Because we are an appearance-obsessed society, we tend to forget that being healthy means actually being healthy — not being thin. We can’t all look like super-thin supermodels — and do we really want to? They look so hungry. Besides, most of those ladies are young. I don’t know about you, but when I hit 30, my metabolism said, “It’s me, not you,” and I never saw it again.
In a culture that needs to embrace societal roles instead of fat rolls, we tend to forget that not all “health” trends are good for us. Take the following list for example:
1. Waist Trainers
This isn’t a fitness trend; it’s a corset. There’s a reason it went out of style in the first place — it’s called organ strangulation.
2. “Skinny” Workouts
I don’t know about you, but when I get skinny again after working out for long periods, I quit. Then I get big again, because I love food. It’s a cycle. Most of the women devoted to this trend don’t have children. Give them a few kids, less free time, and the convenience of processed foods, and it’ll make those last 10–20 ridiculously impossible to get rid of — like the guy behind you in the checkout line who is too close and won’t move back.
3. Plumping Cream
I’m not talking about custard-filled donuts. Or am I? In case custard-filled donuts don’t work fast enough for you, you can use this cream to plump your booty. I have no idea how in the hell this is considered a fitness trend because unless that cream is injected whipped cream — whole fat — no one believes this stuff makes your butt have volume. Personally, I’d rather plump my butt up by ingesting the cream. Maybe a few donuts — filled with cream.
4. Sauna Suit
Why would anyone wear one of these things in the sauna? A sauna is enough of an experience without adding more reason to become overheated, dehydrated, and slightly woozy. Anyone who has ever been in a sauna knows that bare skin is way too hot for a sauna. This is just a heatstroke accident waiting to happen.
5. Protein! Protein! PROTEIN!!!
Protein powders, shakes, bars, cereal, yogurt, cookies, protein-infused water and coffee and pancake mix. Whoa. Slow your roll protein fanatics. CTFD. Protein is great. You need it. It’s good for you. We all know that, but most products give you way more protein than you really need anyway. Just eat a container of yogurt, a handful of nuts, or a chicken sandwich — add some cheese if you really feel like beefing up your protein count. Your wallet will thank you.
6. Squat Challenges
Squats are great. They’re wonderful for strengthening and toning — natures plumping cream, if you will. But have you done these? You need a bar in your bathroom just to get off the toilet for a week after accidentally doing squats by picking your child’s socks off the floor while holding said child. Maybe it’s a motivational thing? But getting roped into a challenge to squat for no reason 100 times a day sounds like a punishment for eating pizza three nights in a row.
No one is saying tea isn’t healthy. I mean, really, who doesn’t love a cup of tea? (Besides my husband because he says it has no flavor.) I’m talking about all these detox, diet, flat-tummy-style teas all of our favorite Instagram influencers are peddling. The secret of this weight loss miracle? It comes in a packet. You pay $100 to drink tea packets that have the same herbs as the $4.99 box of 24 packets at Walmart.
Helpful tip: You can go to your local natural health food store and get the exact same herbs for a lot less. Same great benefits, and your purse won’t cough dust from having no money.
It’s true that if you cup each boob, it takes the weight off and gives you a second to air out. But this isn’t that. It’s the massage technique that uses suction cups that look like those little plastic domes we played with in junior high to give ourselves hickeys on our forearms. My husband had this done once on his back. He didn’t lose weight, but he lost a lot of energy, felt funny, and his arms and back looked like a Twister mat.
9. The Lemonade Diet
Also known as drinking only lemonade mixed with other stuff like syrup and cayenne pepper. It’s called fasting, and unless it’s for religious purposes and not long-term, it’s probably not that healthy. For those of you who don’t know what fasting is, it’s not eating (or not eating as much as you should). Eat some veggies — they have no refined carbs and are packed with tons of nutrients and vitamins your body needs. You don’t need to starve yourself with DIY cleanses to hit your goal weight.
10. Fancy Water
Expensive. Stupid. Expensive. Nutritionally unnecessary. Stupid. Can we stop with the magical weight-loss-water BS? Typically made from various essential oil blends, citrus fruits, and unicorns, of course. Can we please just accept water for what it is? Water. In case you didn’t know, water is healthy on its own — you don’t need to supe it up. It’s not a Honda Civic.
If you want to be healthy, that’s admirable. But do yourself, and your body and mind, a favor and don’t hop on the trendy diet bandwagon. Yes, move your body regularly. Yes, try to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Yes, try to stay hydrated. Weight is only a number, and the end goal of trying to lose it shouldn’t be to fit in your swimsuit from your sophomore year of high school (it’s not in style anyway; no one listens to NKOTB anymore). It should be to treat your body the best way it can be treated. It should be to show your children that a healthy lifestyle is for longevity and overall well-being, not for trying to look 20 when you’re almost 50. Embrace 50. Be 50. 50 is a gift.
We all get too wrapped up in weight and self-image at times (me included, obviously). It’s easy to do, but the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be happy with how you are right now. Love yourself where you’re at, each step of the way, and if you don’t like something, change it, but for the right reasons. Exercise because it makes you feel amazing and strong. Eat healthy because it gives you energy and makes you feel great. That’s setting the example we want our children to follow, and that’s treating ourselves (and our bodies) with the respect and love that we deserve.
Fad diets are a trap, folks. Let that bandwagon pass you by.
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