Quoting Quiverfull: Lori Alexander Fat Shame Children Yet Again?

Quoting Quiverfull: Lori Alexander Fat Shame Children Yet Again? August 25, 2017

Lori Alexanders Brainby Lori Alexander from The Transformed Wife – Teaching Children Healthy Eating Habits

Editor’s note: Snipped out of this is a long quote from Michael Pearl, which happens to be something less toxic than usual: Keep healthy foods at home and keep the junk food to a minimum. Good way to help your kids eat better. This type of eating was what was offered at the children’s residential treatment center, unlimited fresh fruit between meals and three healthy meals per day. If this was the only thing Lori was promoting I’d had no trouble with it. Where I think the problem lies is that Lori seems to think that people who are not perfectly thin are out of control sinning, instead of realizing that there are many complex reasons that someone might be less than their ideal weight. Again, there’s no mercy or love or kindness in anything she writes. We all know she exhibits many of the symptoms of an eating disorder and projects it in many of her postings. Helping children with making healthy food choices is an important thing, but so is being flexible enough to allow treats or junk occasionally and to not shame a child, or anyone else, when they fail.

Most Americans have a problem with self-control. You can see it by their expanding waistlines and I can hear it from the comments from the women in the chat room. Food is abundant and inexpensive in our country and junk food that is filled with non-food is available for practically nothing.

As I have mentioned before, I have to watch what I eat for the first time in 30 years because my stomach is better and I’m hungry. I can eat almost anything I want now and it’s fun BUT it’s easy to gain too much weight now. I have found that in order to not be overweight, I must feel some hunger pains between meals and not eat. It’s as simple as that. If I eat every time I want to eat, I would gain too much weight. I have a set weight limit and I stick with it. I want to discipline my flesh and make it my slave. I don’t want my lusts to control me.

Some have told me that children will gorge on junk food if they are deprived at home when they are away from home. Children gorge on junk food whether or not they get it at home but it’s our job as parents to train our children in the way they should go when they are under our roofs. Teach and model to them healthy eating patterns and it will benefit them for life!

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    I guess Jesus loves you just the way you are as long as you are perfect, or at least Lori’s idea of perfect.

  • pagankitty

    Is Lori going to consider food deserts?? Or are poor people without access to fresh fruits/vegetables just condemned for all eternity??

  • Tawreos

    Trying to consider that people may live in different circumstances than she does is just plain unchristian.

  • Saraquill

    The “expanding waistlines” jab is absurd considering QF’s emphasis on birthing piles of children.

  • pagankitty

    I’m sure in Lori’s mind that people choose to live in poverty because they love sinning and hate work. Anything to avoid having to take all those “help the poor” bible verses seriously

  • SAO

    The problem is all the occasions when we have food. Meetings, ball games, tests, etc. Then we cook and eat like our peasant forebears, who were out in the fields all day long. Portions have increased in size and sugar is added to everything. I lived overseas for 20 years. When I left, Wendy’s had the super-huge, meaty quarter-pounder. When I returned, the 1/4 pounder was the smallest size (other than the econoburger, which didn’t even have a limp piece of lettuce) and you could get 1/2 pounders and double bacon 3/4 pounder cheeseburgers. I’m still surprised at where I find added sugars.

    Okay, rant over, but we put kids in front of feasts way too often and in front of well-meaning adults who offer a kid cookies but don’t notice that it’s their 5th cookie. Then Lori wants the kids to say no?

  • Aloha

    I’ve posted pics of Lori Alexander before. But as a reminder, she is VERY thin.
    I’m sure you have to go hungry quite a lot to get this waif-like look. Be aware, however, that it’s neither the only way to look beautiful, nor is it particularly healthy.
    Asking people to accept hunger pains as normal and holy leads to anorexia.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/002f2c6ce95b21e37c79109544847c60c990d6508a06a438ba37208886912c4b.jpg

  • Tawreos

    She has to make sure her husband approves of her weight and shape. How can she worry about health and comfort concerns over his vital approval? I just sprained an eye socket from how hard the eyes rolled while typing that last bit.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Allowing oneself to feel hunger between meals is not a bad idea but hunger pains? Admittedly, I don’t know what she means and maybe it’s just a stomach rumble. But the choice of the word “pain” is telling. She seems obsessed with the idea that healthy eating should hurt.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I honestly wonder if Ken has anything to do with it? With disordered eating, there doesn’t have to be an obvious external source of pressure to be thinner, thinner, thinner. And in general, I often find that men don’t even notice the weight fluctuations that we women can get so stressed out about (though, to be fair, I’ve mostly known much nicer men than Lori has and some men do fixate on their partners’ weight and eating as a means of control.) It wouldn’t surprise me if Lori’s need to be thin and to never go over a certain (very low) weight had to do with her own obsessions with self-control and her extreme moralizing of food and didn’t directly have to do with her husband.

