I tried to be one of those people who found inspiration in fitspo posts, but the more that I tried to appreciate the posts, the more I found my already bad self-esteem dropping. For me, fitspo is like going through living with Dadada again. Seeing posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr that would be called “fitspo” reminded me of how he used to tell me that my life pretty much wasn’t worthwhile because of my weight. Having friends post their accomplishments is one thing, but when the accomplishments turn into “inspirational” posts that tear down anyone who isn’t doing the exact same thing as them it becomes a lot less inspirational and a lot more hurtful. For people who can do regular exercises everyday, that’s awesome. And if you want to share that, then that’s great. Please don’t tear down others who don’t, though. Please don’t make a post about someone’s struggles with mental illness into your crusade about how exercise will help them overcome it. Please don’t make a post about their eating a certain number of carbs or certain amount of calories or a certain level of protein into a lecture on how if they would only do what you do, then all the problems of their life could be solved. The evangelicalism of fitspo is off-putting. To me, it comes across as a way to rub someone else’s “failings” in their face. I know that isn’t the intent. I know that what people want to do with their posts is help make the world a better, healthier place, but that isn’t always the outcome. I spent the greater part of the last few years doing little more than the bare minimum to survive, so I don’t need to be given grief over counting taking cold showers, cooking 3-5 meals per week from scratch, and hand-washing dishes as exercise. Except for taking a daily shower, I wasn’t doing those things before. I’d shut myself down. And so just doing those things now is a big deal for me personally. That might not be a big deal for your average fitspo-loving individual or even a non-fitspo-loving person, which is why I would never tell you that you had to count them. Right now, I have to consider them as personal victories. I need to feel good about the things that I am doing to make my life better. If I don’t, I will regress. I know this about my own struggles with weight. I need to be able to realize that I can handle this amount of activity before I push on. I need to be my own inspiration. When I do these things and receive some sort of negative response about how if I would only do more or that what I’m counting doesn’t really matter, it makes me feel like a failure. That makes me either want to go binge or restrict my calories completely. Today’s a good example. I read something labelled fitspo that upset me, so today I have eaten less than a 100 calories all day, but I’ve gone for a 0.4 mile walk (barefoot and with shorts/no jacket in 50°F weather), done 60 minutes of food preparation, spent about a half an hour hand-washing dishes, and had a 25 minute cold shower. According to MyFitnessPal, I’ve burned 921 calories. According to another website, I’ve burned around 700 calories. Either way, it is more than what I used to do and it’s way too much for someone to do without eating. But because of the angst/rage/frustration I’m feeling about what I saw, I don’t feel hungry. I don’t want to eat. And, while some people might make some kind of crack about how I should just stop eating altogether because of my weight, I know that not eating is just as bad as overeating. I also know that tomorrow I may be hurting all over and too tired to move from the walk alone. While it isn’t the other person’s fault for triggering bad behavior of me, their behavior doesn’t help. I know that being obese is dangerous. I also know that over-eating and under-eating are unhealthy and going without exercise is unhealthy. I also know that I have limits that need to be respected, not just by me, but by other people. Not every person can exercise at the same level. Some of my limits: tachycardia & arrhythmia anemia & vitamin deficiencies fibromyalgia asthma overheating easily If I do too much, any of these issues can be exacerbated. I know the anemia part doesn’t make sense, but anemia prevents my body from providing the appropriate level of oxygen to my muscles. This tires me more easily. The vitamin deficiencies keep me from having the appropriate level of energy to even start exercising sometimes. I have to take these things into consideration every time I do any activity, even things most people do without thinking. What does fitspo do? It makes me want to ignore the issues. It makes me feel like a bad person when I can’t. It makes me feel like I will never be good enough. Basically, it encourages me to stay in a cycle of negative self-talk. It inspires me to not take care of myself. So I need to avoid fitspo posts for fear that they will do the opposite of what is intended by them. I may even have to block certain hashtags or hide news from certain friends because my self-esteem can’t handle their fitspo.

Why I Hate: Fitspo

This is a meme that I participate in every year on LiveJournal. Even if you get nothing, it’s still a fun meme because it allows us to be kids again and make Christmas lists. Let’s face it, that kind of dreaming and hope is fun. So here’s my wishlist this year. If you want to make one, leave me a link and I’ll post it here. STEP ONE Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered… whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a Snape/Hermione icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV”). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want. If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required! Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread. STEP TWO Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here’s the important part… If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use – or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free – do it. You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf – to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not – it’s your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just… wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.   MY LIST An iTunes digital playlist would be cool to receive or a gift card for iTunes. Music is one of the few things that helps me relax and feel safe anymore. Books – I love to read, and I will read just about any genre out there. Other gift cards that would be cool to have are for Starbucks and Rave Motion Pictures. I haven’t been to a movie in the theater or had anything from Starbucks in several years. wishlist – I know that there’s a lot of stuff on there, and I’ve been meaning to go back through and remove some of the stuff. Things to decorate my room. My family basically had our home condemned for about 4.5 months this year, and a lot of our stuff was tossed. Before that happened, I had the same posters up in my room that I’d had since I was 16 years old. Now, my room is deep purple, but there’s nothing besides paint on the walls and shelves are kind of empty, so I’d like to change that so that it seems more home-y. Home repairs – Kitchen appliances, specifically an oven/stove and a dishwasher. Our oven can’t be fixed and we can’t afford to get a new one. The stove-top works fine, but the oven itself is shot. The dishwasher is also unable to be fixed.In April of 2011, our roof got a bit damaged by all the storms that happened on the 27th. We went to the insurance company to get help with the roof and they gave us money for it, which wasn’t enough and ended up getting used to fix the house when it was condemned. Anyway, our insurance policy ended up being canceled because our house wasn’t valuable enough to the insurance company to continue the policy. The only way we can get new insurance is to get a new roof. Some fuzzy pink slippers. I have had the .com domain for fuzzypinkslippers for almost 12 years and I used to have actual fuzzy pink slippers that I could wear around the house. They got tossed, too. So, I would like some of those. Blu-Rays or DVDs – Another tool to escape my life. Peace of mind or hope or prayers or something like that – This last year has sucked and I would just liked for things to be easier or more peaceful for a while. I would like to know that my dogs are okay with their new owners. I would like to know what’s been causing my anemia. I just want to feel good or happy or safe or something nice. A teddy bear or some stuffed animal. I love plush toys and, as far as I’ve been able to tell, my childhood teddy bear got tossed by a well-meaning person who helped us after the house got condemned.  

Holiday Wishlist Meme 2012