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16 September 2015

When the culture of wellness becomes unhealthy In the last year I've started running with a running club, and we organize everything via facebook (of course). Lovely, lovely people, but OMG the amount of "wellness" (read: disordered eating) stuff I have to ignore on the page... oy. [More:]I never comment, because if I started I wouldn't be able to stop, and who wants to be that asshole? But I do a lot of headdesking.
They post an endless stream of selfies to their millions of young followers, in which they model the latest workout wear, while holding a bottle of green juice (click for brands, guys!)

I needn't worry about these folks then, as that sounds absolutely hideous. There are those who say "Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess," and I think that applies here. People are fucking neurotic. Relax, be reasonable about shit. No one has to be bestest, happiest, strongest, fastest. We are being sold this by Red Bull and Nike on the TV and it is a bill of goods.

You can't really engage people like this who have bought in wholesale, because they're not coming from a position of logic. They are coming from a position of emotion, and disagreement is an attack on their self worth, & will only result in retrenchment. Sigh & close the window, then enjoy your meatloaf & mashed potatoes in peace.
posted by Devils Rancher 16 September | 10:44
I don't understand just what the author of this piece is on about but I do agree that people who are into fitness can get very weird and unhealthy about their eating. (Which does not, of course, mean that the unhealthy mainstream food choices have gotten any better.) I also agree that it doesn't make any sense to engage, because you can't argue with people who are engaging in magical versus rational thinking.
posted by bearwife 16 September | 11:21
I don't understand just what the author of this piece is on about

I would say that summarized, she is saying that there is an increasing subset of people who jump on the healthy eating bandwagon to exhibit a whole load of disordered, extreme eating behaviors under the guise of "wellness". Who discard entire food groups from their diet, instead of practising moderation. And who fetishize certain foods to ridiculous levels. (There is no magic bullet.)

Is what I got from it.

posted by gaspode 16 September | 11:47

which, of course, we all know. Like I said, dealing with a lot of it (as I am in this running group) is new to me, personally because most of my acquaintances are less inclined to woo. My friend who fwd me this article is a hospital dietician who also spends a lot of her time debunking ideas that people have about avocados or superfoods or foods that "alkalinize the blood" or whatever, and I sometimes get her venting.
posted by gaspode 16 September | 11:49
Sigh & close the window, then enjoy your meatloaf & mashed potatoes in peace.

Best advice ever.
posted by gaspode 16 September | 11:50
the clean-eating movement to be completely alarming and based on way more than the recommended dietary intake of bollocks.

posted by JanetLand 16 September | 12:36
I can't even follow some of that shit anymore because it just makes me cranky. But I do like to think of those pictures as this sort of 'drunkspiration'. (May be upsetting for alcoholics.)
posted by sperose 16 September | 13:30
"Wellness" is one of the keywords used by our most successful fraudsters to sell worthless consumables at obscenely marked up prices. Every 'supplement' brand on the shelves of Whole Foods makes more bucks per sale than the worst of Big Pharma... partly because they do zero R&D to prove their products are safe and/or effective.

When I read about how the founder of Whole Foods was such a right-wing wacko, it struck me... this is all a way to drain the pocketbooks of liberal people... and, if they pitch a "wellness" that actually makes you LESS well, their physical ability to fight.
posted by oneswellfoop 16 September | 14:07
Yes, I know. Still.

I'd been wondering why I was so fat. Most weeks I average 25-30 miles, generally walking but breaking into a run now and then, plus two or three Iyengar yoga classes; I'm not a fanatic, so I think I'm pretty much maxed out on exercise. I've always eaten well: real food, excellent ingredients, about the right number of calories according to the formulas. I get decent sleep, sunshine, and so on. I take vitamin D and fish oil.

Then, on a friend's urging, I tried a month-long experiment ditching grains, beans, sugars, and dairy (except eggs) for a month. I was skeptical, not least because the only two big things I'd lose would be yogurt and rice. A couple of weeks in, the extra bulk around my middle started to melt away like the Wicked Witch. It was the weirdest damn thing.

It wasn't caloric restriction; I was eating at least as many calories as before, and I know this because for a several years I've been in the habit of logging what I eat. It wasn't a paleo fatfest, either. I still had fruit. I occasionally had tiny bites of things people wanted me to try, even if they contained ingredients from the "wrong" categories. I'm still no sylph, but about six weeks like that got me a nice hourglassy figure* instead of the stumpy one I had before.

I'm still not sure what to make of it. I eventually resumed eating yogurt and a little cheese. I'm still being cautious with grains. If the first time I have a full-size plate of pasta I re-inflate, so be it. But that, for what it's worth, actually happened.

*No idea what the weight situation is. I don't actually have a scale.

posted by tangerine 17 September | 03:17
Bad postcards. || OMG Bunnies!