I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a little bit of a mainstream rebel… a rule bender if you will.
When I went to Catholic School, I was the one who tried to get away with wearing the long sleeve uniform shirt under the short sleeved one so I could be different. I got an eyebrow piercing and would tend to have an “if you judge me, that’s your problem” type of attitude.
Although I’ve matured (slightly) and come to realize we all have a uniquely shaped view of the world and that it can be a positive thing… I’m also still keenly aware of certain common influences by which we are shaped.
These influences don’t just provide a different opinion… A difference in opinion is not the problem… promoting ASSUMPTION is the issue!
Here are a few examples regarding body image, health, fitness, etc.
Widely promoted assumption #1:
- People with “too much” fat are lazy
- First of all we truly don’t know how much any one person should weigh or how much fat they should have
- If someone is happy, moving their body, emotionally and mentally at peace, and has no complaint about the way they eat or how much they weigh… why should they change?
- When we truly approach someone’s health story from a holistic, non-judgemental, curious place… we discover that fat can be stored on the body for a gazillion number of reasons (genetics, hormone structure, food quality, meal timing, emotional well-being, stress, etc.)
- But even then, it’s not about ASSUMING this person hasn’t tried anything and isn’t healthy and doesn’t exercise, etc.
- Now, sure there is a point, if someone really has weight to lose, like we’re talking over 75 lbs lost would dramatically improve quality of life, it still doesn’t mean we jump in and assume they are lazy. Eh?
Widely Promoted Assumption #2:
- People who are extremely lean and “good-looking” have perfect lives, love their bodies, and are better than people who weigh more and don’t have societies traditional definition of “good looks”
- Think of a time someone has looked at you like “the grass is greener on your side” And you’re like… “What? I can’t even see the grass cuz I’m standing in so much Sh*!” That’s kinda what it’s like to assume just because someone fits into whatever the current label of “perfect” is… doesn’t mean that they do or don’t feel happy, content, self-loving, etc.
Widely Promoted Assumption #3:
- You are not fit unless you look a certain way
- A Harvard University study demonstrates that there is such a thing as a “metabolically healthy obese” population (1).
- There are many people naturally with more fat than me, with beautiful strong bodies, and they can withstand WAY more cardiovascular intensity than I can.
- You see, I’m on the flip side of this assumption. I look extremely fit… and I have never run a mile in under 9min in my life. You may say “oh boo hoo, Tessie, you don’t know what it’s like to have people assume you are lazy when you’re not”. Actually, I have had that. I have a rare heart condition, to which my body has adjusted to at an amazing rate and I am extremely fortunate to have been able to compete as a Professional Competitive Cheerleader and CrossFit athlete, but which has also held me back from meeting America’s standard of “fitness”… my 10-12min mile rate is considered “low fitness” for women according to a study by Southwestern Medical School. I’ve worked twice as hard as many for most of my athletic achievements. I’ve been benched by coaches who know that I’m strong, but can’t figure out why I get so tired.
- Anyways, the point is, let’s not assume someone is lazy by the way that they look. And let’s not assume someone has a perfect life if the “look” fit.
Widely Promoted Assumption #4:
- Eat less Exercise More is a sure way to lose weight
- Hmmm. Maybe it works as a quick fix, or temporarily… like most weight loss diets. But if someone is calorie-restricting or over exercising for a long period of time… stress response will elevate in the body, and the body’s fat-burning capacity and ability to hold onto muscle will actually decrease!
It’s time we give these assumptions a metaphorical eyebrow piercing 🙂 Health and fitness “guidelines” are fed to us by the diet industry, media, etc. and if they were the whole truth… we wouldn’t have the state of sickness, obesity, negative body image, and chronic dieting that we currently have in the world.
So, if You’re up for redefining HEALTH... so am I!
In the previous post, Eating Intuit: Step 4 – REDEFINE PART 1,
I ask you to 1st define what you have been told health means or how it would be defined… then you were to define what health means to your most inner soul/knowing/truth/intuition.
Now, we take that a step further, and we positivize (it’s a word, opposite of negativize) our resources.
Your Homework is to look up, check out, skim, read and/or research at least 3 resources on the list below. How do I know you did it? Because you are going to comment and share what you may agree with, disagree with, etc. below! 😉
- The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
- Emoby Love Movement
- The Wild Sisterhood Magazine
- The No Diet Plan- by Jay Cardio
- Body Image Movement
- 7 Men to Follow in the Body Positive Movement
Soursces: 1. health.harvard.edu/blog