Hi Guys! Welcome to my blog. Today I’ve been chatting to Alex Joseph from ‘thenutritionpro’ about how women can be empowered, or put down by dieting culture, instagram ads and their overall health.
I asked Alex about her opinion on celebrities or influencers promoting products such as detox teas, or appetite suppressant lollipops. This is a topic I’m sure you’ve heard about recently with many people, notable Jameela Jamil speaking out against the products. Alex’s answer was one we can probably all agree with. Her anger at people promoting this products is clear, and justified. She doesn’t believe that anyone could possibly think that there are any real health benefit to using these products, which therefore leads her to ask the question ‘why?’ Why would someone promote these products? How can anyone with any integrity do that?
Her conclusion is that there is only one reason someone would do this, and that is financial gain.
Alex says “These so-called celebrities tend to be the ones who seem to lack any tangible skill or talent and are well known from ‘reality TV’. By default, this puts them into the category of someone with whom the average person can identify, which includes young, impressionable girls. Perhaps they are kidding themselves that by promoting weight loss “supplements” they are somehow helping to fight obesity.
But at what cost is this? At best this may lead to an obsession with body image, perhaps encouraging eating disorders and at worst even physical harm may come to these young girls if they over consume products that have unwanted side effects in high quantities.
I simply cannot fathom why you wouldn’t want to use the power and influence you possess to actually do some really good in the world and influence people to lead happier and healthier lives instead of being a profiteering sell-out.”
We also discussed dieting, and if women could be empowered through dieting. Alex offered some really interesting insight to this, and told me about one of her main teachings, called ‘food freedom’. This is the concept that nutritionists and other health professionals should be empowering their clients/patients by educating them on their health and dietary needs. By showing them how to improve their health by losing or gaining weight in a non-restrictive way, where you can still eat the things that bring you joy, and by helping to remove the guilt one may feel after eating.
When I asked Alex what she thought the best way to empower women and make them feel confident was, she gave me an answer that I am privileged to pass on to you. Alex said
“Listen to the way you talk to yourself.
Ask yourself, “would I say this to my best friend?”
I bet most of the time the answer is no, so why on earth do you talk to yourself in such a disparaging way.
Learning to accept yourself, including your imperfections is absolutely critical.
I am my own worst critic, I know this.
I am constantly telling myself I need to be better, do better, that I’m not good enough.
So, like any other skill, I have to work at this.
I work at challenging these self-beliefs.
The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
And for those moments when you can’t quite manage it, it’s brilliant to surround yourself with kind, wise and supportive people.
I have 2 rules now – if I have any inkling that someone in my life is toxic, I’ve learnt to trust my gut and I get rid of them.”
Finally, we finished our chat with a comment on how sport empowers women. Alex said that the main things to think about are endorphins, strength and for her, doing a mainly male-dominated sport such as boxing allows her to break social norms and the glass ceiling.
I hope you’ve learnt something from this post – and that you’re kind to yourself! If you’d like to follow Alex you can find her links below.
Bye for now!
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