  • Aloha

    Plenty of men find our “meatiness” to be sexy. Personally, I feel sexier when my curves are filled out and a little pudgy.

  • Mirella222

    Of course not! Her whole premise is that apparently people are supposed to have complete and total control over their bodies at all times. You live far away from a grocery store, or live near one but can’t afford their produce? You gained weight due to genetic conditions, illness, injury, pregnancy, etc? You use food as a form of self-medication for mental health? None of that matters to Lori, because it’s all about “controlling yourself”. To me, at least, it reads like an eating disorder, only she is trying to force her own hangups about food onto everyone else and turn it into a huge moral issue.

  • Chiropter

    Two days of Lori has inspired me: I’m going to start a new career telling isolated, vulnerable people that God is condemning them! That I have a direct line from the divine, and they are sinners – unless of course they support my ministry and do everything I say.

    Oh wait, no. I have a sense of ethics and I’m not a terrible human being.

  • AFo

    This woman is obsessed with pain. In her eyes, the only way to be “godly” is torturing yourself.

  • Anonyme

    I was “fat” when I was in my late ‘teens. My father shamed me by saying I ate too much and that I would never get a job if I was “fat”.

    I wasn’t “fat” (at the time) because I was constantly shoveling food into my face. I was fat because a medication I was then taking for my epilepsy caused me to retain weight/fat. This “fat people are gluttons” generalization is extremely ignorant and harmful. (And for what it’s worth, my dad STILL didn’t let up about my weight even after the doctor explained that particular side effect of the medication. Then again, my dad also said my severe acne would make it difficult for me to get a job, so there was ignorance all over).

  • zizania

    I’m afraid I find that photo rather disturbing – all those men cradling their wive’s abdomens as though to say: “I own this”.

  • smrnda

    Some have told me that children will gorge on junk food if they are deprived at home when they are away from home. Children gorge on junk food whether or not they get it at home

    Lori, citation please. “Some have told me” means that this is possibly a hypothesis that someone has tested. Plenty of kids don’t gorge on junk food.

    On top of that, does she not realize that access to healthy food, time to cook, disposable income for fitness activities and time are not available to all? It isn’t like poor people don’t tend to be heavier. There’s also issues of chronic stress.

  • MaraT

    No, she won’t consider anyone else’s circumstances but her own. , she once wrote that “…all it takes is hard work” to escape poverty. It is indicative of the privileged bubble she lives in. She also refuses to watch the news or read newspapers because she will hear about bad things, and “…there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just don’t listen to the news”. Wow. Just. Wow. She doesn’t want to consider anyone else’s plight. She’d have to get off her backside and do something about it. She’d rather type a blog and eat expensive organic food that someone else bought and provided for her. It’s easier to hide in her house and tell other women what to do than it is get out and do something about the suffering in this world.

  • Julia Childress

    When I met my husband, I was extremely thin (5’10”, 125 pounds). With each pregnancy I hung on to about 10 pounds. After the third and last baby, I was trying desperately to get back to my 125 pounds and one night my husband asked me to please not try to be as thin as I used to be. He had never complained about the weight gain, and he told me then that he liked both the look and feel of a few extra pounds. I know he was sincere about it and I greatly appreciated him reassuring me that I was attractive to him, despite the body changes that often come with pregnancy. I just find it heartbreaking that women listen to Lori, and she makes them feel like unattractive failures of they can’t achieve someone else’s vision of appropriate weight.

  • AuntKaylea

    Plus, the items given out at food banks for those who are food insecure are highly processed to keep from spoiling. The poor do not usually have a choice about what to eat. I wonder what would happen if Lori spent half the time she does online gardening vegetables to donate to a local food bank?

    I was honestly surprised as an adult how much I liked vegetables as an adult because it was the first time I ate fresh instead of canned. (HUGE difference). My husband will often tell people that I like to eat a salad with my salad. . .

