Sunday, November 11, 2012

America the Beautiful 2 - and thoughts on body image

Last night I watched the documentary America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments. If you remember, I've actually watched the original documentary America the Beautiful, and I really enjoyed it!  This one was pretty eye opening as well. 

Now, there are some things that got me frustrated about how Darryl Roberts approached this.  In the beginning it seemed as though he was supporting people being overweight - whether they were healthy or not.  

But as the film progressed I realized that he was actually making a really good point.  Diets don't work.  I'm living proof.  I've been on every diet possible (South Beach, Weight Watchers, Total Body Transformation, etc.), and I've always either gained the weight back - or MORE than when I started.  The people out there who can actually lose weight and keep it off by dieting is a very small number.  He goes on to argue this point, and I definitely agreed with him. 

What annoyed me is how he tried to do the "Raw Food Diet", and how he couldn't even bring himself to eat the food (or even try to enjoy it).  I know that the DIET can be difficult, but I truly believe that most of what that "diet" preaches is probably what we should be eating.  Low sodium, lots of veggies & fruits, low or no dairy, no animals, etc.  I think the reason why he hated it so much was because he was used to eating high sodium CRAP with no nutrients!  Of course it will taste weird at first, because your taste buds and your body have been overloaded with shit your entire life!  Ugh - that was frustrating.  

But many of the other points he brought up were very valid, and very interesting.  Especially the part he brought up about BMI and how that measurement is out dated, and kind of ridiculous in determining if you're actually overweight or not!  I didn't even know that they lowered the original "normal" BMI number that they had in the 70's.  It used to be 28, and now it's around 24 (at the high end)!  If I had been born back then, my weight would have been NORMAL in the 70's, but now I'm considered overweight.  Are you kidding me? 

They also had a great interview with a professional dancer that just happens to be a bigger girl.  She was saying that it's fascinating how our culture loves "thin" so much, that no matter how unhealthy the person, they're OK.  They're not bothered - they're still seemingly "healthy" even if they eat like crap and never work out.  But the heavier person, who is actually healthy - is looked at as unhealthy.  This girl who works out 5x a week, eats healthfully but just happens to be larger is criticized because of her size.  So interesting, and so sad.  

I was obsessed with dieting at one point in my life.  I actually started a blog about one of my other many diet attempts, which is where this comparison picture comes from: 

Yeah, that picture on the left?  I was the thinnest I've ever been - 135 pounds.  I worked out obsessively.  All I ate was chicken, broccoli, and maybe a different vegetable every now and then.  No fruits - fruit was sugar and that's all I saw it as.  

I also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. 

In the picture on the right (which is basically the size I am now - my natural size), I was practicing Roller Derby at least 4x a week.  I was eating a healthy vegetarian diet, but still enjoying pizza & ice cream every now & then.  I also stopped smoking. 

Yet when I looked at these pictures, I was dissapointed.  I beat myself up over my lack of discipline.  Only because I wasn't "thin".

Now that I've finally learn to love my body the way it is, I know that I was one of the many American women that fell victim to societal judgement.  I'm so glad that I finally learned that I'm beautiful just the way I am - and that I don't have to kill myself with crazy restrictive dieting or over-exercising to be healthy and happy.  

Watching this documentary kind of helped confirm that for me.  I hope that everyone can learn this about themselves in one way or another!!  You are amazing and beautiful!!  Yes exercise, healthy foods, and healthy mind are all VERY important parts of living your life to the fullest.  But being "thin" isn't necessarily the key to it all. 

And there's my two cents, folks! :) 


Vikx993 said...

Loved your post,

I started off December 2010 nearly 18st (not sure what that is in LB) as of today I'm 13 st 3lb. To start off with I lost 2st by working out like a nutter and eating barely anything.

Now I enjoy playing Roller Derby, i train for 10 hours a week, thinking about adding in extra work outs to build up core muscle etc and I also follow the Paleo lifestyle but I do cheat now and then!

I have never felt better, no more crappy food for me!

Beth B said...

That's awesome!! I'm so glad you're being healthy rather than "thin". It's SO much more important! Feeling good is what matters (and when you feel good, you look good). :)

Keep on rockin' it girl!!