On ‘the picture of perfect health’.

So, today I was at the grocery store with a friend of mine and she stopped in pharmacy section and picked up a pretty popular diet pill I’ve previously seen promoted by the Kardashian’s on Instagram. Naturally, this started a conversation between us and she told me she’s been taking this supplement for years. This baffled me.

This is obviously my opinion but, diet culture is a monster that preys on the naive, insecure and those lacking confidence in themselves. It worships thinness and equates health to mortal virtue, oppressing people who don’t meet these standards of what ‘the picture of perfect health’ is supposed to be. It’s quite literally an industry that capitalizes on one’s fears and insecurities.

Societal standards are such that… if you’re thin, you’re healthy. It doesn’t take into consideration body-type, it doesn’t take into consideration height, bone density, genetics (because yes, genetics play a big role in it as well), or any of the things that play a role in true health, it just believes that if you are skinny, you are healthy and that is the ideal.

The thing is, there is no picture of perfect health. Why? Because health isn’t one-size-fits-all. You can be thin and be unhealthy. You can be thick and be perfectly healthy. You can be a professional athlete and look like you’ve got an amazing body meanwhile you’re supplementing with illegal substances to make yourself look that way. I guess that’s what I wish people would take more time to understand… Being thin is not the sole and only criteria for health.

These pills that promise you can lose 30 pounds without diet and exercise, they’re lying. Actually, any substance or procedure that says you’re going to lose weight without diet and exercise is full of shit. Why? Because that’s not how our bodies work on the inside. Our bodies are fully functioning machines on the inside, they need proper diet and exercise to be fueled at their finest.

There’s a well-known Youtube personality, Dr. Mike, who explains it in a way that I think makes the most sense. Think about all of the time Doctors spend with patients trying to teach them about how to lead a healthier life, about the importance of exercise, about how they can institute these tactics in their own lives, the things they can eat to help lose weight, the things they can avoid to keep them from gaining weight. Doctors spend hundreds (if not thousands) of hours per year just trying to teach patients about how to live healthier lives. If these pills were all they’re cracked up to be, why wouldn’t they just tell patients to take these pills? Why would they waste their time trying to teach people about healthy eating and exercise? Why would they follow up? Why wouldn’t they just throw a bottle of “Diet Pill name” at you and tell you to GTFO.

Because health has nothing to do with thinness. Health is about how you treat your body, what you put into your body and making sure that you look after your mind and your soul. Health is how you feel about yourself, how you feel on the inside and how you feel you look on the outside. Health literally looks different for every single person on earth.

In summation: equating health with thinness is a mischaracterization of the true definition of health. Diet culture is big business, and in a world where money talks, can you really trust the companies pushing diet pills on you to have your best interests at heart?

30 thoughts on “On ‘the picture of perfect health’.

    1. My dear, that doesn’t sound very good at all. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know. I’d even go back and check my email if you wanted to chat to someone via email. I’m here if you need me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very sweet and I appreciate you. I’m okay now, but I was in a realllly bad place a couple days ago. If I get to that place again I’ll take you up on that. Thank you Vee :).

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  1. Good post. I started on a weight loss/better health journey earlier this year and when I talked to my doctor about it, he was actually relieved that I was talking about diet, exercise, quitting smoking, and lifestyle modification. He laughed later that he was so surprised he didn’t have to talk me out of a fad diet pill, and how nice it was to tell his colleagues in the office about the visit. It’s really sad when people want the results but refuse to do the worrk

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s probably such a rarity for them to have someone take the right steps and go about it in the right way. It’s good to hear you’re treating yourself well. Your body is a temple! You might as well let it know that. Thanks for sharing your story, I hope that more people are willing to follow your lead.

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  2. I could not agree more! It’s very sad on many accounts: that people believe in magic when it comes to weight loss, that people associate being thin with being healthy and looking good (although “thin” is hugely subjective, and I know quite a number of people who use this phrase “thin does not mean healthy as an excuse for not getting into shape). For me, the saddest of all is the situation, when people are trying to get into shape, not for health reasons, but for the reason of looking good solely. It blows my mind! That’s not “social pressure,” that’s people CHOOSE to be pressed!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s pretty mind blowing indeed. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I’m someone who definitely ‘eats my feelings’ when I’m not in a good state of mind, and I know that’s different for everyone. We just need to be more understanding of health and what health is. Working out should be something you do for yourself. TO treat your body like it’s a temple. If you’re working out and getting in shape to impress others, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

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  3. Before I did the physical therapy gig, I was a wellness director at the YMCA. I saw what you were talking about everyday. Being thin/muscular/fit is something you can see instantaneously, so it’s simple to categorize these people as doing it right and being healthy. When I decided to really get shredded, I looked the best I will ever look for the rest of my life, but I also was the most miserable. To get there, I was working out twice a day while really reducing calories. I wasn’t sleeping. My concentration was trashed. I felt anxious all the time. Felt much better with an extra 10 pounds on me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear that so often, actually. I worked in a sports industry for nearly a decade and all of the under-eaters that liked to brag about how amazing their muscles were also liked to complain about how miserable they were and how all they wanted in the world was to eat food.

      Being “shredded” can often do a lot of harm, and I don’t think people realize that. They just look at muscles and go “oooh pretty”.

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  4. So true.Appearance is temporary satisfaction, unfortunately the lucky ones keep flattering about themselves..what really matters is how long you live disease free and maintain healthy lifestyle.as far as you feel good from inside and practicing healthy lifestyle just don’t bother about hypocrites.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Appearance really is temporary satisfaction. That’s a great way of putting it. Trying to maintain your health from the inside out is what is important. Being thin and anorexic is not a good place to be. Being overweight and an overeater isn’t a good place to be either. It’s really all about practicing a healthy lifestyle. A truly healthy lifestyle.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok, I absolutely agree, but when I saw this “You can be a professional athlete and look like you’ve got an amazing body meanwhile you’re supplementing with illegal substances to make yourself look that way” I was reminded of a meme on one of my recovery FB that goes like this:
    Everyone should stop hating on Lance Armstrong. He won 7 Tour de France on drugs. When I’m on drugs, I can’t even find my bicycle. 🤣🤣🤣

    Have a beautiful Saturday!! 🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember hearing that quote going around after his titles were stripped. I just think it’s crazy how people can get away with illegal substances for so long. When I worked in a sports industry for almost a decade there were so many people (SOOOOOOOOO many people) who were taking illegal substances to juice up their bodies and the bosses would overlook it. Though everyone makes their own choices in life, they’re making one that is not healthy at all!

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  6. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.
    For a while, I had a really busy schedule to the point where I could barely find time to eat breakfast or lunch. After a few months I started noticing my collar bones more and more and I thought that it was the coolest thing that I was losing weight because I wasn’t eating. I was so happy that I was looking skinnier, but I completely ignored the headaches, the fatigue, and the lack of energy. I was unhealthy and my body was trying to tell me through these signs but for a while I didn’t listen to it. Being skinny doesn’t make you healthy and truly happy if you’re not giving your body what it needs to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

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