorely mistaken. That is a myth. Objectification is objectification. Beating someone to the punch doesn’t eliminate the consequences.

It’s interesting to note that very little has been said about Robin Thicke, a married, 36 year old father. For some reason Miley is the easy target, though it wasn’t her wearing the black and white striped suit.

I’m not one to defend Miley, but I’m disappointed to see so much emphasis placed on her body in those shorts. Comparing her to the back-end of a turkey helps no one, doesn’t address the issue of early sexualization and objectification in the media, or make any sort of strides in improving our toxic body culture.

I spent months trying to recover from one woman in a health food store. What Miley is going through, I couldn’t survive. (And, yes, some of it she brought on herself.)

This is why I decided to make Eating Mindfully the book club pick for September. I was already considering it, but this whole turkey butt thing was the push I needed to make a final decision. It’s a book Diane has asked me to read for the last year. I’ve put it off because it’s a book on intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is impossible. Well, not impossible–just really, really hard.

Join me in reading something really, really hard–if not impossible?

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Susan G says

    Thank you for doing this. AS I’ve said, I spent 56 years eating mindlessly (and “getting away with it” i.e. staying thin) for most of that time. Not only is that not the case anymore, I know it’s not good for me and I need to make better health choices, so I welcome anything that will help me learn this. Look forward to it – I know you will have great thoughts on this.

  2. Shannon says

    I’m in! I was actually coming here this morning to look up the title from one of your other posts so I’m really excited to have an opportunity to read it and virtually discuss it.

    I couldn’t agree more with the disproportionate amount of attention put on MC but I’ve seen only one thing about smacking Robin Thicke. There should be more but won’t because she’s an easy target.

  3. says

    I’ll read it with you all. I’ve been in and out for book club picks since I overcommited and joined 2 book clubs this year (the classical one with edie from life in grace) and I read a couple of your picks too. I’ll look forward to picking this up and hearing y’alls thoughts.

  4. says

    This came at the perfect time for me. I’ve gotten out of the habit of being healthy (not fallen off the bandwagon) and want to start incorporating smarter life choices to how and what I eat/drink. Excited to see what everyone thinks of it.

  5. says

    Looks like a great read! I’ll give it a shot! What Miley Cyrus did has absolutely disgusted me. If this is the type of attention she wanted, she certainly got it. It’s a shame her parents don’t know the difference between right and wrong. What was once a person who was a role model for many has turned into a person who shouldn’t even be in children’s view. I wish the media would turn their attention to Robin Thicke as well. It’s such a shame how the values of today’s society is changing in certain cases.

    Simply Akshara

  6. says

    This has been on my list forever and I’ve been avoiding it the whole time. I’m definitely in to read and discuss together since I know it’ll be hard:)

  7. Phaedra says

    I’m so happy you chose this book! I struggle with eating mindfully. The conversation I find myself having about my habits is that I eat healthful foods 90% of the time, I just eat too much of them because I’m not paying attention for one reason or another- making my habits lean toward the unhealthy.
    I picked this up at the library a few days ago because it was staring me down from the shelf and I felt it was a sign. It reminds me a bit of Geneen Roth’s ‘Women, Food & God’ book (but I’m positive Eating Mindfully was written prior to that book) so far.

    As for Miley Cyrus. I didn’t see the VMAs. I won’t watch the video on YouTube. I feel about her much like I did about Britney when she was having a public meltdown. I feel sad. I feel sad about the culture we live in that promotes this & then publicly shames these girls for living up to the shock factor (and so often that means something sexualized & objectifying )they were encourage to embrace for one reason or another. I feel sad that they’re judged so harshly for being human beings that made a mistake that was probably encouraged by everyone around them. I’m disgusted across the board at the producers of a show that gave that routine the OK knowing that people would be laughing & pointing & judging from their couches & cubicles. I sound like I’m 85yrs old, but WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!! SIGH. I really hope someone steps in and helps Miley move forward in a positive way so she doesn’t end up in Lindsay Lohan rehab/Britney meltdown situation.

