In some sort of strange admission into adulthood, upon graduating, everyone feels they need to commit to a newer, more healthy lifestyle. To be clear, you should become more healthy once you graduate, by default. It is beyond inappropriate for a girl of 5’1, 1*4 pounds to indulge in twelve drinks, six nights a week. (Hypothetically, of course.) That’s enough alcohol to take even a grown man beyond the point of “feeling it,” and is a completely unreasonable amount of alcohol for a person of that stature to consume. The amount of greasy food accompanying that amount of alcohol is also something one should move on from as they plummet further and further into adulthood. I definitely feel that I’ve made some positive changes in my diet and exercise routine since I graduated, but I have never once tricked myself into thinking that that means I am living a healthy lifestyle, or even a mostly healthy lifestyle. I live a not-complete-fatass lifestyle, but it’s a far cry from health nut.
I seem to be the only one who gets that, though, because I hear it all the time: “I honestly usually eat really healthily.” Sure you do, except on special occasions: Friday night, Saturday night, during happy hour, all day Sunday, days you avoid workouts, and every day during lunch. All I’m trying to say is no, no you don’t. I’m looking at you, I’m eating with you, and I’ve realized nothing about you screams “diet and exercise.” It’s one thing when people dedicate their lives to healthy eating and fitness. Those people have a right to put themselves squarely in the “You wish you were me” category, but for everyone else, let’s get something straight: just because you don’t eat McDonald’s for dinner and because you go for a run once every two weeks does not mean you’re “really healthy.” It means you’re healthier than you were in college, and thank GOD for that, because you’d have to actively try to be less healthy than that.
Let’s debunk some “healthy eating” myths, shall we?
If you’re Instagramming your vegetables, you’re not “really healthy.”
Especially if you have the caption “Yum!” That’s not “yum,” that’s broccoli. We’ve all had it, and we don’t know who you think you’re fooling. Steamed vegetables are fine, and I no longer scowl or require my mom to sprinkle them with powdered cheese to trick me into forcing them down, but they’re hardly what I’d describe as some delicious meal that I feel the need to brag about. People Instagram shit that they think is cool. If you’re Instagramming a spinach and egg white omelet, it’s because you don’t eat things like that very often, so you think the fact that it’s not Chinese delivery will impress your 106 followers. Instagramming grilled chicken is basically the same thing as saying “I ate like shit yesterday, this is my attempt to make up for it.”
I know your type and I hope you enjoy that cheeseburger tomorrow.
If you’re eating out all the time, you’re not healthy.
Someone recently told me that he ate “mostly healthy” because on most days he just ate chicken and vegetables. I was surprised, and impressed, and asked if he cooked them for himself on most nights. “No,” he said, “I usually just grab it from Chipotle.” Another friend of mine claims she’s eating healthy when she grabs a McDonald’s salad after work.
Even if you’re choosing the healthiest option at your fast food restaurant of choice, you’re not eating healthy. The only way to be sure you’ve made a healthy choice is to know exactly what’s going into your body. That means look up the exact ingredients/nutrition facts of what you’re eating, or make it yourself, because otherwise, you’ll be surprised. Neither Chipotle, nor McDonald’s, nor your favorite cafe, nor even the pizzeria with the great Caesar salad have the slogan “And it’s good for you, too,” and there’s a reason why.
If you’re drinking in excess often, you’re not healthy.
I’m NOT one to suggest you skip out on happy hours, wine nights, or a Saturday on the town, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a single healthy eating guideline out there that includes alcohol. Even if you choose only to drink Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday at brunch, that’s still three days, which is essentially HALF of your week. Drinking three out of seven days per week can’t be good for you. It’s probably not quite as bad as seven out of seven days per week, but your doctor wouldn’t be happy to hear about it, so there’s no reason to act all “skinnier than thou.”
If you’re depriving yourself of calories, you’re not healthy.
By far, this is what I’m guiltiest of. When I decide I need to lose weight, I do so by way of systematic starvation every single time, but that doesn’t even come close to making it the “healthy” thing to do. Lean cuisines make you thinner, not healthier. I am fairly sure that a frozen dinner preserved via chemicals doesn’t fit in anywhere on the food pyramid. Skipping a meal isn’t healthy either, which I’m reminded of all the time. Really guys? It’s not good for me not to eat lunch?! What’s next? You’re going to tell me TANNING is bad for me too?!?! I’m not going for longevity here, I’m trying to lose 15 pounds by tomorrow. But cooking for one is a drag, and like I said, I’m not confused about how healthy I am anyway, so I’ve got another three or four months before I decide I’m too old to not give a shit.
To the people who actually are healthy, I envy you. You are going to look awesome 20 years from now, and I’m going to look the same, but worse. Plus, like, your heart and liver will be functioning, and blood will continue to circulate through your veins with ease if things like that are important to you. I wish I worked out seven days a week, and I wish I could break off my 24-year relationship with cheese, but neither of those things have come to fruition quite yet, and I don’t feel the need to lie about it, because I understand that “not being a tub of lard” is not synonymous with “being healthy” and I think the sooner everyone else can accept that, the sooner I’ll be able to stop rolling my eyes at 85% of the world.