Yesterday I wrote to you about your relationship with food.
Many of our life activities surround food and our relationship with food can lead to weight struggles.
But, something else was on my mind that I wanted to talk to you about.
It’s SAD actually…
The Standard American Diet.
I was watching a broadcast the other day about the Standard American Diet and how not only is the American population overweight, but the fact that our brain has been affected – with more and more depression, anxiety, dementia, and Alzheimers.
So while our waist line is increasing, our brain power and memory is decreasing due to the Standard American Diet.
The SAD topic also made me think of the recent Sports Illustrated cover… you know the one with a size 16 model on the cover.
Many cheered, “It’s about time a more realistic body is on the cover.”
Now before you think that I am going to “slam” a plus size model for making the cover of a sports magazine, stay with me.
I totally agree beauty comes in all shape and sizes.
The waif type models that are often featured as “sexy” don’t particularly look “healthy”.
Everyone has their taste and what they find to be “sexy”.
But what I was concerned about wasn’t what people find “sexy”.
What concerned me was the talk that accompanied this new body size on the cover of Sports Illustrated was more the idea that a size 16 is “more realistic”?
While body acceptance is definitely a topic that we need to be aware of and outer beauty is only skin deep… is a size 16 more realistic?
That’s what struck me as SAD – that the Standard American Diet has become the way of American’s and that this new model on Sports Illustrated was another message encouraging others that it is okay to eat what you want and be sedentary.
Now I am sure that is not the intent of Sports Illustrated or the model Ashley Graham, so I looked up Ashley to see what she was all about.
She has an intense workout program. Ashley Graham encourages others to live a fit life and hit the gym. She even has a Youtube channel with workout videos.
Ashley starts her day with a “green” shake. She tries to eat vegetables each day, but admits that she loves to eat meat and lots of carbs. She also goes on to say that she is trying to eliminate fried foods from her diet and loves ice cream. But since she is lactose intolerant, she eats lots of sorbet instead. That’s all I could find on her “diet”.
My point isn’t about this one model “Ashley” and her personal habits.
But, it goes along with the saying – “You can’t out train a bad diet.”
I’ve always said, it’s better to be overweight and exercise than be sedentary and skinny.
Absolutely – beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but what is healthy or realistic? A size 2 is said to not be realistic, but is a size 16?
I, too, can attest to when I was in college and really into lifting hard and a gym rat. I loved to weight train. But I also loved to eat food that was fast & cheap. It was way easier to grab something from the dollar menu or out of the freezer.
While I was “fit”, it wasn’t a healthy habit and I wasn’t as lean as I could have been in my early 20’s.
So much so that when I was approached by a modeling agency to go to Chicago, they later recommended I might be a plus size model – at a size 8?
Our society is messed up when it comes to some of it’s standards and what is sensationalized by the media, but really size 8 is plus size? – that was over 15 years ago.
For me, a size 8/10 does mean I am slacking and fluffy – and I was a size 12 at one point. I was not healthy or fit at a size 12.
I’ve also been super lean and ripped, as in my pro fitness days, but I also know for me- being that lean was not a long term- healthy either.
And today, are we becoming more accepting and a size 16 is considered more realistic?
Are you getting my point?
There is a fast food restaurant on every corner and even parents think making a trip to McDonalds for a Happy Meal is acceptable for daily “kid food”- along with sugar coated cereals, gold fish, fruit snacks, and chicken nuggets. None of that is food- not matter your age.
Now it seems America is just accepting the increase in average human body weight and waist line – so that a size 16 is more realistic?
It maybe more realistic because Americans are continuing to eat out more, move less, and gain weight.
So I guess a size 16 is sadly more realistic in today’s society due to the SAD – Standard American Diet coupled with less physical activity and more time spent on social media. You get me?
I am not judging Ashley Graham or plus size models by any means, but could she drop a few pounds by cutting back on the fried foods and sorbet? Most likely. Would a size 10 be more fit and healthy for her? Probably.
Instead we are cheering for the acceptance of body image, but as I see it we are accepting that it is okay to encourage not so healthy habits.
Are some people more heavy set genetically- absolutely.
But if you are eating convenience food instead of whole foods, it is inevitable that you will begin to gain weight and you cannot blame “genetics”.
And it’s not just about gaining weight- it’s about health.
It’s not healthy to carry excess body weight or body fat. We all know that leads to increase risk of heart disease, cancers, strokes, and joint issues.
So I hope you get my point.
I am all about sending positive messages, especially to our young women, and giving others an opportunity to shine in once uncharted territory.
But let’s be aware of the real issue at hand- our health.
Fit shaming – Fat bashing – it goes both ways.
Exercise at least 90 minutes a week and choose whole, fresh foods.
It really is that simple.
I just felt it was my responsibility to talk about the “more realistic” topic as I think it’s masking the real problem which is SAD.
So like I said yesterday- choose foods that make you feel energized and nourished.
While the average size of a woman used to be a size 8/10, today’s average American woman’s size is 14. And for locals- Cleveland women it’s size 20.
And while sizes aren’t always the best reflection of a healthy body- it is just the measure used in this scenario.
Let’s take responsibility for our habits instead of sending the message of a “more realistic” body size.
And why? Because this over acceptance trickles into other areas of life too. Not just health.
That’s all I am saying:)
Love yourself for a HEALTHY body- not your size.
To your continued success-