Nov 3, 2012

#NaBloPoMo: In which I get a tad defensive

I exercise. A lot. Many of my friends don't understand it. They tell me "but you don't need to lose weight."

But when did I say anything about losing weight?

Exercising for me is not fuelled by the need to lose weight but by the fear my heart will stop pumping one of these days and I will fall off the face of the earth. You see, poor cardiovascular health is a multi-generational inheritance in my family. Fear is a pretty strong motivator. Also seeing the definition in my quads and shoulder muscles is an added bonus. ;-)

Obviously, eating is also part of the big "Beat the Impending Heart Attack Plan". I eat healthy, very healthy. (There, I said it) I look at the back of packets to see the fat content, % of sugar, artificial ingredients etc. I buy the wholegrain / low fat/ less sugar version of most foods. I eat "hipster" food like quinoa, buckwheat noodles, rye wraps and stoneground 85% wholemeal bread. I cook at least 5 times a week, if not 6 - mostly because I struggle to find healthy takeaway food that doesn't cost the moon and the stars.

This is where most people start rolling their eyes because this "healthy eating" translates to living off salad and veggies only. This is followed by feeling sorry for me and my deprived food choices and very often even judging me as vain.

But I don't understand it. If you know me even a little bit you will know how much I LOVE my food and live for it (see my Instagram for proof) so why do you feel sorry for me? Healthy eating is more than salads. Because food is so important to me, I cook really delicious meals that are also healthy. I have an emotional relationship with food so I always cook food I enjoy eating so please, don't worry I'm not depriving myself. I just know how to cook food that will not clog up my arteries and kill me.

I'm aware that I sound a bit like a privileged whinger banging on about health, fitness and other buzzwords. But I'm not. I don't normally talk about my fitness or my food with people because you see it's no one else's business. I don't try to get anyone to think the way I do and don't judge anyone for eating differently or for choosing a different lifestyle. But a few things have happened lately that have made me feel very…judged. So I figured I'd vent and defend my choices because hey you know what? It's my body so these are my choices and I'll get sexy thigh muscles if I want them dammit!

*This post is part of the November NaBloPoMo blogging challenge.


Jennifer Doherty said...

<3 What I love about you is that we have very different approaches to food and yet we don't judge or criticise each other's choices :) Health is personal and multidimensional and not a moral imperative and has nothing to do with how much you weigh and I love that you get that. I don't look at your lunch and think "oh, poor soul, she's depriving herself!" I think "wow, that looks great, I need to ask for the recipe!"

R.Bit said...

Exactly, it's personal and not open to judgment by someone else's idea of moral standards.

Psych Babbler said...

Totally agree with you that it's a personal thing. After my mum's bypass surgery in 2009, it hit me that I needed to do something. Yes, I had to lose a bit of weight but apart from that, continue with the exercise. Hell, my mum had her heart problem despite exercising 6 days a week and eating relatively healthy. Made me realise that I was going to bring the problem upon myself sooner if I didn't do anything about it. With the recent program, I'm learning that you can be healthy and enjoy food. It doesn't have to be boring salads. As you said, most people equate healthy eating to boring food. Of course, I'll probably never be as toned as you no matter how much I work out :)

Here's to good food and a healthy life!

R.Bit said...

I agree PB. Maybe we'll still have those heart problems but it can't be denied that regular exercise and good eating will at least help. I'm glad you're enjoying your food too. I think a lot of people don't make the change to "healthy" because it screams "give up the food you love" but truth is it doesn't have to be that way.
And trust me, you will be sexy and toned too - especially when you compare it to your "no-exercise" self. :)