Why is our whole society so crazy when it comes to weight, exercise, health, and all that stuff? The easiest way to see this ridiculousness is to watch commercials. (I know nobody watches commercials anymore, but humor me, because I'm too busy playing on the internet to fast-forward the tivo) First a Jenny Craig ad about being the best you you can be, then some diet pill/quick fix weight loss ad, and top it off with a Wendy's commercial where a skinny girl tells you to eat a bacon cheeseburger. If that's not insane, I don't know what is.
I've had such a yo-yo weight experience as an adult. When I was younger I never really thought about it, I ate what I wanted and I played hockey and that was that. College is when I first started to notice and think about it. Then my senior year, in preparation for my wedding I went on my first real crash diet. It worked! And I was very, very proud, so were all the people around me, it seemed. It was the first time in my life I'd really lost weight through controlling my diet. I got so many compliments, it felt amazing and empowering. And something switched in my brain. Suddenly being thin was important. So for the next next 7 years I did some crazy things: dieting, over-exercising, joining online anorexia communities for the "thinspo" (images meant to inspire thinness)... but my other anxiety symptoms were also getting worse and after the concussion I finally got help, and after that I stopped controlling my weight and I got much more mentally healthy.
But since then, if I'm being honest, I've never been able to "forgive" myself for gaining weight, or not losing it. Because part of my mind tells me I can do it, if I'd just stop being lazy, or if I just controlled my eating better. "Eat right and exercise" That part of my brain forgets that I'm on meds that take away the strongest of my OCD feelings, those feelings that had lead me to plummeting to a size zero after having kids. Some days I feel like the meds take away my anxiety-produced ability to achieve and left only the thought monkey in my head, who is quieter now but still mocks me for skyrocketing to my current weight. And on those days I hate the meds, I hate my body, and I hate the world for reinforcing my issues through TV ads and everything else.
But I'm trying to heal. I'm trying to internalize a message of healthy at any weight. After all, weight isn't the be-all of health measurement. You just can't tell if you look at somebody it they are healthy. That skinny person could be eating healthily or eating horribly, that fat person could be sitting on their ass or going to the gym every day. There's no one solution that fits everybody. Not one diet, not one exercise plan, not one body type. And guess what? That's ok. So "eat right" and "exercise", whatever that means to you. I'm trying to internalize this myself, and it's hard, but I think it's a good message.
Fantastic post! If only more people could realise the truth of your message - it all about being healthy not a particular weight or size. Good luck chasing away the 'thought monkey' (what a brilliant phrase, BTW). Thanks for sharing this. Sarah.ReplyDelete
Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it!Delete
weight is a big struggle for me.ReplyDelete
I look at photos of myself as a teen and in my early 20s.
I remember being hounded about losing weight.
All I can say is... I would love to be that size now ;(
Thanks for posting
Yeah, I think seeing pictures of myself at a lower weight is the hardest. I always think I looked prettier in the past. :(Delete
I have someone very close to me who has struggled with eating disorders. She lost more than 100 pounds and developed Bulemia to try to stay that way. Now she's gained a bit of it back but is mentally healthier as you said. Recently she posted this article which I thought you might like to read too. http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/losing-180-pounds-really-does-body-8212-160-163900419.htmlReplyDelete
Great article! Thanks, Katie!Delete
This post really hit home for me. I'm an over eater, it's hard to keep my emotions in check to subdue this mental beast. Sometime the people closest to me (well meaning as they are) minimize my problem because I'm "normal" or "healthy" looking. Any way, you're so right, you can't judge a book by it's cover...ReplyDelete
Yes, exactly. The idea that you can tell somebody's health just by looking at them is so laughable, and yet somehow accepted by so many peopleDelete
The easiest way to see this ridiculousness is to Does the Ab Rocket really work? watch commercials. (I know nobody watches commercials anymore,ReplyDelete
I started to panic a little bit when I quit smoking and gained 35 pounds, but I like not passing out all the time anymore, so I guess I can compromise.ReplyDelete
Doing exercise and eating right is very essential for well fitness and I hope that through reading out this post people will able to know some quite handy information. Thanks dude :)ReplyDelete
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