WritersButt Wednesday: Ravishing Tube-Feeding Bride?

Happy Wednesday, WritersButt Warriors!  I’ve missed ya this past week. So, fess up, who stepped out of their comfort zone this past week?  I want to hear what you did!  You want me to fess up too? Fine. I had plans to try a new sport last weekend with my husband. Our plans were derailed by weather so we’ve rescheduled them for this weekend. In the meantime, I raced down wild-idea, exciting-adventure road and am about to take a leap of faith! I’m not going to tell you yet. I’m cruel that way. But I can’t wait to share it with you because it ties in perfectly with WritersButt, so stay tuned! Not like you’re going anywhere. I know ya’ll are getting attached to me by now, right?

Ok, so listen, I try to keep WritersButt fun and light.  This feels like a party to me and I love hanging out with you all. If I encourage one person to treat their body and mind with the love and attention they deserve, I’m happy.  That is why I feel compelled to warn you that I might in a rant-mode today, so I’m sorry in advance, but sometimes, a RANT needs to happen.


Each morning I have the Today Show on as I get my house-natives up for school, prepare their lunches and even try to sneak into my inbox and check emails. I’ll admit that I don’t need anyone in the room for me to talk out loud. I speak to Matt and Ann like they can hear me. It’s like I’m part of the Today Show, you know, like my opinion counts. On Monday, one segment sure got an earful from me. I couldn’t figure out how to embed this segment so go check it out, I’ll wait.

(Ginger tries some deep-breathing, centers self, all in the effort for rant not to get out of hand.)

Oh cool, you’re back. Please tell me you all are as incredibly appalled as I am! For those who didn’t have the time to check out the video, it’s about how brides are shedding up to 20 pounds in 10 days before their wedding by being fed solely through a feeding tube, through their nose.

That. Is. Crazy.


These tube-feeding women can’t eat at all, nothing, for 10 days. All they get is their 800 calories (that is starving, people!) of liquid which they carry around with them 24/7 in a bag.

From this TIME article, the doctor is quoted:

People use it drop significant amounts of weight or just to trim off a couple of extra pounds before a big event. “At first I decided not to do it for people who just want to lose a few pounds,” Dr. Oliver Di Pietro, who offers 10-day versions of the diet for $1,500 at his Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., office, told the New York Times. “But then I thought, why should I say 5 or 10 pounds are not enough? People want to be perfect.”

This pisses me off on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start. I’ll try really hard to keep focused here, by starting with the obvious.

Losing 5, 10, 20, 100 pounds will NOT MAKE ANYONE PERFECT!

You all know I work out hard. I eat healthy. You could say much of my life is about fitness and staying in shape, inside and out. I like to look good. But, nowhere in my day do I think ANY of that makes me perfect. It’s freaking ridiculous for that man to say that by shoving a tube up someone’s nose and starving them, he’s helping them achieve their goal of being perfect. Seriously gross!

This past February, my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  Still, I can think back with perfect clarity to the weeks preceding my wedding. Bridal showers. Girls day at the spa. Family gatherings. Rehearsal dinner at the Spaghetti Factory!  YUM! I can’t fathom all of that walking around with a damn tube up my nose, that I chose to put there, to shed some pounds.

Alright, I’ll try to calm down and get back to some facts. Again, I quote from this great Time article:

Di Pietro says he monitors his patients for possible side effects, which include constipation, dizziness and bad breath.

Can anyone say, “Now you may kiss the bride?”  Sounds like a sexy wedding night too!

Or how about these possible side effects:

Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Risk Factor Obesity Program, says complications can also include aspiration, infection of the lung, kidney failure and erosion of tissues in the nose and throat.

It boggles my mind that anyone would risk all of this to drop some pounds. It doesn’t even matter if this is done for a big wedding day or just because.  This extreme weight-loss measure reminds me of another diet fad that I find nuts, the HCG diet. Have you heard of it? It’s a diet where someone injects (or uses drops) of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women, into their bodies. It drastically reduces your appetite, which is a good thing because the diet prescribes that you only eat 500 calories a day.

Here’s a great article from WebMD about the dangers of the HCG diet in which it says:

Not only will you waste your money on hCG, but there are also potential consequences — from side effects of the product and self-injections to nutritional deficiencies.

It is virtually impossible to meet your nutritional needs for carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber with less than 500 calories per day and the diet will most likely result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Not only that, but let me tell you a story.  Months ago I was at a lunch with a large group. One of my friends was ordering her lunch in such a way, that I could tell she was on a specific diet. This does not bother me because I do this all the time when I remove dairy and simple carbs out of meals when ordering out.  But someone at the table asked ‘what she was doing’.  Her response was that she was a diet where she could only have 500 calories a day.  I immediately knew she was on the HCG diet. For the record, I got huge brownie points from my husband that day for holding my damn tongue and not hauling out my soapbox. (I have a great little portable one for those ‘just in case’ needs!)

