Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Better Eating

I've been trying to eat better this week. Trying to get back into the groove of caring about my whole health and not just my running speed and endurance. I'm also trying to live the adage that "abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym." I know that the only way that I will get the abs that I want is to shed some fat that I'm carrying on my stomach.

This is not me saying that I'm fat, or even that I'm unhappy with my body. I love what my body has been able to accomplish this year. Even with flat feet, I finished a marathon. I can get up in the morning and decide to run 3, 5, or even 10 miles and I will probably be able to finish those miles. I love that I can hold a plank for a minute. I also love that my standing desk has improved my posture so much I had to raise my monitor.

This is me saying that I would like to change some things. This is me saying that I could be better/stronger/leaner. I think that too often we are pushed into looking at our weight or health in very stark ways. We must either love everything about how we look and how we weigh, or we must hate it. There doesn't seem to be much allowance for people who are currently happy, but still want to change/improve. Yes, I love what my body can do, but I think it can do more.

I know that this either/or standard has been applied to plus-size actresses who say they're happy with how they look, but then go on to lose weight. I can remember the backlash against Jennifer Hudson, Oprah, and America Ferrera when they lost weight. Their decision to lose weight was viewed as abandoning their fans. And of basically being a liar. It's possible that there is some jealousy in this criticism. Or maybe the critics fear that their own claims of happiness with their weight aren't true.

Just as I don't think we should fat-shame, I don't think we should thin-shame. People can see what they look like in the mirror without others telling them how they should feel about their reflection. If they ask for opinions, it's one thing, but we should stop offering unsolicited opinions on the health and/or weight of others. People know if their weight is unhealthy without being told.

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