A couple of weeks ago, I picked up an old issue of Shape Magazine out of the waiting room at work. After thumbing through a handful pages, noting manicure tips, stress relievers, and a decent body-weight workout, I then came across an advertisement for a weight loss supplement.
My opinion of using supplements for weight loss is a topic for entirely another day, but what really got my blood boiling (to the point of blasting the poor guy working with me with a ten-minute rant) was this:
Since when are we able to defy genetics, open up a bottle, and magically become a
stick figure Victoria Secrets model? Better yet, WHY do we as women submit ourselves to this kind of propaganda? Why do we allow ourselves to believe for one minute that women in ads aren’t airbrushed to the point of ridiculousness. Why do we think the ideal woman looks like a Barbie doll? WHAT is wrong with having curves?
Over the last two years, my body has gone through a lot of changes. I’ve had the “almost” abs. I’ve had the whispers behind your back that go along with losing too much weight. And I’ve had (or currently have) the coined “muffin top”. And according to what you see these days, I guess, given my present state, I should be researching the latest diet…workout regime…or hmmm, maybe I should eliminate gluten (or better yet ALL carbs and subsist only on celery and protein powder) until I’ve whittled my waist down to a size two.
I should NEVER eat white rice, bread, or sugar. I should only “allow” myself three servings or less of fruit a day. I should do cardio and yoga and lift weights and save babies from burning buildings and feel guilty if I miss a workout. I should pick a body part to bash along with my fellow females at the next party I attend. And at the end of a long day if all I want is some music and a glass of wine, I better break out the measuring cup so I don’t “over do” it. Just make sure it’s red…and dry…
Because anything else isn’t “good” for you.
And forget about having a cookie. I haven’t “earned” it.
Rules. Rules. Rules. What started out as helpful tips to point people in a healthy direction has taken a lot of us and twisted our minds to the point of living life by a list of do’s and don’t so we’re sure we’re doing all the “right” things. At least that’s how it was for me after I started calorie counting. You learn one rule…and then another…and then, the next thing you know you’re having a meltdown in the middle of the soda aisle at Wal-Mart because you’re too afraid of drinking diet but you’re too afraid of having sugar but all you want is a fucking COKE!
I commend all of you out there who have stayed above the propaganda and can maintain a healthy balance all on your own, but for me things are a bit different and constantly seeing ads or hearing women talk in a way that is constantly bashing their bodies gets me riled up. Once you get caught up in the bullshit, it’s hard to climb your way out. For a while, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to accept my body past a certain point of thinness, but I never want to go back to the life I had with all the rules. That life where I always felt guilty…for anything, everything, or nothing at all. So maybe I’ll never be a size four again, but really, if that’s all I’m missing out on, I don’t really see it as a loss.
No questions today…just your thoughts.
And I’d love it if you read this article.