Anyway, this was a friend of mind and I would never have insulted her or made her feel bad for her choices. They are her choices, not mine. The only thing I said, (you know I had to say something) was that I could not survive on 500 calories a day and that in fact, I didn’t think I’d make it through even one workout. Her response was that no, I couldn’t. One part of the diet was that you couldn’t work out.

See Ginger’s bloody, clamped-down tongue!

Really? Any diet where part of the guidelines are that you are not supposed to work out should equate to a Texas-sized, bright red flag waving in your face.  You don’t have to workout like a maniac, like I sometimes do.  You don’t have to join a gym or ever Zumba your mumba. But, everyone should be moving his or her body, doing something.

We are given these bodies. It’s time to love on them and treat them as AWESOME as they are!  Feed tubing, starvation, pregnant pee injections, lack of physical movement is equivalent to hating on your body! It’s a mistreatment. It’s mean and I want everyone to stop it!

Here’s a deal I’ll make with you. Next week, non-ranting Ginger will be back with recipes and tips on traveling healthy with your kids on road trips. Trust me, I have experience with this.  What I want from you all is to go through this week and seriously consider your body and your mind a gift.  This gift is precious. Picture it ad the best prezzie you’ve ever been given, because that is true. What would you do without your body or mind? I want you to treat this wonderful gift as if you’ve been handed yourself, as a newborn.

What do we do with newborns? We marvel at them! We smile at them, we feed them, keep them clean, and stimulate them with color and music. We wrap them up in soft blankets to be comforted and secure. We are amazed at their pure existence.

I want you to treat your bodies and your minds just like that this week.  I bet if you do, you’ll have a whole lot of things to put in your gratitude journals every single night.

Sorry if I was too cranky. I’m tucking away my soapbox for another time. Have an awesome week. Love you all! Really, I do.


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on April 18, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Coleen Patrick

    It’s crazy. When I saw it on TV all I could think about is all the people in the world who have bodies that are failing them because of a disease–something they have little control over and have to have tubes up their noses, etc.
    I love your thought about thinking about our bodies like we do newborns–great idea. It’s so easy to take health/our bodies for granted.
    This was a GOOD rant–thanks Ginger 🙂

    • That’s exactly right, Coleen. I bet those who have to be tube-fed for their health would do anything to get rid of that tube but instead, they are walking down the aisle w/ their life sustaining tube. 😦

  2. I saw this on Yahoo and about DIED!!!! I hope this gives the grooms-to-be some pause. Any woman that would do to THIS length to shed a few pounds rather than buy a damn dress that FITS in the first place has some serious issues they need to deal with. And the saddest thing? It’s doctors that are touting this to women as being an alternative. They should have their medical licenses taken away. It’s nauseating. When are women going to realize that we come in all shapes and sizes and are unique and sexy and smart and beautiful without having to weigh 80 pounds??

    • I thought that as well, Shay. If someone is willing to do this, they aren’t in the right mental state to get married, and should be a red flag for the groom that there are some serious issues that need to be resolved. You know, I get a bride wanting to look her best on her wedding day. And, I get that usually the bride is watching what she’s eating so be trim, or whatever. It’s the length that these women are going, or any woman to lose weight in which they can NOT keep off unless they want to be tube fed for life. It’s just madness. I also agree with you about the doctor. I’m sorry, but I want to shake him and ask him what the hell is he thinking! You’re last line:

      When are women going to realize that we come in all shapes and sizes and are unique and sexy and smart and beautiful without having to weigh 80 pounds??

      Exactly!!! Thanks for the comment and joining my rant.

  3. Awesome post! And no wonder you’re ranting. What an incredibly horrible thing to do to yourself. The doctors should be even more ashamed of themselves.

  4. I had two friends do the HCG diet- I thought they were made. One gave up after a short time and the other lost weight, but then went off and gained it all back. I did ask (with horror in my voice) if they had a Dr. helping them do this. People are so crazy!!
    As for treating my mind and body as a gift, I am much better at finding all my flaws, are you sure I can’t do that?? Okay I will add to writing down 5 things I am grateful for each day writing down at least one positive about my body and mind each day.
    Today I did 35 min on the elliptical going 2.73 miles 🙂 My mind …. well the days not over yet, I’m sure something will come up!

    • I have yet to hear of anyone who’s done the HCG diet and kept weight off. It’s got a 100% rebound rate.

