i was blown away by all your wonderful comments on my thoughts about the HLS! thank you so much to each and every one of you who took the time to voice your opinion! i read every comment very interested to hear your opinions.
i guess if i'm going to challenge that the HLS may not be healthy, i should have given you my opinion on what IS healthy, shouldn't i?
my big beef with the HLS is not the Summit itself, but how it is perceived. food blogging has turned into this vortex people get sucked in to, and before we realize it, our view of "normal health" is training for a marathon, getting our RD, and eating oatmeal.
there's nothing wrong with those things! they just don't guarantee health, and they are certainly not the only way to get there. it bugs me how food blogging can be a trend/clique, like high school almost, and everyone accepts what a big blogger does as the gold standard of vitality.
if you went - i hope you had an amazing time! i would love to meet many of the lovely people who attended, and i do read some of their blogs, for sure! but most of them i view as entertainment or cooking information, not health advice. just because you take pictures everyday doesn't make you healthy, just like how researching nutrition daily doesn't make me a expert (darn it!).
i realize the Summit is about the community - and that's what it should be about. a group of bloggers hanging out and enjoying life together. if that was all everyone viewed it as, i wouldn't be bugged. but people assume it's more than that, like some holy grail of healthiness, and that's why i didn't want to go. i think there's a lot more to health than that - no criticism if you enjoyed it!
so what is health?
i didn't give my definition for two reasons: one, it's darn near impossible to outline, and two, what i have to say isn't easy to swallow.
it's difficult to define health because we all live different lives. what one person needs can be far different than their mom, brother, etc., and it constantly morphs over the years. health is individual and personal.
for some, running is a great path to health - exercise is certainly crucial to life! for others, though, running can be turned into a whip we use to beat our weight into submission, and that's not health. and true, losing weight could save some lives, but there's also nothing healthy about the diet mentality of starving/cheat days/protein overload. depending on who you are, health will take on a different appearance than someone else - and that's ok!
it might seem a bit radical, but go with me here - as a nation, we don't really want health. we want an excuse to keep doing what we're doing, and someone to consider us "healthy" so we feel good about ourselves. we want sympathy.
in all honesty, we're all so jaded we don't know what true health looks like! we live in a world where video games are considered exercise, half our food budget is spent on eating out, and most of us are obese. in today's america, you can't attain health without a lifestyle overhaul.
i know our battle cry is "everything in moderation!," but since when did chemical preservatives, chocolate binges, daily starbucks runs, and making ourselves sick with greasy pizza become moderate? if moderation were truly all we needed, things like Food, Inc. and Supersize Me! wouldn't be shocking... those aren't examples of extreme living anymore - they're pretty moderate for most americans.
any way you slice it, moderation still includes things we desperately don't need for health. it's still a steady flow of junk. moderate amounts of gum still supplies you with a steady flow of chemicals, moderate amounts of unorganic produce still exposes you to hundreds of unnatural pesticides each day, and moderate amounts of dairy blasts you with added hormones.
think about it this way: would you smoke moderately? drive without a seatbelt moderately? take drugs moderately? the only reason we don't do those things in moderation is because we accept they are dangerous as a nation... and we won't accept we might have to change our eating habits, so we keep exercising "moderation." i'm pretty sure other cultures have been practicing true moderation for thousands of years, so who's has their perspective on health mixed up: them, or us?
i'm not criticizing anyone - truly, because i've been a slob most of my life! no judgement here. but i am tired of hearing doctors say all these new diseases are just a part of life and we have to medicate and deal with it. no, they're a part of THIS GENERATION. we did this to ourselves, and i'm not ready to accept that.
i want my life back! i'm not ok with accepting half the world will die of obesity-induced diabetes, or i'll lose my sisters to heart disease at 60. i'm not ok with accepting things like fibromyalgia, cancer, and autism are just a "freak occurances." NO NO NO! that is not health - but certainly a moderate amount of americans have them!
i know what you're thinking - eating healthy is not all life is about. i'm a college kid - i know sometimes, wendy's really is the only option, and chocolate cake is good! i get that totally! but if there's something in my life i know i can change for the better... why wouldn't i? i'd much rather put the time into choosing good food now than dealing with the emotional blow of cancer later in life. does that make me extreme?
i'm not telling you to live in a bubble, never go out to eat, or go vegan (but you should!). i'm begging you to PURSUE HEALTH - because in this generation, health is almost extinct.
so how to define health? i can't tell you exactly. you can't identify health just by what you DO. it encompasses your whole existance - your emotions, your mental stability, your stress level, your fitness level, your risk for disease, your quality of life. it's WHO you are, not WHAT you are.
if you're interested in what i DO or believe specifically, check out my passions page, or shoot me an email! i'd love to share what has worked for me - i can get out of bed now because of it! but truly, only you truly know if how you are living is supporting yourself do everything you want to do.
i want more - do you?