Creating Obsession – A Weight Rant

I’m not sure if I have ever been truly serious on the blog before but I have read a few things lately that have really being annoying me and so decided that it was time for me to rant.

What is the deal with people (usually females) encouraging others to be obsessed with the scales? 

Let me start by saying I am far from skinny but I am pretty damn fit and eat more healthily than the majority of people I know.  I started Clean Eating a few months ago and since then have lost quite a lot of weight and gained muscle but I have only weighed myself ONCE and only did so because I wanted to know how ‘assisted’ my assisted pull – ups were.  That is the complete truth.

So this is my problem:  I see lots of websites and blogs dedicated to helping people become and stay ‘healthy’ but in reality they are actually all about weight.  They may post healthy recipes, they may talk about working out but they pretty much always mention weight loss as if it were the ultimate and only real goal.  Now, I have no problem with people who want to help others to lose weight but let’s not disguise it as anything else.  If your website is dedicated to healthy living then, in my opinion, it should be encouraging just that: exercise, fun foods, ways to be more active – definitely not weighing yourself once or twice a week.  If you ask me, that is nothing but a one way street to obsession city for your average person (and by that I mean someone who is not overweight and deliberately trying to reach a healthy goal weight).  I am sick of hearing people motivating others to ‘drop a few more’ kilos when they already look and feel good and are not in any need of losing weight.  How about encouraging fitness goals instead?

Which brings me to Crossfit.  I love my Box (sounds wrong on many levels).  I joined a few months ago, round about the time I started clean eating, and everyone was fantastic.  They were really friendly and encouraging and the entire focus of the training is to get fitter, therefore healthier and do your best.  No one asked me how much weight I wanted to lose, no one cared about that.  They cared about teaching me form and me working my arse off.

As a direct result of the two things I lost fat and gained muscle.  I knew this without weighing myself because I can feel the muscles and because tight clothes were now loose clothes.  For me, this is a far better representation of how your body is changing than what a set of scales can tell you and a far healthier way to live your life.  What if I am the same height as you but have broader shoulders, wider wrists and a smaller chest?  Should we weigh the same?  At the exact same weight will we look the same?  Of course we won’t because no two people are the same (ok, identical twins aside) but on paper we would be directly compared.

So these are blogs I used to read until I realised that every post was telling me about another way to weigh less and not why I should just love life and be healthy.  They were teaching obsession.  So I cut them out of my reading list and I stick to blogs that really are about fitness and health and feeling good, of which there are loads out there, like my personal favourite Pumps and Iron – real people who genuinely live a healthy life without obsession or removing the fun.

I realise the irony of my moaning about people talking about weight whilst simultaneously dedicating a rather long (and rambling) post to the topic but it wanted to be said. (it told me, ok).  This will be the last time I discuss such things on here.  Well, until something else really, really annoys me which could be anytime really.

Rant Complete.  Over and Out.

Natalie

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4 thoughts on “Creating Obsession – A Weight Rant

  1. Great post. Life is about feeling good and being healthy and happy, not about being obsessed about weight and trying to look like someone else. So glad you had this rant!

  2. Excellent post and it really had to be said! Body image is a really serious problem because media which rely on advertising income for viability have to sell and one of the things that sells their product and makes them attractive to advertisers is pictures of movie stars and sports people. The pictures they print or post are mostly not even what the people look like but are photoshopped to make give them more idealised features: longer legs, narrower waists, bigger breasts/biceps/lips/quadriceps (depending on whether we are talking Men’s Health, body building mags or any women’s fashion or gossip rags). The next crisis we can expect is teenage boys and young men suffering the consequences of steroid abuse. They see almost any movie star looking totally ripped and they want to look that way. Unfortunately, they don’t want to wait the years of training it takes or do the hard work to get there naturally and steroids are easily available. Another issue is the “strength” supplements which can be bought from stores or on line which contain undeclared steroids and other harmful drugs. Gym users like me have seen the explosion of this phenomenon in the past three years or so: kids who come in, do virtually no cardio work, pump iron and look narcissistically at themselves in the mirror, then slug down supplements in the changing room. Those who keep doing it often wind up with freakish bodies that are obviously not natural development. The consequences in later life and current life are super-risky: shrunken testicles, anger management issues and psychological disturbances can happen right away and the longer term health problems around excessive weight gain and the effects of stopping the crazy regime without medical supervision are a time bomb.
    Keep it up! Tell the truth and shame the devil!

    • Thanks very much for the thoughtful comment and for the very valid point about young guys. We tend to only really think about the females of the world being affected by these things when you are right, there are obviously other considerations too.

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