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    This is a cattier comment than I’m proud of but I might lose weight if I had only Lori’s cooking to eat. I’m still reeling over that chili recipe WITH NO GARLIC!!!

  • Almost a chimp

    Wives? Oh, I thought they were quiverfull siblings. My skin can stop trying to crawl off my bones now. Thanks…

  • zizania

    I don’t know which. But, if it is siblings, that’s even creepier. I love my brother a lot, but I’d never pose with him like that.

  • paganheart

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Lori is anorexic or bulimic. If memory serves one of her daughters has an eating disorder (gee I wonder why….)

    ETA: Anyone else notice that at least two of the girls in that picture are wearing dresses that bare their arms?!?!? (horrors!!!) How immodest!!! Don’t they know that they could cause those men to stumble and have impure thoughts?!?! Do you suppose Lori harassed them about dressing like shameless hussys after that picture was taken? Or is this yet another example of fundie “Do as we say, not as we do?”

  • Kathi

    Yeah, Lori has a strong case of citationitis. Symptoms include: nausea at the thought of typing out information, inflated feeling of grandeur (I know better than everyone else), and hyper-sensitivity toward authoritativeness. Citationitis will lead you to expect that people believe what you are talking about even when you don’t offer information that supports your argument. Dang! You are that good!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I’m pretty sure she has “only” 4 kids so those are probably her kids with their spouses. The pose is creepy to me too but, honestly, it’s not limited to conservative Christian culture. I see similar poses in regular wedding pictures, other “posed” pictures of (straight) couples or even prom pictures. Another reminder that you don’t need to journey into fundie subculture to find creepy patriarchy.

  • Anonyme

    Didn’t one of the Pearl kids steal some other family’s food because the cat food and cabbage diet was (obviously) not filling an nutritious enough?

  • mashava

    OT but my college town (which has a high rate of food insecurity, to the point that students put together a project to give backpacks full of food to local public school food-insecure kids every weekend) has a traditional food bank and then a fresh food bank that operates the same days as the food bank and gives out fresh fruit and veggies.

  • lady_black

    Your dad sounds like a real dick. Why didn’t he take you to a dermatologist?

  • lady_black

    Well, Lori… I have thyroid disease. If I get hungry, and don’t eat, I start feeling faint. I don’t have the kind where I gain weight, though. I have the opposite problem.
    I’ve also found it counter-productive to eat a large meal three times a day. I just eat when I get hungry. I don’t concern myself with what time it is. If your kids are healthy, and you are providing them enough to eat, and it tastes good, they probably aren’t going to get fat. Being fat often comes from eating the wrong kinds of food for otherwise healthy people.
    Only deprived children will “gorge.”

  • lady_black

    Oh NO. Have to put garlic in chili!

  • smrnda

    There’s also this weird thing grown-ups have about both picking portion sizes for kids and then expecting them to eat everything on their plate.

  • Almost a chimp

    Revealing my ignorance (or having a senior moment) here, but could you tell me what food-insecurity is, please?

  • Almost a chimp

    Medical conditions aside, being fat is mainly caused by consuming more calories than the body burns. This is why all the fad diets, ‘miracle’ diets, and so on are a waste of time and money, and can be injurious to the health of the dieter.
    Again, medical conditions aside, the best way to lose weight is to do it gradually by the simple expedient of eating a little less, eating a little better, and moving a little bit more. But only if the individual wants to; our bodies are our own business, and nobody should ever feel pressured to conform to anybody else’s ideals and standards.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Hungry people who cannot access food (food desert, poverty, etc)

  • Almost a chimp

    They may be spouses, and I know it’s a bad picture but the more I look at it the more it seems that all of the women resemble Lori and all of the men could easily pass as Ken’s sons.
    Whole communities resembling each other so closely (I’m assuming that the four Alexander clones siblings didn’t marry another set of siblings) is a sure sign that the gene pool needs freshening up somewhat.

  • Almost a chimp

    Thank you. I don’t recall hearing that phrase before.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Eh, I doubt that whatever community Ken and Lori belong to is old and insular enough for there to have been inbreeding. Remember, the two of them met at college and they don’t live on some generations-old, isolated compound. I just think super-square white dudes start to all look the same at some point. Lol

  • mashava

    (My apologies if this is your 17th answer in a row)
    It refers to anyone that has a chance of going hungry, basically, so they aren’t “secure” in enough meals. The most severe would be kids like my classmates wete helping, who literally can only trust the meals they get from school Mon-Friday. Less severe perhaps but still “food insecure” would be being forced to skip several meals a week to pay bills. Anywhere on that spectrum.

