Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or maybe I am just becoming a crotchety lady in general–but I seriously do not understand why my Facebook news feed has become all about everyone in my whole entire life–on some sort of diet, food craze or workout phenomenon. I literally am about to lose my shit with this. All day, every day, every single minute, of every single day, I have in my face–someone’s announcement of how they cut calories, worked out for seventeen hours or photos of people looking like they just had a stroke, red in the face, post workout. Now yes, I post occasionally about my running. I will run 10 miles on Saturday and then thank someone on Facebook for the great company and announce that my run, was indeed glorious. Or sometimes, I declare that I hate running or that I just shoved a giant ice cream cone in my face. But I wouldn’t call what I do constant or consistent. And yes, there are people that really inspire me and whose journey–I LOVE following. Russ, the husband of a gal I run with on Saturday’s has had an incredible weight loss journey. Once in a while, Meg will post his progress and we are all glad for the update, as it’s just been wonderful to watch him change his life style. Not to mention, he is incredibly humble when it comes to the whole thing. His story is real and unaffected by trends. He is just a guy, who turned to running to help him shed pounds and learned life’s #1 lesson: portions, portions, portions. Then there are Carrie & Kristin, both gals I went to high school with who are creating a positive environment for change, asking people in a non pushy fashion, to watch them make better life choices while inspiring others to do the same. All this–I can handle. All this–I think is great. The rest, makes me want to throw up in my mouth every single time I look at it.
Why? Why you may ask, is this stirring up something inside of me?
Because I am SICK and TIRED of watching people just shit all over themselves, which inadvertently, creates a pattern that makes other people want to shit all over themselves. I’m going to tell you all, the world’s biggest secret: it’s all about how much and what kind of food you stick in your face. There is no magic pill, no wonder diet, there is no easy fix–calories in, calories out. PERIOD. Yes, you can eat your one egg white with half a grape and maybe you’ll be skinny someday but you will also have a terrible attitude, dull hair and probably worse skin then 95% of the population. And yes, you can drink that protein shake that claims to have eight zillion vitamins and fillers to keep you full but how do you think they get all that “stuff” into a chocolate powder: THEY PROCESS IT. When you go outside, do you see vitamin packed chocolate powder growing on the trees??? Uh, nope, no you don’t. Do you see tiny pills coming up from the earth, ready to pop into your mouth and steady your metabolic rate? Uh-no. There are some exceptions out there, sure, some of these ready made shakes, actually pack some of the good stuff but most of them, do not. Great marketing, that makes you feel like you are doing something wrong, so you will buy it and fix yourself.
Body image has been a sticking point for every woman since probably the beginning of time. And I have my own list of issues but mostly, I like my body. I may joke about it from time to time. I may call myself awkward and feel unpretty–but I know with every mile I log on the road, I am doing something good for myself. The hard work, has paid off and there are certainly moments when I don’t feel my best, but most of the time I am damn pleased with what I have carved out in the last year. Watching men and women torture themselves is killing my spirit. It’s awful. And I have a huge issue with having to see it every single damn day.
Weight is a simple equation without a lot of variables. When you go to the grocery store, you shop in the perimeter. If you eat carbohydrates, you should be anticipating using them for something, so they don’t just turn into sugar which then turns into fat. If you don’t eat a lot of sugar, you will reduce your calorie intake tremendously, you will also prevent your body from going into insulin overload. And sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar. So if you are dumping 10 pounds of agave on everything, you are still harming your body. And, if you are scooping out coconut oil and shoving it in your face, you will still get just a little bit fat. Bacon is not the enemy, if you eat it like a normal human being. Fat can be good, in limited quantities. And “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” is probably going to give you cancer. Also, your “lite” yogurt has as much sugar as a Snickers bar, so you might as well go shove one of those into your mouth. Read labels. Use your best judgment. Simple food, is often best. Unprocessed, real food is always the best choice. Things that come from the ground, your body knows what to do with. Don’t get caught in the hype.
I wish all my friends valued themselves. I wish, that most days, I valued myself more. But I know this–I love myself enough to never play into the hype, to never starve myself or deprive myself. I love myself enough to know that with certain “allowances” comes the need to work hard. I love myself enough to create quality meals that are well rounded and filling. To teach my kids the fundamentals of what eating well actually means and to teach my daughter that all this shit, is exactly that, shit. Food can be a glorious thing. It brings people together. I’m tired of people demonizing it simply because we have turned food into something—other than what it actually is—a natural product.
I encourage you all to get in front of the mirror today and have an honest conversation with yourself. Get naked if you must. But take a good, hard look. You’re beautiful. And there are plenty of people who think so.