    • says

      I didn’t watch the VMAs and only watched a few seconds of Miley’s performance once all the craziness started coming in. I couldn’t watch any more than that because it was like watching a train wreck. It was really, really bad.

      I’ve read Women, Food & God. I hated the ending!

      • Phaedra says

        I’m trying to think if I even finished Women, Food & God. I know I read the first half and felt like I was getting the gist.. hmmm. Anyway, at the beginning of this book I get that same feel. It might not turn out to be the same at all.

        Miley: I’ve heard it was a complete train wreck of awfulness. My first instinct on Monday morning after the ‘water cooler’ talk was to run & bring it up online. Then I decided that I didn’t need to SEE it. I know more than I want to already without the visuals. From what I understand no one will ever see the foam sports fingers the same again. eek!

  8. Amanda says

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and have never joined in the book club, until now. My husband and I are both overweight and with a little one at home it’s becoming more apparent to us that we need to start being healthier. I actually saved a bunch of mindless eating books on my kindle but haven’t read any yet. I am excited to read this. Thanks!

  9. says

    I know I won’t be joining in on the book club–scaling back on lots of things for the next month–but wanted to say YES to turning some of the spotlight on Robin Thicke. Watched the unrated version of his video for Blurred Lines (first entry in a Google search) and then read the lyrics. Talk about objectification. Yes, Miley makes me sad because it’s a train wreck and she’s so young and she’s obviously trying to figure out how to be in this world and struggling with that. He makes me angry because his thing is obviously using women as objects and unlike her, he’s old enough to know exactly what he’s doing. Where is the outrage about his role in this display? Is he exempt because his striped suit wasn’t quite as ridiculous as her plastic underwear? It is because he didn’t simulate sex with a foam finger? What about the fact that a woman does the same in his video? Where’s the outrage over that?

    Miley’s been used by others for their own profit since she was 11–an age at which she was too young to know what she was saying yes to. (Can’t help but draw parallels to statutory rape, in which we recognize that children can’t know enough about what sex is to be able to give consent.) I wish women would stop trashing her and see the bigger, underlying issues here. How many more Disney-machine girls do we have to watch self-destruct before we stop making it profitable for them to use them as they do? When are we going to start saying that it is abusive to mold and shape young, adolescent girls to sell a brand when their real job at that age should be to figure out what their authentic identity is? And when are we going to stop blaming them when they fall apart after they can no longer sell advertising and products to other young girls and don’t know who the hell they are or how to transform themselves into healthy women who can be successful in their industry? Feels too much like blaming the victim to me.

    (Yeah, I have some feelings about this. Sorry for the rant. I refrained from the profanity I’d like to use.)

      • Phaedra says

        AGREED! Well said Rita!!!
        I feel exactly the same. I have a daughter and feel like I’m always trying to protect her from the oversexualized clothing, toys, videos & games that are marketed by brands that say they’re for children. I could go on and on and on…. I will refrain from profanity because it might be one huge run on paragraph of it, too!

  10. Shona says

    I read this comment on another bloggers site and I absolutely agree with it. She did it because that is what is demanded of young female pop stars. It’s horrendous but sexual objectification is what the public/industry expect. I am petrified for my daughter growing up and becoming exposed to this.
    Lady Gaga spoke eloquently about this
    “[It] was an issue at my record label. I fought for months, and I cried at meetings…The last thing a young woman needs is another picture of a sexy pop star writhing in sand, covered in grease, touching herself.” [Elle]
    (Not that I don’t think her image is sexualised anyway.)
    It is the rare exception in todays music industry who gets to escape this trope. As Caitlin Moran says, Adele is the only female pop star to get a number one whilst wearing a cardigan.

  11. says

    Miley definitely needs help – she’s desperate to stay in the spotlight, and it doesn’t seem that she’s exactly trying to find a new niche for herself in the world. Mostly, I was saddened to see her Mom applauding for her after the performance. I could ramble on longer, but instead will direct you to this post about Robin Thicke:

    And yes, I will be joining you for this month’s book! I’ve struggled with food issues basically all my life, and had picked this book sometime last year, skimmed a bit, purchased it, and then tossed it onto my “good intentions” bookshelf… Here’s to improvements!

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