      See–you need to find more strengths than flaws. Every time you notice a so-called flaw, quickly trump that thought for a strength! I love your goal of writing one of each down (mind/body) every day. I’d love to hear about all the wonderful things you discover about yourself this week!

      Way to go on the elliptical — endurance = strength! 🙂

  5. I don’t know how I can add to your rant–these weight loss methods are utterly stupid, oh (hand over mouth) did I say stupid? YES, STUPID! You are so in danger of damaging your organs permanently–not to mention you might die from using these methods. And, a doctor who should know better? Oye.

    • Right! I’ve said stupid and dumb and well, I’ll be honest, I’ve said a lot of things that are just totally potty-mouthed! And here I’m trying to keep up a good reputation!

  6. prudencemacleod

    Ginger, that was a fine rant and I am quite proud of you. Somewhere out there we have to stop the madness. One thing did occur to me though; with the weakness incurred from the tube feeding, how good could your wedding night really be? “Not tonight George, I’m carb depleted and just want to sleep.”

  7. I hadn’t heard about this particular diet but it makes me want to throw up! How could anyone want to do this to themselves? Sad that our society has become so obsessed with body image and ignores the beauty inside.

  8. I have no words for this, Ginger. It’s beyond insane. It makes me sad that women want to do this to themselves and that their men don’t talk them out of it.

  9. Great rant, Ginger! Don’t you dare apologize for it. Ironically, what you have posted hit me with uncanny coincidence.

    A little over a week ago at 2 a.m. I raced to the ER (yes for 2nd time in two months) with horrific stomach pain that would not let up. I was diagnosed with a blockage, The physician assistant said, “Hopefully they won’t have to do an NG (nasograstric intubation) on you.” Feeling no pain thanks to being given a delightful sampling of Laudanum, I smiled and asked, “What’s that?” He told me. My smile left. And wouldn’t you know ten minutes later he was slowly pushing a tube up my nose into my stomach — doctor’s orders. I lay in the hospital for four days, three of which required eating and drinking nothing while my stomach’s contents were being completely suctioned into a container hanging behind my bed.(Sorry if you’re eating while reading this) It was torture. My throat was beyond raw, I had trouble swallowing, and forget sleeping.

    I’m no stranger to physical pain but this was agony. I cannot imagine anyone choosing to do this voluntarily. On the morning when they pulled the tube out, it felt like heaven on earth. The blockage turned out to be nothing but the result of my having eaten way too much fiber in one sitting. As you know, I tend to overdo things.

    • Oh Roy!!! What a nightmare. I’m so sorry. (And so glad you’re ok!) You make a great point for us though, you can overdo anything, even good things!

      But to hear of your experience really makes this so much more tragic to me. It makes me cry to imagine how broken and self-loathing those women must be to do that to themselves, at a hefty price tag too.

      That’s a sad mental state when someone chooses that method to shed some weight over eating a healthy diet and moving their body. I don’t get it.

  10. One of the best things about aging is that we more readily accept ourselves and our bodies. I’m so glad you spoke up about this, Ginger. If even one bride rethinks her decision to go on this diet, then you have saved someone from doing horrendous physical damage to herself. Go ahead and rant. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sheila. You are so right about age giving a person perspective about ourselves. I can really relate to that having suffered through years of body-issues in my teen years.

  11. I’m with you 100% on this. It’s a disgrace. What happens when she comes off the feeding tube? So the man she marries thinks his wife is one thing and three months later she morphs into something else. How’s that staying true to yourself?

    Years ago when I taught twelve classes a week – those were the days – I remember a couple of girls who came three times a week religiously blah, blah, blahing about how healthy their diets were and they were exercising so how come they hadn’t lost weight? Ten minutes later I saw them coming out of a shop scoffing Mars bars. I stopped my car and yelled out the window “If that’s supposed to be a reward for doing my class, you two need serious help. Don’t look so guilty, you’re not letting me down, you’re letting yourselves down.” Felt a lot better after it let me tell you. They both joined slimming world the following week and ten years later they’re forty pounds lighter and still remind me of the ‘hair dryer’ I gave them. What are friends for?

  12. lynnkelleyauthor

    I watched it on TV and just couldn’t believe it. That doctor should be ashamed for taking advantage of people like that and putting them at risk. I wonder how many of those brides will pass out at the altar? Insane.

  13. Not a big shocker…..I totally AGREE with you of course! I’m always in shock at how many people just want a quick fix no matter what the cost to their pocket books or health. I’m glad I already love on myself enough to respect the gift of my body and mind. I can always do better though so, I look forward to focusing more on it this coming week. Happy Week WritersButt Peeps!! 🙂

  14. Powerful stuff! That is crazy what those women will do. I love my body. It’s a little too heavy (for health reasons) right now, but I can work on that. It’s more important to me to do it right and take longer than get a quick fix. Have I tried my share of stupid things? Oh, yeah. But now I get that it’s all about moderation and doing what’s right for my body, not what’s the latest fad.

