Something that has been playing on my mind recently is this idea of ‘health’. ‘The perfect picture of health’- a phrase used by many to describe someone who maybe looks fresh, happy or whatever else you associate with looking good. This idea of being ‘fit’ and ‘healthy’ is most definitely an epidemic in today’s society. The fitness industry is booming and bigger than everrrrrr!
Gyms are getting busier, more money’s being put into stylish, high-end active wear and everyone is feeling a lot more pressure. There’s no denying it; it’s pretty much impossible to go about your day without being made aware of what’s healthy and what’s not. Whether it’s looking at your fitspos ‘post workout breakfast’, that’s perfectly Valencia filtered on Instagram. Or, wandering past the countless magazines that advertise some C list celebrity’s workout DVD. I don’t like to slander (I do, quite publically on twitter *doesn’t hang head in shame*). I can’t lie; those types of DVD’s frustrate me beyond belief. Does anyone else feel as though it’s a rite of passage for all reality stars to lose weight, publish it all over social media and profit from it somehow? I guess you could call it a savage money making strategy at best. I’m quite jealous.
Anyhoooo, more on the topic of ‘health’ and the façade that lies around it. This is unlike my normal posts where I tend to just chat rubbish, make up words and pretty much talk like an uneducated 11 year old… Lord help me… But, this is actually something that I think about a lot. It’s this idea of ‘looking healthy’ rather than actually being healthy.
I get that I can waffle on a bit when I write – believe me it was probably my most frequent criticism at school. That, and adding in random long words. Something that has not changed whatsoever, but I find that quality quite adorabubble. However, to really explain what I mean from this post, I’ll use myself as an example:
A little bit about the start of my ‘health journey’, wahoo…
At age 14 I decided it was time to cut the crap – both the food version and the lies I was feeding myself (witty joke, nicely done Anna) – that I was happy in my body. I was an overweight teen with a passion for both sport and food. Something that when done properly can be used in conjunction. When not done properly, it pretty much makes you a rosy, breathless and sweaty baked bean playing a slow game of netball. Whilst my other lean gazelle like friends leaped around the court like melted butter on a raisin bagel, which I probably would of eaten copious amounts of.
So, I began to cut calories and go to the gym more. At first, I saw it as nothing but a healthy diet. A means to an end. I had a goal to lose a stone and a half, and with every pound I lost, I gained more confidence. I gained more compliments. Clothes looked better on me and I was getting attention for how I looked for the first time ever. But as soon as I hit my target weight, it was almost like a ‘what now?’ I was petrified of gaining the weight back and hating my body again. So, I did whatever I could, to not to gain weight. Barely eating, over exercising and using strategies to lose weight fast. And guess what? I looked healthy. I wasn’t too skinny but, I wasn’t over weight. I was slim and seemingly happy. But I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. There seems to be this misconception that once you’ve lost weight, you’ll suddenly be happy. And that is far from the truth.
From the age of 14 to 19 my weight has really fluctuated. I’ve gone from overweight to underweight, and all the way back up again. I am now at a place in my life where I feel like I’m genuinely happy, fit and ‘healthy’. Of course, I have times where I feel myself slipping back into old habits, but I feel like I can finally tackle them.
However, enough about my sad tale… Something that really brought this idea of actually being ‘healthy’ to the forefront of my mind was the annual Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d be outright lying if I said I didn’t envy every inch of every models beauty. But, this year was actually the first year I didn’t sit there and think ‘I want to be just like that’. I read articles on how elated the girls were to be ‘finally eating carbs’ and saw Snapchats of them supposedly excited about ‘gorging’ on burgers – which by the way, we never actually saw.
That’s not healthy. At all. But everywhere you turn, their diets and workouts are being promoted. Normally along with a façade of bullshit tabloid lines like ‘I believe in moderation’ and ‘God, I just love junk food’. Cut the crap Kendall. I rate you and your effortless looks, but don’t try fool me into thinking those ‘endless pins’ – (Thanks Daily Mail for your ever repeating headline) – are made from beefy burgers and cheesy chips.
Overall, I guess I just find it sad. I think it’s a real shame that in this day and age we tend to associate ‘healthy’ with just the physical body – as if that’s the only indication of a person’s health. Although things are changing as time progresses and we understand that the body is merely an exterior, and actually sometimes there’s a lot more going on, on the inside, for instance, mental health – there’s still a lot of improvement needed. Particularly when educating young people of today growing up in, what can only be labeled as, a vair vair shallow world.
Sorry for the deep ramble! Thoughts n feels 😃