October 30, 2017
Here we go… another brutally honest blog comin’ at you like WHOA! I’m going to come right out and say it. I hate social media! I really do. I think, for the most part, it is making us dumber, less emotionally stable, and less compassionate people. I think it constantly has us comparing ourselves to others, questioning our personal value and giving us a false perception of reality. But, at the same time it has the potential to be an avenue of inspiration, intelligent discussion and a source for reputable information. That is the only reason I’m still on it.
Being in the health and fitness world in today’s social media craze is rough. Food and fitness are everywhere (or at least on my feeds). I see friends/peers posting about eating Keto or Paleo or counting macros or flexible dieting and my first reaction is that I too should start some “diet” again. That I’m not doing all that I can nutritionally to be the healthiest me I can be. And maybe I’m not. But then I ask myself… Why? Why would I do that? What are my goals? And my goals right now are to just be healthy and learn and grow everyday as the person Jenny LaBaw is. My goals are to be the best coach I can be for my clients, be the best girlfriend I can be to Marcus, be the best friend I can be to my friends. None of them care if I had 20g or 200g of carbs that day. But with that said, it’s confusing. And if it’s confusing to me, someone in the industry, it must be confusing to others. Should I go Keto or Paleo or Vegan? Do I need to use fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, collagen and ketone supplements? Do I need to measure everything I put in my mouth? Is that the way I am going to have the health and body I want? These are all questions you have to dive into the research behind and personal trail and error.
Societies perspective of “health” blows my mind. I’m going to come at this more from a women’s perspective, because.. well I am a woman! Our “media” shows perfection. How many selfies do you see with messed up hair, flawed skin and fat rolls? How many posts do you see that show food slopped together on a plate? Not very many. No one wants to look “bad” and no one wants to be ridiculed, but why on earth is being real a bad thing? No one, and I mean NO ONE eats perfect, exercises perfect, dresses perfect, sleeps perfect, is perfect! Why does social media have this false perspective of reality? It pulls at my heart-strings and makes every hair on my body stand up. Enough already! Stop with the lies… to yourself and to your “followers”. Stop taking a million pictures until you get that perfect one to post! Stop posting just to get “likes” and start posting about who you are, what you do, and what you represent.
I love that the image of skin and bones as “health” is going away, but now we are flooded with the mantra of “strong is the new skinny”. The problem, this is still centered around body image and focusing on the way we look defines our health. Newsflash y’all… we are all different. We all have different body types that require different types of fueling and training. Just because someone is super skinny doesn’t mean they are unhealthy and just because someone is super strong doesn’t mean they are healthy. And vice versa and everywhere in between. I see so many posts of fitness experts advertising for certain products that are helping them with their body composition and their performance. I’m not saying they aren’t! But really, the bulk of what we put in our body needs to come in the form of real food. If we eat like crap but then add some supplement into our program to help throw us into ketosis, is that really healthy? Or if we are eating really healthy but not eating enough of it, are we healthy? How many of you know what your insides look like? When was the last time you had a full blood panel? Do you compare your blood work when you switch things up diet-wise or exercise-wise? How many of you journal how you feel when you try new ways of eating? This takes work!!
I know this is confusing and doesn’t really answer any specific questions about “what should I eat” or “how much should I eat”. Well… that’s because we are all different and you have to find what works for you. Not what works for the fitness model you follow on Instagram. I promise you that she has worked her ass off to get where she is. Most of the athletes or fitness models you are following and admiring on social media are paid to do that. That is their profession! They don’t work 9-5 jobs. I will say it again, it takes real work…real hard work and strict discipline. So, next time you are “liking” that post, think WHY you are liking it. Are you liking it because of the image, or the inspiration, or the message, or the desire to “be her”? What mental state is it putting you in to constantly see someone posting perfect selfies? I will say it again, NO ONE is perfect… remember that! NO ONE!
In the last year or so, for the first time since I can remember, I haven’t been competing or focusing on a major physical feat. Because of that, the obsession with what I put in my body has become way more chill. It’s so nice to not have to be anal about when and what and how I eat. It’s nice to be able to enjoy food for what it is. Yes, my body composition isn’t what it used to be. Yes, my performance isn’t what it used to be. But most of that is due to the fact that I’m not training like I used to train. I can still lift heavy stuff, run a 10K, climb up a mountain, pick up new sports and for the most part am ache and pain-free. And yes, I still eat REALLY healthy…because I know it’s good for me and I feel WAY better when I do. I am not saying that if you are eating a specific diet or counting macros that you’re wrong. In fact, you’re probably really right as long as you’re doing it for the right reason and it’s benefitting you and your goals. I encourage you to take some time to dive into your social media profile and see what you’re posting and representing and make sure it aligns with you. I also encourage you to look at who you follow and asses why you do. Do they bring you joy and happiness? Do they make you feel better about yourself? Do they bring you knowledge and insights? Do they challenge you to think bigger? If not, why are you “friends”?
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everybody else.” ~Margaret Mead
We spend so much time sitting… at the desk, in the car, on the couch. Give those hips some love!
Easy Pumpkin Chili
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