    Great rant.

  15. Oh, wow! That is disgusting! I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stop eating and shove a tube up their nose. I don’t diet at all because I prefer to eat healthy rather than focus on resticting myself. But those extreme diets are just ridiculous. You are right. We should respect and honor our bodies. Thanks for the great goal this week. I know that everytime I work out and eat a healthy meal, my body thanks me.

  16. I went down to the lake. Alone. I’d hoped their would be kite-flyers there (incredible wind) but only amateurs. Their kites die quickly compared to the ‘pros’ whose kites fly high and wild. Nonetheless, I did go there and brought my yellow pad and wrote. A friend went to Michigan by herself and spent the week-end at museums. When funds grow, I’ll try that. I’ve got a couple places I’d like to go. I think I have a gluten allergy. I’m working on figuring that out.

  17. appalling and disgusting. i don’t think i could add anything else to your rant and to the others’ comments except that making things like this “normal” and “acceptable” by doctors enabling this behavior when they know better and showing it on daytime TV as the “new trend” leads me to wonder how we can then ask ourselves why we have daughters – and now even sons – with body image issues. it’s just astounding.

  18. U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E. Someone needs to give these ladies a serious shake! Rant on, Ginger, and thanks for talking about this.

  19. I saw that news report on Yahoo about the nose-tube-feeding bride. What a joke! How utterly ridiculous to walk around with a tube up your nose. Reminds me of a catheter. NOBODY wants to walk around carrying a bag of urine that’s attached to your private parts. That’s what the nose tube reminds me of – a catheter. Yeah, so sexy.

    And in 2 weeks you’re gonna balloon right back up anyway when you start eating all that wedding cake and good food from wherever you’re honeymooning so what’s the point? And don’t you have to buy a wedding dress like months in advance of the big day so it can be fitted property to your body so that it’s flattering? Does your dress have to be re-sized on your wedding day so it’s fits the 20 pound smaller you? Stupid. Just stupid.

    I’d rather do my Ginger-recommended squats and push-ups and show off the body I WORKED for by eating right and exercising, thank you very much! Besides, I love to eat too much to stick a nutrition tube up my nose. Let’s see, shall we have pizza tonight or . . . no wait, I’ll have some slimy gray stuff in a tube. Yum!

    I hope your soap box is big enough for the both of us!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  20. This ridiculousness is so worthy of a rant – I was deciding whether or not I was going to blog about it. It is infuriating. I mean, I understand wanting to look “your best” in your wedding dress, but how sickly obsessed with physical appearance have we become that STARVING has become not only acceptable, but a profitable business.


    Thanks for ranting.

  21. Karen McFarland

    Rant away Ginger! What a disgusting and dangerous way to lose weight! But I know that you are a guru on all things healthy with exercise and food, so this would be extra upsetting to you.

    I just wanted to stop by and see ya. I’m still sick, but trying slowly to make the rounds and see everyone. I just don’t have much energy yet. I was struck with a bad infection which wiped me out. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. Take care! 🙂

  22. Nancy J Nicholson

    I think your rant was well justified.

  23. Not all rants are bad. I’m glad you decided to rant over this. It actually makes me sad because I can’t stop thinking of the damage they’re doing to their bodies with all these crazy dieting procedures.

  24. Pretty late to this party, aren’t I? It was one of the detours I’ve found myself on after reading Jennifer Oliver’s hula hoop post. 🙂

    I, too, don’t have much good to say about drastic measures to lose weight. I lost a close family member to gastric bypass surgery. Lupus meds caused her to gain weight, and she thought that was her only option. So when I hear about people going to stupid extremes to lose a few…or even a lot…of pounds, I just want to slap them!

    As for grooms seeing their brides walking around with a tube shoved up their nose… Many of them are probably encouraging it. After all, if a woman wears double digits…even if it’s a ten…she’s fat. Single digit clothing sizes rule…and the smaller the number the better. It’s just the way it is these days. Hollywood, and the music industry, have shown us time and again that the ‘beautiful’ women are those who look like they just stepped out of a concentration camp.

    Okay…I’m being a little extreme. But not by much. Glad you’re bringing attention to this problem. 🙂

    • Hi Kristy. I appreciate your comment and agree with you completely. I still find it so sad that anyone would go to such extremes instead of LOVING herself the way she is. Still boggles my mind.

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