Ordered Eating

Okay, I admit it, I have a number of different motives for rebooting my Jell-O blog. (I can hear you all now: “What? You’re not doing this just because you love Jell-O so much? Say it ain’t so!”)

During the time when I wasn’t blogging, I started following blogs about women’s fitness from a feminist angle. I’m actually fairly serious, or at least doggedly determined, about strength training, and it can be a lonely pursuit for anybody (a lot of men as well as women disdain or fear the weight room) and I was looking for a virtual community of strong women who enjoy slinging some iron. I figured that looking for feminist oriented blogs would get me away from the supplement marketing and fitspo and put me in touch with kindred spirits.

Gradually I began to notice that a lot of women have arrived at lifting, and fitness pursuits in general, through battling eating disorders and serious body image issues. The first time I got an inkling of this was in a yoga class in Boston where the instructor mentioned disordered eating and then said something along the lines of “…and we all know what that’s like, don’t we?” And I immediately thought, “Speak for yourself, lady!” I thought this was a peculiarity of that particular yoga studio, until I dove into the blogosphere of women’s fitness. These sites spend a lot of time on food and body issues, with what sounds to me like an underlying assumption that the vast majority of a female audience shares those issues. The thing is, I don’t.

Frankly, it’s starting to make me feel a little weird. I lucked out in the genetic lottery and have always been naturally trim (not slender or willowy or waifish, but trim) so I guess my mother, who was severely lacking in energy and motivation anyway, reckoned she was off the hook for indoctrinating me into the feminine pursuit of keeping slim. Besides, I think my family thought that a brainy and seriously nearsighted girl like me was unlikely to be attractive to boys no matter what, so my looks weren’t important — and then it turned out that contact lenses and college opened whole new vistas for me, boy-wise. As a result, I’ve never been wracked with anxiety about my appearance and have never dieted to lose weight.

(No, says Bryan when I express this idea to him, I just eat what Fitbit tells me to. Not true. I tell Fitbit what I eat; Fitbit only gets to count the calories, which I’m tracking to make sure I eat enough to get stronger.)

This is why I can also do a Jell-O blog, because overall my eating habits are good, and I don’t stress about what I eat. I gather from the blogs I’ve been following that this makes me a bit of a freak. I wish I could share my secret, whatever that is, with other people. There’s so much clickbait diet and fitness advice in the media now that makes staying healthy sound way more complicated than it has to be. Good foods, bad foods, staying hydrated… sitting is as bad for you as smoking… moderate levels of daily activity are good for you… moderate levels of daily activity aren’t enough… Calgon, take me away!

So, if you don’t mind, I think I’m just going to stay over here, making Jell-O.

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