Matt, as someone who struggled mightily with eating disorders and starved via anorexia, I can attest that this is real. I suffered a mild heart attack in my thirties, had no idea I had, and nearly offed myself.

What you described is in every way the continuing sickness that this society has with out-doing one another no matter what it is. The forever search for the new hack, as though one exists (it bloody well doesn’t no matter what goddamned fool is pushing it, media darling or not) does nothing more than fool the foolish into doing themselves harm.

There are no real life hacks, except, if you will kindly pardon the pun, hacking our own unique ways through the wilderness that constitutes our lives. Following and emulating damned fools, people trying dangerous and stupid diet tricks, pushing ourselves way beyond our limits all speak to a moronic, robotic, lemming-like need to achieve or be better than or (pick your compulsion).

There’s no excuse for starving ourselves. I’ve been down that road and it nearly cost me my life. That was well before social media, but I was consumed by the magazine photos of oh-so-perfect bodies and felt that if I were to ever have love, that’s how I had to look.

I am happiest when I pay absolutely not attention whatsoever to trends, be they of Silicon Valley Stepford folks, or deadly boring shill Influencers. In fact, the people I meet who are the happiest across the board don’t bother to look, watch, listen, read or pay the slightest bit of attention to these idiots. Many of them aren’t on any kind of social media at all.

It keeps the sewage out of their lives. The kind of sewage that you write about here, and rightly point out as ridiculous pap.

It’s hard enough to, as you state, self-identify outside the mainstream, and feel the pressure to cleave to a certain body image when Mother Nature might have had other things in mind for the physical you. How much kinder, then, to simply be curious about you, your body, what gives you joy, finding food and movement habits that not only sustain but delight you, and in the process draw to yourself someone drawn to your confidence?

But that’s just me. Thanks for your article.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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