It’s around this time of year that those of us in the Southern Hemisphere start talking about “shaping up for summer” – losing those few kilos you may have put on whilst you were hibernating over winter, and getting “bikini ready” (Whilst those of you in the Northern Hemisphere start snuggling up by the fire sipping hot cups of chai and and eating all kinds of delicious pumpkin creations no doubt!)
On my trip to Sydney last weekend, I picked up a few magazines at the airport to read on the flight over. Across the three magazines, there was no less than 8 articles about weight loss, all geared towards “shaping up for summer”. This says a bit about my dubious magazine choices (Am I only only one that loves to catch up on my celebrity goss on a plane flight!?) and a lot about the push from the media aimed at women needing to be a certain size to be happy, especially if – god forbid! – they are going to be wearing a bikini in public!
The push from mainstream women to encourage women to “slim down and shape up” for summer creates a number of negative impacts from distorted body images to eating disorders that’s a whole kettle of fish that we’re not going to get into right now (you’ll thank me for that late, I could go on for hours about that topic – hello Gender Studies major over here!) I would like you to ponder just one question.
Why is there always a push to lose weight? Why do we always want to get skinny? Why cant we aim to get healthy instead?
(okay I cant count, that was three questions!)
Weight loss does not need to be unhealthy, nor does it need to be a short-term solution. It’s possible to adopt healthy practices to lose weight and “shape up”, and stay that way too.
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I’m big on eating a plant-based diet consisting mainly of whole foods – with an occasional treat here or there. This way of eating is not only healthy, it will keep you looking great and feeling amazing year round. Sure, we all “fall off the wagon” from time to time and over-indulge a little, but through eating a clean, wholefoods diet most of the time, it’s far easier to maintain not only your ideal weight, but also keep your energy levels up and your moods stable.
So this month, instead of encouraging you to “shape up” for summer, instead of posting low calorie recipes and articles about the best meal-replacement shake for weight-loss, we’ve going to move the focus from how to get in shape or lose weight, to how to get healthy for summer – and stay healthy.
– D x