Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A rant

So, I've jumped back on the fitness "bandwagon" as my birthday was approaching and it provided the motivation to get my life back into gear. I wanted to start my new year on a positive note and what better way than to have thrown myself back into the momentum? I'm not aiming for anything hardcore, just a healthy, happy lifestyle, which in theory, should equal a healthy, happier me. It's going well, thus far since I'm easing my way back into it. Can't wait to push myself harder!

What's really on my mind though, is two things, as I re-submerge myself into the land of online fitness: 1) thinspo and 2) eating as "fueling".

I have pretty much made piece with tumblr (although I'm still adverse to the mindless reblogging of uncredited images—copyright infringement, people!), but the thinspo that exists there is horrible! Even "advocates" of doing it the "healthy way" seem to reblog images of sickly skeletal girls. It makes me sad that that this "ideal" is continuously perpetuated there given that reblogging acts as a form of endorsement, as well as normalising it as an "ideal". One tumblr that focuses on before and after images features malnourished bodies as the "after", and a user commenting subtly about this was told that that their comment was besides the point. That being said, there is a wealth of information and inspiration out there on tumblr. However all of that information has to be organised to become knowledge, and it's worrying how some minds may process it...

I understand that diet is essential to health and fitness, and that apparently for weight loss the emphasis is 80% on diet and the remaining 20% on exercise etc. However, the idea that is being reinforced by my floating through cyberspace is that eating is only a means of fueling one's body. Okay, yep, I get that. We need to eat food to live. I also get that there are a lot of unhealthy foods. But why take the joy out of eating? Perhaps this is a cultural thing, or even just an individual thing given my background, but I was raised to appreciate and enjoy food. Not just eating, but the entire process whether I be actively involved in the preparation or not. Paraphrasing a quote that rings true to me: If you don't look enjoy/look forward to eating there must be something wrong with you.

That's not meant as an attack on anyone, but my belief is that since we only have one life, and eating makes up a significant part of that life, we should enjoy it! I'm not endorsing binge eating or unhealthy eating, but I believe that even if you're a celiac, vegan who won't eat anything artificial, you can still enjoy the foods that you can/choose to eat. It's all about mentality. I understand that some people have time limitations or strict dietary requirements for health reasons etc. but even just sparing a few minutes a week to eat a meal that you take a moment to actually consciously enjoy, and I'm not just talking about treating yourself to something sinful. Take the time to consciously enjoy food, whether it be the taste, texture, freshness, company or even pride in yourself or appreciation and love for someone else who put in the time and effort to make it. I'm not saying that advocates of the "food as fuel" mindset don't do this, but I feel that the way that this approach comes across even just by the wording makes me cringe. We are not cars, people.

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