Thursday, September 10, 2015

Is strong the new skinny?

I have read/seen multiple articles lately about how the trendy "strong is the new skinny" motto isn't actually a step in the right direction when it comes to body image. I thought, being healthy and toned is a good thing right?

While on Pinterest this past week, I stumbled upon many "fitness inspiration" posters. These posters featured an extremely toned woman with captions such as, "It's not always easy, but it's always worth it," and "Suck it up and one day you won't have to suck it in," as well as "Don't eat (name of awesome food)" etc... I then decided to search for the "bad" thinspiration (I am only putting 'bad' in quotes to compare it to the fitness motivation posters; the irony of how they consider those acceptable. I DO think thinspiration is 'bad'). When I typed "thinspiration" into the search box, this came up at the top of the page,

"Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline..."

nevertheless, "thinspiration" quotes appeared below it, these featuring emaciated women, with protruding bones. But, my point is that these two "inspirations" are honestly not that different. While one is seemingly promoting a "healthy" body image - it's really not. It is saying "do whatever it takes to look like this, because that is what is important in life." It is saying "push yourself to the extreme and never touch a dessert because that will prove you are better." Well, I have done that. I have pushed myself with a version of "It's not always easy, but it's always worth it," running through my head. I decided (past tense!) to never touch certain foods. Along with those decisions came...nothing. No fruit to bear. Whether it is obsessing over being toned and fit, or just being skinny, it is still an obsession. It becomes your entire life, leaving no room for actual LIVING.  

So, do not be fooled with this seemingly "healthy" twist on "thinspiration." Focus on living a whole, balanced, and full life (which I am saying to myself as well). 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sugar? Yes, please.

If I see one more article/post about "cutting sugar from your diet" I am going to SCREAM. Why this has become such a fad, I am not sure, but it is driving me crazy.

Biochemist Leah Fitzsimmons, of the University of Birmingham in the UK, told The Daily Mail last year:
"Cutting all sugar from your diet would be very difficult to achieve. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and dairy replacements, eggs, alcohol and nuts all contain sugar, which would leave you with little other than meat and fats to eat - definitely not very healthy."

Once again, it is proven that completely eliminating something from your diet is not healthy (I know sugar is not a food group, it is found in so many nutritious things, it still applies in this situation).

I think this is a good reminder for people to remember that food IS meant to be fuel for your body, BUT it is also meant to be ENJOYED. It a gift from God to be able to eat and enjoy food. I am not saying eat as much sugar as you can/want all the time. I am saying, once (well, more than once) again, that everything in moderation is the key.

"There's a role for sugar in our diet. After all, what's the point of being healthy if it's not to enjoy living?"-Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University in New Haven, CT.