23 Dec 2010

Health Food Bloggers

First of all I have to say sorry for being silent so long! I moved out of my parents house and into a flat and things just started getting a little manic. Anyway, the good news is I didn't use food to cope with all the change etc.

Anyhoo, I recently read a (now out of date) article on Marie Claire online about health food bloggers, entitled 'The Hunger Diaries': http://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/news/articles/health-blogger-controversy. The basic argument in the article is that these bloggers purport to advocate healthy eating and healthy living but, in fact, their detailed chronicalling of their exercise routines and eating habits is obsessional and borders on disordered. The article goes on to suggest that these bloggers might actually encourage eating disordered behaviour in others.

 I decided to check out some of the blogs myself to form my own opinion. Some of the blogs mentioned include katheats.com, carrotsncake.com, graduatemeghann.com, healthytippingpoint.com), hangrypants.com and  eatliverun.com/. Well, after checking them out I have to say: Marie Claire, I think you're wrong! I actually really liked the blogs, particulary  katheats.com and eatliverun.com/. The blogs seemed more like celebrations of food and eating, than the diaries of obsessional, punitive undereaters. Most of the bloggers described healthy, varied diets; if you follow them, you're just as likely to come across a recipe for rice pudding or peanut-butter cookies as a grilled chicken salads and there's not a diet food or weight watchers ready meal to be seen. It's true that many of the bloggers do have weight loss stories to tell, but all of the seem to have gone from being genuinely overweight to a healthy weight, none of them resorted to drastic diets and only one of them mentioned calorie counting. I suppose describing what you eat and cook each day could be described as obsessional, but then, surely you can be passionate about food without having an ED. I mean, has anyone every accused Gordom Ramsey of having an ED? I can't help thinking the fact that the bloggers are (1) woman and (2) young and attractive, has something to do with Marie Claire's spin on their blogs. No, I think these blogs are more about health and balance than obsession and starvation. If anything, I've learned something about the difference between 'normal' healthy eating and the kind of disordered-eating-marquerading-as-healthy that I engaged in in the later stages of my own disorder.

Finally, here's an extract from a post I read on eatliverun.com/. It's the author's explanation of why she chose to quit the gym:  'I realized the gym made me miserable and I really didn’t like running, cycling or the elliptical. [.....]So I quit the gym and really, quit working out all together.[...]Now, my exercise comes purely in the form of walking (hiking in the summer) and yoga. Sometimes days go by and I’m too busy to do either…and I’m totally cool with that.'
She adds: 'I’m really not scared of gaining a few pounds because of something extremely delicious. I’d gladly gain five pounds if it means I get to indulge in a daily sweet and bacon every once and a while. I honestly can’t imagine life any other way.'
Does that sound disordered to you? Me neither. Now, if only I could be a bit more like that.......

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