Thursday, September 12, 2013

Healthy Living and Disordered Living

Before you get mad at me, hear me out. I understand that there are people out there (many of whom we interact with via the blogworld) who do indeed suffer or have suffered from serious eating disorders and this post is not meant to diminish anyone's battles. These are just my thoughts lately and I wanted to get them out there.

Lately I have been wondering if the healthy living community is a widely accepted disordered community. If you think about it, many of us participate in excessive exercise and restriction. In my personal experience, I don't eat meat (restriction), and I work out 3 hours a day on Mondays, two hours a day on Wednesdays, and 30 minutes a day on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Many of those who "eat clean" are also restricting. I know that most of us do not few these as restrictions because we CHOOSE not to eat them, but I think cutting out entire food groups can be viewed as restriction. Sometimes, I just want an extra cupcake and I tell myself no because I've already had one and think that if I have another I will get fat. Red flag.

I have a lot of confidence in myself as a person and in my body. However, there are days when I feel fat. I'm putting my statistics out here on the Internet. I am by no means fat or overweight. I am 5'5 and weigh 134 pounds. I know a lot of women in my life who always make comments on how I'm so tiny or how they would love to be my size. I know that I am not fat. Still, eating healthy and working out a ton does not eliminate disordered thoughts from my head. I have never battled an eating disorder, but I have noticed that since I began living a healthier lifestyle AND since I have started writing my blog, I have suffered from more and more disordered thoughts. Luckily, I have a voice of reason that overpowers my irrational thoughts that a cupcake is going to make me fat, but some days are harder than others. Especially when it comes to exercise.

I still want that cupcake

Many of the blogs I read have mentioned that they feel guilty if they do not exercise. I am in that group of people. Red flag. Rest days make us feel gross and antsy. Is that not a sign of exercise obsession? I ran with a couple girlfriends on Tuesday and decided that I would only do one run that day instead of two and that I would just enjoy this new experience of running with friends. I ran at a much slower pace than I was used to and while I had a great time, at the end of the run I had a nagging thought in my head that I should have done my regular 3 miles in the morning and then the 3 miles I did with the girls. I ran 9 miles the day before and I was running 4 miles the next day, but because I ran my usual 3 miles (that's on Tuesday's schedule) at a pace slower than I usually do, I felt guilty. I should have been happy that I got my sweat on, enjoyed time with friends, and got a run in, but instead, I was beating myself up. What does this say about my lifestyle? Luckily, after 5-10 minutes of beating myself up, I realized that I still ran and still gave my body the workout it wanted, it was just at a slower pace and I was happy with that.

The reason that I think the healthy living community is just an accepted disordered living community is because we all are affected by these thoughts and we all are living a lifestyle of restriction. I think that we all support each other, even if it is apparent that the blogger/individual we are speaking to is suffering from unhealthy thoughts. We put ourselves in their shoes and can relate to what they're feeling, so we think it's okay. I'm not trying to change anything about the healthy living community, I'm just putting my thoughts out there. I love everyone who I have had the chance to interact with and wouldn't trade it for the world.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Good, bad, evil, lay it on me :) 

Edited to add: it appears that my comment plug-in has failed. I'm playing the Devil's Advocate on this topic, so if you cannot comment, PLEASE e-mail me. I'd love to hear your thoughts!