“Watch out! It’s a trap!”
The famous last words of every major detective (or Star Wars alien) before they fall through a trap door into a dark and gloomy dungeon. Or a pool of sharks. Ya. Let’s go with the sharks.
How about that just for today, we all pretend to be detectives.
Detectives?! Please, just bear with me…
How about we change that to internet detectives?
How about we further still change it to internet detectives of the health living trap?
Ah, now I have your attention.
Today I want to talk about how we all need to be our own personal detectives when navigating the “healthy living” community of the blog world. This same community has been cause for so much reformation that it’s really astounding. I’ve read literally hundreds of stories of women (and men) who have found healthy living blogs and improved their lives dramatically. These stories range from simple adjustments to life-changing results. From weight loss to weight gain, from managing chronic disease to discovering an entirely new passion.
I, and probably many of you, fall into that latter category: Passion.
Ever since I found this amazing community of blogs, I have developed an eye-opening passion for healthfulness, something that my former eighth-grade, oreo-binging self would never have even guessed at. And I am eternally grateful.
There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?
That does not mean that I haven’t also made some mistakes when trying to follow the ideas of some of these same “healthy” blogs. I won’t go into much detail now, but I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of yo-yo-ing between restriction, over-consumption, etc.
Do I blame these things on my beloved healthy living blogs? Certainly not. But that doesn’t mean that they are entirely blameless. They are meant to provide tips, examples, and interesting information. However, they are not meant to be copied or taken as fact.
Also, while I do truly believe that many of these popular bloggers have found a healthy balance in their lives, both with self and spirit, that doesn’t mean that all of the blogs that you encounter in this community will be healthy. Some will be quite the opposite, and many (actually quite a few in this category), will be the complete opposite.
Here’s where the detective work needs to come in. The job of a detective is to conduct investigations to identify “criminal activity.” Some such activities includes extreme calorie consumption (either on the low or high end according to accepted guidelines), distorted body image, exercising more than the recommended amount (professional athletes not included), engaging in obsessive/dangerous behavior (obsessive calorie counting, exercising, spending, caffeine addiction, compulsive tendencies, etc.), and making medical diagnoses or recommendations for themselves and others without the proper education and training.
Now, these are just some of the things that I have identified as “criminal activities,” but I’m positive that there are many more, some I’m sure that have not been identified yet, and a great number that can very easily slip under our detective radars.
My point in writing this post is to encourage all of you to investigate everything you read. Take nothing as fact or “healthy” until you do thorough research on your own and/or run it by a trusted professional.
This may seem like a somewhat depressing post to use for this week’s WIAW party, but it’s one that I have been wanting to write for awhile.
I feel like What I Ate Wednesday is the perfect place to share my thoughts on this topic because it is very easy to fall into the comparison trap when reading food journals. WIAW is such a wonderful thing, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it… As long as we keep our magnifying glasses up and ready.
Remember as the ever-so-smart Jenn from Peas and Crayons says:
—-What WIAW isn’t about—-
Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt
—-What WIAW is about—-
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so. much. more. <3
Celebrate Food. Celebrate blogging. Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]
Two additional thoughts before I wrap up this post for the day:
1. I am not saying that those who have different diets than what we consider “the norm” are restrictive or unhealthy. Sometimes there are perfectly legitimate reasons for eliminating certain food groups (take those with food allergies for instance– like me!), or having to watch specific macronutrients (like carbohydrates for diabetics). When looking at my meals (mostly soup right now), you may think that I am being restrictive, but I am eating for my health, and that is all. Hence the name of my blog: Eating 4 Balance. Right now I am trying to heal my gut, and ultimately find what works for me. Do I miss the other foods that I used to eat? Heck yes! But I feel much better without them. Also, now that I’ve eliminated most of my trouble foods I am actually able to eat more calories and fat than before (and perfectly within the “safe” range), without feeling completely terrible. If you ever have doubts about me, or another blog though, just ask!
2. You didn’t think that I could do an entire post without pictures of food, did you? I know I promised on Monday that I would be posting some awesome recipes, but I feel like this post takes priority. So, you’ll just have to wait. I promise it won’t be too long. Until then, a few pictures to hold you over:
Have you ever fallen into the “healthy living” trap?
Are there blogs that you used to read that you don’t anymore, because they portray disordered habits?
What have you found effective when trying to figure out whether or not a blog is “healthy”?
On the topic of food… What is your favorite thing that you ate so far this week?