  • Saraquill

    I have a cookbook where the writer quoted her son “I love (vegan) chili! As long as there’s no onions, or green bits, and it’s not too spicy…” In his defense, he was about 6 at the time. I don’t know what Lori’s is.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Yeah, I don’t get it either. I would have to spice up any of her recipes from her blog and book to make them tasty.

  • Almost a chimp

    I’ve noticed that a lot with both the Mormons and JW’s, but especially Mormons.

    I suppose it could be that the Alexander kids, living cliches as they seem to be, actually have metaphorically married their parents.

  • Astreja

    Chili without garlic? Blasphemy!

  • Astreja

    I don’t find any of the people in the photo attractive, the men or the women. There’s something very creepy about their smiles.

  • Cynthia

    Lori can’t consider that people might not be able to afford organic, or may not be able to afford to have mom stay home, so the answer is no.

  • Cynthia

    She has a daughter in law who looks like a clone of her daughter, and they were pregnant at the same time, but Lori’s family is from California and the DIL is from Texas so there is no indication of inbreeding.

  • Cynthia

    Lori originally had problems in her marriage largely because she fought with Ken over food, getting mad that he didn’t eat the way she wanted him to and that he found organic veggies expensive.

    The simple solution would have been to realize that she could ease up on the food issues.

    But no. She realized that she was a control freak – but her conclusion was simply that as a woman, she couldn’t control her husband and if he was going to make her miserable by eating junk, she had to give up any expectation of happiness. She thought this terrible burden qualified her to give advice to other women in terrible marriages who might be dealing with real problems like infidelity and severe emotional abuse. Then, because she couldn’t boss Ken around, she just redirected her control freak tendencies to her kids, her readers and random women she sees. Ken bizarrely has bought into this and thinks that fat-shaming daughters is appropriate.

  • Nea

    Coming in very late to say that we know that Debi has casually talked about kids hoarding food like it’s a normal thing in all households.

  • Anonyme

    He actually had my mom take me to two separate dermatologists, both of whom said the only treatment would be an abrasion treatment that would take care of the acne but likely leave some scars. He didn’t make an effort himself to find answers, but my mom was (then) still trying to be the “good Christian wife” as in both her upbringing in a conservative Protestant family, and then becoming part of a partriarchal Catholic family when she married my dad, had conditioned her to do so. It took her forty years to finally get out of that way of thinking, and divorce him. (Ok, got off-topic there for a moment…)

    Sadly, things didn’t stop at physical appearance. My dad is an emotionally and verbally abusive narcissist and I also had high ideals of what his perfect child is like. I’m on the autism spectrum, and I was never smart enough, rational enough, or good enough in general. When my mom and I finally stopped being his enablers, his whole world was shattered…then he found new enablers my siblings (who are “better” than me in his mind) by spreading lies about my mom and me and playing the victim after the divorce.

    Woo, that got longer than I meant it too. 😛

    TL;DR: My dad wanted me to try everything under the sun to cure my acne, but didn’t want to do any research himself.

  • lady_black

    That’s the problem. There are a lot of old wives tales out there about acne, and I’m very sorry that happened to you. I was approached by every kid in my 8th grade class, asking what my “secret” was (for my beautiful skin). Sadly, I had none to give them. I was just LUCKY, and I told them so.
    Acne is not related to hygiene or what a person eats. It’s hormonal and often a matter of genes. They have a lot of treatments that weren’t there when I was young. They have even found that certain birth control pills help (if you’re female). There are antibiotics. There are chemical peels and comedone extractors that are easy to use.
    As far as being on the autism spectrum, that doesn’t mean you aren’t very smart. My favorite nephews and niece are on that spectrum. One of them was reading and spelling verbally before kindergarten. And he’s the most sensitive, kindest kid I ever met.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    I’ve seen that happen to a family I visited about 20 years ago: this little girl was given a serving of rice pilaf big enough for a family of 4 and forced to eat at least a third of it. If it were MY job to feed this child, I would have given her a portion the size of a pink rubber ball and let it go at that. If she’d wanted more, I would have fetched it for her. Small children have little stomachs and little bodies; they can make do with less. More parents bearing this in mind would have led to a more moderate childhood obesity problem.