March 25, 2008

Blinded by the community

Last Wednesday’s New York Times had an interesting article that I thought all you bloggers might enjoy: The Fat Pack Wonders if the Party’s Over. It tracks the phenomenon of foodies using blogs and forums to share their culinary finds and experiences, and explores how this is often at a detriment to their health.

It’s fairly interesting to see the opinions of the foodies. I know they eat a lot of fat and sugar and other unhealthy things, but I’m surprised to see that many of the ignorantly believe that their diet doesn’t matter – they think their large size is just due to genetics. Newsflash: genetics may dictate whether you’re model-thin or average weight (and by average I don’t mean a size 18, as much as the media likes to tell us that’s the average woman’s size), but chances are if you are 6’1″ and weigh 240 pounds (like one of the guys in the article), you did that yourself.

However, this got me thinking about the blogging culture. These foodies seem to be blinded by being part of a community where fats, oils, and sugars are good; where eating more than four full meals a day is the norm. Additionally, I’ve heard about the opposite: there are “pro-anorexia” communities, where girls (and probably guys too, but I’ll be stereotypical) support each other’s eating disorders. I haven’t actually been to one of these, but my understanding is that girls will post pictures of their emaciated bodies and say things like “oh yeah, you coulddefinitely lose another 5 pounds or so. Keep up the good work!”

It all just makes you wonder… what kind of blinders do we have in our running/dieting/fitness community? I think we’re a pretty healthy, realistic bunch, but what would we see if we stepped back from the big picture? Do we exercise too much – is it really okay to run 20 miles a week? Do we focus on calories too much and deprive ourselves of too many desserts? Do we neglect our friends and family because we have to get out for a run/off to the gym? Or is it something else?

Your comments are welcome – I really have no idea.


6 thoughts on “Blinded by the community”

  1. Anything in life can be done in excess…it’s about what in life keeps you healthy and happy at the same time without sacrificing the good of others.

    Wow I’m feeling profound this morning!

  2. I’m with Amanda. Balance is the key to life. Workaholic, Work-outaholic and all of the other ‘aholics’ are just the result of narrow focus. I have to admit that balance is easy for me with a wife and two kids but recognizing when something can become all consuming is a very valuable skill.

  3. When I weighed 223 pounds I had only myself to blame. Too much crappy food, not enough exercise. Now I weigh 156 pounds and I have only myself (and Weight Watchers) to credit. I still love food– cooking it, eating it, talking about it– but I am much smarter about what I put in my body than before. I had to learn a whole new lifestyle, essentially, from the way I cook to my exercise regimen. It’s paid off in ways I probably won’t fully appreciate for decades.

    Some of my friends and family would definitely say I’ve gone off the deep end when it comes to running. My husband told me I was crazy when I went running in the middle of a blizzard, and my brother accused me of only being able to talk about running and weight loss. But I might have a touch of the blinders you talk about because I don’t see anything wrong with running during a snowstorm or putting in 30 miles a week or weighing my food. I think there’s a lot of room for me to be more obsessed and nutty. Just watch out when I start training for my first marathon…

  4. Crap. Blogger ate my comment.

    I too agree that finding a balance of everything you do is key. Some people think hubby and I are nuts for working out as much as we do. My comment to them is to go look at the blogs we read, and then they’ll think we’re normal. 🙂

    Seriously, though – David and I choose to take turns running or swimming or whatever, and we choose not to take our daughter out of daycare only to go to the gym to put her in childcare there for us to work out. I just don’t want to do that to her, so we just take turns and find balance. It works for us.

  5. It is totally NOT ok to run 20 miles a week. I mean, com on now, let’s be honest with each other here. You should be pushing that up to the 30-35 mile mark to really start trimming those minutin off that time.
    Honestly, though, folks, if we didn’t blog about whatnot and whathaveyou, we would have to bore other people with our inane thoughts, which is no good for anyone. By blogging, we are helping humanity.
    I am personally saving humanity.

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