It’s a photo we’ve all seen on Instagram. A gorgeous dessert perfectly styled with a caption that reads something like this:
Indulging tonight with this guilty pleasure, because when you eat right, you can treat right. Hopping back on the bandwagon tomorrow. #progressnotpefection #healthyeatinghabits #nothingtastesbetterthanskinnyfeels #sinfullydelicious*
I’m all about eating nutritious foods that make you feel good and give you energy. But when we cloak our less “healthy” food choices in words of guilt, judgement and sin (even when joking and/or self-deprecating), we trade enduring truths about the goodness of our food and bodies for our culture’s transient opinions about health and physique. We create a self-righteous culture around our food and habits based on ever-changing health and nutrition beliefs that usually winds up valuing idealized bodies over real ones.
What happens? Well, if you’re anything like me, you swing the pendulum of emotions when it comes to self-image, eating habits, exercise regimes and that number on the scale.
I wake up one morning feeling sluggish and undisciplined, so I think: Time to cut out sweets and carbs, and practice yoga again. I don’t want to buy bigger jeans, and forbid that my arms jiggle and face look round.
The next week, I think to myself: Curse those Instagram photos and lifestyle blogs that subtly and smugly impose their sanctimonious standards of physique and health on me. Hand me a brownie and turn on Netflix.
Friends, this body-image rollercoaster I find myself on is precisely why I’m excited about the new podcast Stop, No, Weight, hosted by Joy Beth Smith and Paul Maxwell.
Stop, No, Weight was created after Joy Beth’s article “Fat. Single. Christian.” was published on the Washington Post and generated all sorts of feedback (just check out the comments section). Her vulnerability and insight into body-image and culture is compelling as she tells her story and articulates her observations.
I was first introduced to Paul’s writing a few years ago through this piece on male body hatred. Not only did Paul articulate a problem I know exists but is never talked about, his handling of culture and Scripture spoke to me on a human level, gender aside.
Though Joy Beth and Paul are Christians and are usually exploring the topic of attractiveness between single men and women, I guarantee you will benefit from their insight whether you’re “average” or “overweight,” single or married, a person of faith or not.
So head over to the podcast page, download the current episodes and hit play. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
*Not a real caption. Something entirely created by yours truly from years of Instagram and Facebook perusing.