Hello and happy Friday!
I hope you’ve had a fantastic week. Over the past week, I’ve found myself reading some ridiculous things in the news and social media, especially related to “health.” I’ve been ranting about all of it to my classmates, friends, and family, and was like, “You know what, Imma write about this on my blog. But I’m also going to include some positive things at the end so people don’t think I’m some grouchy person who just rants all day.” Grab a cup of coffee- you will need it to keep up with my rambles.
Cosmo published an article (link to a Huffpost article, not the real thing) last week about a 31-year old woman who has overcome several life-threatening illnesses, including a severe kidney infection, a partial lung collapse, and cancer. Based off my description, you may think the headline would be something about how strong this woman is and everything she has endured. Nope- it was “How This Woman Lost 40 Pounds Without *ANY* Exercise.” Woof. Where do I even begin?!
This is so disgusting on many levels. 1-She lost weight BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY ILL. I went to the article for context, and it says “Since modifying her diet early last summer, Simone has lost 44 pounds without a single session at the gym. (Because she’s still recovering from surgery, she isn’t physically able to work out the way she used to before her cancer diagnosis.)” It sounds to me like the healthiest thing for her right now is to recover, and it’s great that she is listening to her body and doing that. THAT is something I can get behind, not praising someone for losing weight because they are sick. 2-Her weight loss is the least interesting thing about her story. I’m much more interested in her journey and how she is feeling now.
3-SHE LOST WEIGHT BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY ILL. Ok, just wanted to make sure I got that point across. 4- If Cosmo is promoting health (I would argue they are not) why wouldn’t they want to promote physical activity for everyone? 5-This is another example of why it is not a great idea to equate weight and health. And one example of why it is problematic to comment on the size of someone’s body. Maybe they’re losing weight because they’re depressed and can’t get out of bed to eat. Maybe it’s their body and not your business. I was at my lowest adult weight when I was experiencing the worst of my anxiety. I can assure you that was not my healthiest.
Last week, I saw a trainer on Instagram saying “let’s get fit for summer-no excuses, ladies!” This was on a post to promote her “bikini body” program. AGH this makes me ragey. You know what, sometimes there are excuses. And I wouldn’t even call them excuses, I would call them reasons. Like maybe you’re mentally exhausted and you need a day of rest. Or maybe you’re busy parent and the best you can do tonight is feed your family fast food. Or maybe you don’t have the money to buy this woman’s “bikini body” program. Why do we have to act like “getting fit” and “eating healthy” is a moral crusade? I personally do not feel like I need to give an excuse if I don’t move my body or eat like others may want me to, and you shouldn’t, either.
Glenys is one half of the duo over at the Dietitians Unplugged podcast, but she also has a great blog. This post stirred up some lively conversation/disagreement in the comments section as well as a Facebook page where I originally found the article. I think the title (Food is Not Medicine) turned off some people, but she does a good job arguing her case and explaining what she means by that.
The main thing I took away from this post is that, yes, nutrition is important, but so is enjoying your food! She writes,”If you’re treating your food like medicine, holding your nose and shoving it in, or in a less extreme version, dutifully eating your “healthy” food but wishing you were having something else instead, you’re doing your body and your mind a disservice.” Yass, Glenys.
Sorry mom, there is some profanity in this slideshow. Kelsey Miller is hilarious and writes for The Anti-Diet Project at Refinery 29, which is an ongoing series about intuitive eating and body positivity. I’ve heard of her book on various podcast episodes, so I’ll have to add that to my growing summer reading list. This slideshow does a great job of explaining what IE actually is, and what it isn’t.
Whew, thanks for letting me share some of my frustrations (and things I’m loving) with you. I feel better already. Now go out there and have yourself a great weekend.