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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

...and your food looks like chit...

Feliz Navidad, kids! Hope whatever holidays you do or do not celebrate, the end of December is treating you well.

Now that the seasonal pleasantries are out of the way, let me ask all y'all a question.  Did you know there are entire forums on the internet devoted to mocking, snarking on, and generally critiquing other people's blogs?  I was sorta, kinda vaguely aware of this in the way I'm aware there are Christian dating sites or places on the interwebs where you can* go to hire a hitman.  I'd heard of it but never really felt compelled to visit, y'know?  

But fairly recently, I rectified that lapse in internet completism. Well, as far as the blog-snarking boards, not the Christian personals.  (And as far as the hitman-hiring goes, I'm staying mum. That doesn't mean some people shouldn't watch their backs. Ahem.)  Do you know what is prime capital for internet blog-snarking? "Healthy Living"/fitness blogs.  Like this one, I guess, though I have never ever claimed to have good health habits or to be some kind of model of clean living.  Having to regularly use the Fourth Macro (alcohol, duh) when logging one's food kinda craps all over that possible claim, amirite?  But if you were going to slot MMINAE into a category, that's where you'd probably stick it, the category of mildly-amusing-sarcasm-and-mouth-frothing-rants-with-sucky-underwear-pics-of-old-women being a little too overly specific.

I won't even tell you what the google image search was that returned that^^^ but I had to use it even though it's completely irrelevant to anything in this blog post.  Cat in a babushka, c'mon now.  

Where was I? Oh, yeah.  Healthy Living blogs=endless source of mockery fodder.  And one of the greatest generators of lulz is what healthy living bloggers eat and, oh yeah, post recipes for and pictures of.  Any of y'all who've been around the block a few times will recognize the clean eating staples. Kale, oats, quinoa, egg whites, chicken breast.  Cauliflower "pasta".  Protein powder and Quest bars.  (Shut up.)  Bloggers who eat these things are routinely accused of having eating disorders (and to be fair if that's *all* you eat, yeah, you may have, at best, orthorexia) and their pictures of the above are often responded to with a cute little vomiting emoticon and comments that their food looks like shit.

Oh, so many feels.  You guys know that along with the wine and the fudge-covered Ritz crackers, I have been known to eat--frequently--concoctions fondly referred to as proats and sludge, even though I rarely subject you to photos of the same.  Yes, mixing protein powder into other foods or using it to bake with may sound gross. It may well be gross. I don't do it for the taste, that's for sure.  But what the people mocking it may not understand is that if you lift weights semi-seriously to seriously, you need more protein than the average person (.8-1g/lb of bodyweight or, for me personally at least 92g protein a day) and unless you're willing to eat way more chicken breast and egg whites than I am plus forego the wine and beer calories, it's hard to meet that macro and stay at maintenance or below calories without resorting to adding protein to other non-protein foods.  When I'm bulking, yeah, I can eat waffles for breakfast knowing I have plenty of calories left to fit all my protein in later in the day.  When I'm dieting, not so much.  I gotta eat those proats for breakfast instead. If I'm gonna "waste" 300 calories by 9am, they've gotta have the 25-30g of protein in 'em. Is that disordered?  I dunno.  I kinda think it's eating for your sport, much in the same way endurance athletes need to eat lots and lots of carbs.  But no one's gonna mock them for eating waffles for breakfast on a day they run because...waffles!  Believe me, I wish simple carbs were all I needed to eat to build muscle but sadly that's not how the human body works.

Now, saying that proats look vomit-worthy? Well, um, yeah. Is there any way to photograph any kind of oatmeal and make it look delish? I mean, I personally think oatmeal *is* delish, but it's gruel. It looks like gruel no matter what you do to it.  Just because it doesn't look pretty doesn't mean it's not awesome. It's got a great personality, all y'all.  I mean, yes, I guess I understand mocking the posting of pictures of gruel and/or mocking fawning blog commenters who say ZOMG, that looks mouthwatering! to pictures of said gruel.  But just because food isn't gorgeous-looking doesn't mean it doesn't taste good or isn't nutritionally worthwhile.  

Does this all sound crazily defensive?  I'm not saying that there are not a lot of people in the fitness blogosphere who are disordered as hell.  I'm not saying there isn't a crapload of mock-worthy behavior out there, my own included. (The fact that I go months weighing and logging just about every morsel of food that goes in my mouth? Totally mock-worthy and borderline disordered.  The only thing that makes it not completely disordered in my opinion is that, sweet baby Jesus, I can and do take a break from it periodically and I'm rolling my eyes at myself every time I put something on that goddamn food scale.)  I'm just saying that there are good reasons some people eat shiz that may look and sound to you like it's OMG groce. WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN MY MUSCLES????????  

You think that shiz^^^ grows itself? God.


*allegedly, allegedly


  1. So, what do the fitness-blog-mockers themselves eat? Do they say? (Not going to look myself; life: short.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. Very good question/point, Mary Anne! As far as I can figure, if you cop to any meal pattern that is less than or more than the traditional 3 square meals a day, you will be accused of being disordered. If you use protein powder or eat protein bars, you will be accused of being disordered. If you use vegetables in non-traditional applications (cauliflower "pasta" or "rice", zucchini in oatmeal [apparently that's a thing now]) you'll be accused or being disordered. If you avoid dairy or gluten without a note from your doctor, LOL, you'll be accused of being disordered, or possibly just annoying. If you use any pre-prepared foods, like frozen Trader Joes stuff or the food bar at Whole Foods you'll be accused of being lazy and also not really healthy-living. Basically, I think you're only allowed to eat 3 home-cooked meals a day using only foods your grandma ate in the same applications she ate them or you're an eating-disordered fraud. :-)

  3. Zucchini in oatmeal? Is there no end to the things people will adulterate perfectly good oatmeal with? I like zucchini, and I like oatmeal, and I even like vegetables at breakfast, but I don't want anything in my oatmeal but a few grains of salt.
    I was expecting at least one school of these disorderers to be the "eat lots of small meals all day long" people. Being a gorger myself, the evangelical grazers annoy me.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  4. Pretty much if you talk about what you eat, you're disordered and in need of serious help, as best I can figure. Whatever. :)

  5. And if you post pictures of it, obviously you need an intervention and inpatient treatment :-)