Dear Internet: You've Lost Your Balance
By stephbernaba on April 05, 2014
Can we talk, Internet? Just you and I? There's something that's been bothering me, and I really didn't want to say anything, but, well, I've reached the point where I have no choice.
It's about the diets. And the cleanses. And the Crossfit.
I know, I know. You don't have a problem. Everything's fine. Great, even. But just hear me out.
With every Paleo dish you post on Instagram, every kale smoothie you toast us, every perfectly-balanced, quinoa-rich bento box you pin, I tell you, I worry.
I worry about the way you tell yourself, and me, and your loved ones, that you're absolutely not okay the way you are.
I read all your posts and articles about not passing your body issues down to your children. I know how hard you try not to insult yourself in front of your kids. I understand the turmoil within. How could I not? I'm a woman.
I sat quietly as you blew through your spaghetti squash phase, your portabello mushroom phase, your pomegranate smoothie kick, and your brown rice jag, and though I applaud your diversity and willingness to try new foods, this isn't really a way to live. These phases were all short-lived, quickly replaced by the next 'superfoods', the next fads. And why? Because man cannot live by gluten-free rice chips alone.
Every time I see (because you show me) these food choices, the concoctions, the smoothies, the detox plans, all I really see is your unrelenting pursuit to be someone else, or be a better you, or, honestly, I'm not sure who.
What message are you giving the world, when you continuously jump on and off bandwagons? Who are you, really, when well enough is never, well, well enough?
I heard a woman in line at the grocery store a few weeks ago, telling her mother that with their chosen diet, she could only have one teaspoon of olive oil per week, followed by a complicated set of instructions about other types of oil.
I also, on a different occasion, heard the female of a young couple telling her male counterpart that they couldn't buy gluten because 'gluten is bad'.
So, here's what I'm thinking: I'm thinking we might be making some uninformed decisions here. I think we may just be following the crowd. I'm thinking we may have run slightly off the track.
Not only do I believe that partaking in fad health trends sets the wrong example for our children and families, but I also believe it's not entirely healthy, and ultimately makes us more susceptible to other trends as they sprout up.
What message are we sending our kids if we partake in fitness plans that ultimately land us in the hospital? What message are we sending our kids when we eliminate entire food groups from our lives? What message, then, are we sending the world about our choices?
This is the message I receive: I'm out of balance. I'm easily influenced. I make decisions without fully incorporating evidence.
Now, don't get me wrong: If you take up a hobby or sport, have a food allergy, go green or organic, or add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, I'm not talking to you. If you're damn near killing yourself with exercise, eating foods that end only in the letter 'p', and fully documenting that journey, I will reiterate: I'm concerned.
Showing your family that you're whole and healthy would mean you demonstrate that by making choices that are whole and healthy.
And please know that these fads will fade, and new will rise up, and we know that the Greek yogurt folks became the kale folks, who will someday become the kelp folks, who will ultimately become the shiitake mushroom folks.
It's all about balance. Work on finding it on the inside, and it will be much easier to demonstrate it on the outside.
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