Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An apple a day does not change your genetics


Everyone around me seems to be dieting – and it’s not even New Year……and the holiday season is pretty much over.  It left me a bit bemused and I thought nothing more of it.

Then I opened up my tumblr account…….there was a young girl taking photos of her emaciated frame calling herself fat and making references to all the dangerous ‘thinspiration’ sites that are out there.  I deleted her.  I’ve tried before to talk to some of the girls that are putting these pictures on there – some are just doing it for attention and to be told they look great but some seem really damaged and that breaks my heart.  I don’t even know them but I can’t help but care.

I guess we are all a product of our environment to some degree.

I don’t advocate being fat or unhealthy.  But I do believe in everything in moderation.  All work and no play makes Jill a boring cow…..the same goes for people that are all about the gym or all about not eating certain things.

Yesterday I was in the lunch room at work and someone had baked the most amazing cake.  Four layers of different pink sponge with lovely icing on it.  It’s a treat – it’s not something you’d eat every day but one girl ate some then bemoaned this fact for a while – making herself feel pretty awful by the look of it….but the calories were still consumed – now she’d just taken the fun out of it all.  I think it’s OK to indulge once in a while…..if you do it every day that’s when you need to worry.

It made me feel a bit sad that even one little slice of cake as a treat could cause such anguish.

You look around you and we are all being sold clothes that don’t seem to fit right – all these clothes being made for bodies that don’t appear to exist.  We are being sold so much make up and miracle creams containing words that don’t exist!

Let’s just be cynical for one moment.  Most nutrition information and body stats come from the health industry – they are paying for the research – hardly open and fair is it!

There is the whole beauty myth – remember that word myth.  IF all these beauty products worked – we’d only need one or two of them wouldn’t we? We wouldn’t need absolutely tonnes of cellulite cream now would we!?  If one diet worked the diet industry wouldn’t be worth billions of dollars.

You can see why we are all so unhappy with our bodies and faces – we are force fed these ideas of perfection everywhere.  Remember my post on Lady Gaga…..reality verses make believe and we are being told the make believe.  But didn’t I once hear that real life isn’t all about the happy ever after?

Yes – that’s where obsessions and eating disorders come in I suppose.

There is an app for the iphone that you put in your weight and height, you say how much weight you want to lose and to be honest it doesn’t seem to matter what information you give this thing it tells you your daily intake of calories should be 1200.  Now an average woman requires 2000 calories a day – if you are doing exercise this should be upped to 2200/2300 but you have to bare in mind that everyone is different, we have genetics for a start and we have different metabolisms so all of this should only ever be a guide.  You can’t change genetics!

So let me tell you a couple of interesting things.

I am 5’10” and am at my ideal weight apparently.  To me I feel a little too big….to everyone else I look healthy for the first time in my life.  I used to be 2 ½ stone underweight – this is quite a lot.  Apparently I looked skeletal.  I didn’t see it myself.  I still saw legs that I thought were too big, a stomach that could be thinner (it was concave!), so you see how much of it is in your head?  But this iphone ap’ was not taking this into account and was telling me to cut my calorie intake to 1200.
 

So I did a little research.

To lose weight healthily you should never really lose more than 1 pound a week.  1200 calories a day for a lady is the bottom line, the bare minimum you should consume before you do yourself some damage – the iphone ap’ didn’t tell you that now did it!  When you cut your calorie intake so dramatically your body goes into fight or flight, it handles it for a while – hence the rapid weight loss at the start of any diet.  After a few months the body starts to adapt to what it feels is a starvation diet.  It is sort of clever how it learns to adapt to its changing environment but what this means to you the individual is that your metabolism will be slowed by up to 40% and even if you stopped the low calorie intake it can take over a year to level out again – during that time you will find that you start to put on weight or find it harder to lose weight……then you think you’ve failed and feel rubbish or you think the diet doesn’t work and switch to something else – kicking your body into a new starvation mode all over again.  I fear that in the future we will be a mass of brital bones and god knows what else.
 
 

Once upon a time it was only models that graced the front of magazines, not it’s actors and actresses too and suddenly we see the pressure of the weight issue seeping heavily into these industries too.  When Kate made skinny jeans fashionable the average size of a woman dropped by two dress sizes – that’s quite a lot just for the sake of fashion isn’t it?  But fashion never told you about the infections and fertility issues associated with wearing too tight skinnies did it!?!

Now I am not saying don’t look after yourself or wear skinny jeans sometimes – but that’s just it – all in moderation.
 


I
 could diet for the rest of my life but I will never fit into a UK size 6 jeans because my hip bones won’t let me and I don’t think any diet yet has enabled us to shrink our bones quite that much or to change genetics.

Look at your parents, your family, and look at their shape – that is what you have to work with.  Dress for your shape and for you – not what fashion dictates.  Eat healthily and don’t be too sedentary – get up and move about a bit – it helps with depression and it helps you be able to have the odd treat here and there.

Be healthy not obsessive.  Enjoy life – don’t live by a constant fear of the scales.  A bag of bones ain’t pretty and you look at the side effects of diseases such as anorexia – is it really worth it?!!  Why do we want to be an identikit race – surely the beauty of the world and of people is that we are all different?
 
Remember beauty products, magazines, gym coaches – they are all trying to sell something to you.  Learn to love yourself – that’s the best message anyone could ever give you. 

 

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