I’m an avid reader of many healthy living blogs. I love being motivated by their positivity. I feel inspired to go out and actually do some exercise. I try new recipes, and hunt for strange and unusual ingredients in health food shops. Admittedly, I skip over posts that are just about food and exercise, but still, it doesn’t always sit right.
Have you ever been in a situation in which the whole group suddenly starts talking about a topic to which you can’t possibly relate? Maybe it’s when you’re around friends who know each other from school; or when a bunch of work colleagues start talking shop. This is just how I feel when the issue of body image is raised on healthy living blogs.
Healthy living bloggers are lovely. They start things like Operation Beautiful – a scheme that involves leaving post-its in random places, with positive messages. The strongest message across the blogosphere is that your body is amazing, and you should love it no matter what.
One thing that links many of these bloggers is a history of restrictive-eating disorders. We see photos of beautiful, healthy teenage girls alongside stories of disordered eating (understandably no photos at that stage), and the road to recovery leading to healthy, athletic adults. Their message of self-acceptance is so important to encourage others out there to look after themselves, to love themselves.
But what if you’re the newbie amongst the old schoolfriends; the artist among bankers? What if your body isn’t healthy – all medically-recognised methods of measurement call you obese; and workouts leave you feeling wonky, broken and thoroughly down in the dumps? I’ve spoken before about my gratitude to my body for carrying me through infection, but you can’t help but feel, as Janet said, “What have you done for me lately?”
It’s a struggle to listen to the message to love your body when you just want to shift those 60lbs first. It’s tough to hear a natural size 6 girl say “don’t count calories! Just listen to your body, like I do” when listening to your body all your life has gained you a steady 6lbs per year since you left school.
This is why I was delighted to come across Lisa’s blog – 110 Pounds and Counting. This is someone I could truly relate to – she went through her early 20s being large; she recognised that there was more to it than the simple “Don’t diet, just eat less! Move more!” that the naturally-skinny bellow at us. While I will always love the blogs in my Google Reader, I am glad to have discovered someone whose life and attitudes are comparable to mine.
How about you, readers?
1. Where do you turn for inspiration?
2. Do you separate weight and health, or are you at the stage where the two goals are intertwined?
3. Do you find it easier to be inspired by people you feel are similar to you?