We (America) were once known as the obese country. With fried everything and donuts as cheeseburger buns, it’s really hard to see how that could ever be…. within the past few years however, there’s been a shift. We’ve traded our donuts in for “gluten free” and meats for vegan or plant based protein. Tabloids now have to keep up with the times by telling you their packaged snacks are only 100 calories, the canned tuna is gluten free, and they’ve even gotten creative in their ability to make chips out of vegetables.
This change in motion is great as I applaud Michelle Obama for boosting MyPLate awareness while more people are flooding the gyms, however there is another underlying condition. It may seem like a new condition but it has been around since the ancient Egyptians and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It is the romantic ideal of the “perfect body.” In today’s society is it perceived as flat tummies and round butts with toned arms and legs, the ultimate athlete in some cases. For men it is bulging biceps, chiseled abs with big quads and calves to match. Lets not even add ideal height and weight to the equation.
Media thrives on this body type and puts them in the lime light with ads, TV series, movies, and even cereal boxes. Todays top ten teen shows on television not only include these body types but in some cases are the only type they see and wish to be like. The result of this being 10 and 12 year old KIDS thinking they are fat and wish to lose weight.
Not only are we thrown into a media frenzy of creating this “ideal body” but we are thrown curve balls with all this “healthy” talk about gluten free and less calories, daily dose of vegetables and diet plans. No one really knows what is even healthy so they go with what is the biggest craze at the time and hope it makes them look like the stars on TV. Some diets go so extreme they cut out carbs all together to cut weight fast, starve themselves on asparagus and fish for 4 weeks then binge eat on 12 donuts in one sitting because they feel deprived. After awhile you forget why you wanted to become “healthy” in the first place.
Health then, no longer becomes about keeping up with your kids while you play and keeping your body fueled well to be energized and living a long, fulfilling life. It becomes about getting the six pack and 12% body fat even if you’re miserable in the process and binge eat once you get there. This is when eating disorders begin and our infatuation with the way we look instead of the way we feel comes into play. Oh, and off topic but relevant, do you even know what Gluten is? Do you know why you are cutting it out of your diet? Let me enlighten you, but before I do, please watch this video on the “ideal body type” from the past to present.
This video shows you the daring truth, that EVERY body type has once been the “ideal” body type at one point or another, and EVERY body type is beautiful. Did you know, only 5% of the population has today’s ideal body type naturally. Which means, 95% of us have to resort to other ways if we want to be beautiful by medias standards.
Here are 4 quick tips to not falling into this void of media health, and becoming healthy FOR YOU.
1) “DON’T read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.”
2) Becomes the healthiest version of YOU. Adopt the 80/20 rule I follow if you like or find one that fits you. The 80/20 rules means eating healthy 80% of the time but allow 20% of the time for a slice of pizza without feeling guilty. With every meal include a healthy portion of CARBS (gasp): oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain, cous cous, veggies, fruits, PROTEIN (plant or animal based), and FAT (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, almonds, etc.)
The motto I live by: If it came from the earth (grains, vegetables, fruit, etc) or was once alive (grains, vegetables, fish, chicken, cow, fruit trees), it’s food.
3) don’t drink your calories. STOP drinking soda. Just stop it. Look, I love the polar bears from Coca Cola too but people scrub rust off their cars with it, why would you put that into your body? At least 8 glasses of water a day will boost your metabolism and cleanse your body of toxins. Coffee and tea are good for the soul and body as well in small portions, you don’t have to stop that.
4) Move your body daily. This does not mean you need to become a gym rat or hurt yourself by trying Crossfit. Going for a walk, jog, bike ride, hike, swimming, dancing in your living room are all moving your body; many of them are fun too. Exercise is only one part of being healthy and is not the be all of health, but it will keep your joints lubricated, muscles strong, and core able to last you a long time.
Now about the Gluten thing…Gluten is a protein found in wheat. That’s it. It doesn’t have teeth or on a mission to kill you. Some people do have an allergy to gluten, but not as many as they say they do. When people say they cut out gluten and lost a ton of weight its because they took out all the junk food and started eating healthy. Gluten doesn’t make you gain weight unless you abuse it, just like anything else.
Lastly, Please don’t eat the veggie chips and think you are eating your daily intake. Chips are chips no matter how you disguise them. Just eat the flipping vegetables.
“your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.”