When I was around 20 or so, I went to the lady doctor for my yearly exam. I was told that the birth control I had been using was discontinued, and the doctor suggested similar alternatives as a substitute. Now, I can’t remember the name of this particular pill, but I was told by friends that it caused weight gain. I asked my doctor about this and I’ll never forget what he said: “Birth control doesn’t cause women to gain weight- hand to mouth syndrome does”. Some people may find this answer to be kinda brutal and I’m sure there are many that would dispute it, but I believed him and just laughed. I don’t care if he was right or wrong, but the reason I mentioned this is because we live in a society where looks are so imperative to people (not all, just making a generalization). It’s sad that I even asked my doctor that question, but I know I’m not the only one.
I didn’t really think much of this then. I’ve always been on the thin side which can be attributed to a few things. Genetics is the most obvious reason and growing up in a home where healthy, home-cooked meals were provided and playing outside was a daily activity has a lot to do with it (technology is awesome, but kids need to be kids, use their imagination, and burn off energy outside and not in front of the computer/TV every day). We rarely ate out at restaurants or picked up fast food (although I did love me some McDonald’s hotcakes growing up- my dad would get me some on my birthday, haha). It wasn’t until we got older that my parents would take us out for dinner on our birthday- my mom would cook our favorite homemade meal growing up. We didn’t eat perfect by any means, but my parents did a great job exposing us to a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
I got to thinking about the doctor incidence and how I grew up after reading some things a few weeks ago. Pinterest is notorious for promoting these “thinspiration” and “fitspiration” photos of women with motivating quotes or the recipe for the perfect workout. Things such as how to get wash-board abs, an amazing ass, and model-like legs are typically depicted. I’m not going to get into whether or not these are right or wrong. That’s controversial enough in itself and really just depends on whether or not stuff like that motivates one to become active and healthy or helps enforce destructive behavior in attempt to achieve a model-like look.
I’m not a dietitian and am only speaking my opinion on this matter. I’ve touched on this before, but social media has done wonders for networking and connecting with people, but it also has it’s pitfalls- this stuff being one of them. Sure, I share healthy recipes and have written statuses about working out before, but you’ll never catch me promoting a certain type of diet or exercise routine that I abide by religiously because I don’t. What works for me won’t work for everyone though I do believe diet has a lot to do with weight/muscle tone and overall mental well-being. I’ve been criticized in a passive aggressive demeanor several times because of my body type. This is not only annoying- it’s hurtful. I shouldn’t have to feel bad because I eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge the other 20%. I shouldn’t feel ashamed because I actually enjoy “healthifying” meals and baked goods for my husband and me. Earlier last year (before the pregnancy) and the year before that I’d work out 4-6 days a week- cardio and strength training. I’d be at the gym for 45-60 minutes total – nothing extreme. I’ve continued to strength train but to a lesser extent and have almost completely cut off all cardio for the past 6 months or so (well I still walk/jog with my dog). I added more healthy fats to my diet (more avocado, almond butter, nuts, etc.) as I wanted to ensure my cycle was regular after the D&C. Also ladies- birth control can mask menstrual issues, especially if you have been on them for years. Just a warning to all of you girls out there.
I’m discussing this because I wish that more people acknowledged eating healthy, whole foods and that they’d stop jumping on board with fad diets and nix the over-processed crap. Obviously I enjoy processed foods every now and then and though that stuff is convenient, it’s simply not good for you. Our society is so wrapped up in appearances and concerned with weight and it’s actually quite sad, yet there is more junk available to eat then ever! Focusing on the health benefits of physical activity to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, etc. will help us now and provide children with a different attitude towards food and healthy living. I mean, remember Maria Kang, the lady whose “What’s Your Excuse?” picture went viral? This article gives some insight about it if you’re unaware. I have yet to experience a full-term pregnancy, give birth, and deal with the realm of motherhood, and I’m not going to get into whether or not I agree or disagree with it. However, what worries me is that some women see this kind of stuff and feel as though they’re not enough because they don’t look they that. They then fall into diet evils: weight loss pills, detoxes (I’m sure these can be good if it’s approved by your doctor), calorie counting/restricting, and completely undermining the importance of providing their body with proper nutrition so it can function properly. Or they start these crazy ass work out programs without taking a healthy approach. Cardio for 60 minutes straight will only get you so far, ladies! The problem is that we tend to want quick fixes in all aspects of life. I’ve been guilty of this too (school, for example) and it’s something I have to remind myself not to do.
I was all over the map with this post, but that’s how my thoughts generally flow…sorry. My hubby loves that quality about me 😉 Just kidding. Anyways, I guess my point is that one size does not fit all. Just because someone is on the thinner side, does not make them healthy or fit. I’ve always been yet I used to think running a mere mike was god-awful. I didn’t really start truly taking charge of my health until a couple of years ago and I still have so much to learn- it’s never-ending! Quick fixes don’t last and it’ll lead to discouragement and disappointment. Take some time out of your outrageously busy day and do some research on fitness and nutrition. Read articles written by doctors or registered dietitians. That’s what mama does while she’s busy watching some Real Housewives of Orange County, Kardashians, or House Hunters at night 😉
What are your thoughts on any of the topics I touched on?