When people are endlessly bombarded with images of perfect bodies in what appears to be perfect health, we can begin to feel that we should easily have that too. Envy, jealousy, denial and laziness may combine to create an impossible internal environment for weight loss. In cultures where food is plentiful, the idea of denying ourselves the sensual pleasure of gluttony seems absurd. The result is people who deceive themselves into believing that their health will not suffer from lethargy and over-indulgence. Regardless of what lie that we choose to deceive ourselves with, all of the wishful thinking in the world will not give us robust health and a streamlined figure.
It’s Not Fair!!!
How many times have you heard people say “It’s not fair! I try and try to lose weight but I’ll never look like THAT!”? I have heard it over and over. These same people are quick to assume that anyone who is fit has great genetics, or has had surgical procedures. They simply cannot seem to grasp the fact that most truly fit people work hard to be at a healthy body fat percentage and have good muscle tone and definition.
Raw Materials for Health
I have been down that road myself. I used to think that there were the lucky ones and the rest of us. The truth is, with rare exception, we are all on a pretty level playing field. There are some people who build muscle easier than others, and there are some who tend to have a lower body fat percentage. These are not usually the same people. Usually you will be one or the other. That crazy lean, defined physique that most of us want is a lifetime project, and it doesn’t come easy to anyone.
While there are drugs that can hurry this process along, they come with an incredibly high price tag. They are known to decrease life span by causing heart and liver damage, an increased risk of blood clots and brain cancer. Short term effects can destroy the quality of life by causing “steroid rage”, acne, balding, impotence and stunted growth. The masculinization of women who grow beards and eventually develop “man face”, and male gynecomastia, (enlarged breasts and nipple changes in men) and shrinking of the testicles are common side effects that are neither attractive nor quickly reversible. The hormone and mood swings that accompany the use of these drugs is nothing short of a nightmare.
When people think that “luck”, “genetics” or “surgery” are the reason that most people are fit, they remove responsibility for their own fitness from their minds and become targets for drug dealers and unscrupulous shysters offering everything from “miracle” supplements to expensive, useless workout equipment in their pursuit of an easy path to fitness.
Illusion of Health
While we do need to remember that the images that we see on the internet, (Instagram and other social media sites) are almost NEVER what they appear to be, we must admit to the fact that we all know someone in real life that defies their age, is seldom sick and has strength beyond their years. THESE people are real. Genetics alone won’t give you that entire package. Genetics may give you a metabolism that’s a little more efficient or other subtle niceties that showcase your efforts in a better light, but regardless of genetics, if you don’t practice good nutrition and fitness routines, you will never have the robust health, stamina and refined appearance of a true athlete. There’s nothing as attractive as a natty (natural athlete) in good health.
If we allow ourselves the easy way out of taking responsibility for our own health and fitness by assuming that those who are truly fit came by it easily, we will doom ourselves to obesity and ill health. Most people who perceive themselves as obese and unfit have anxiety and poor self-esteem as a result. Depression is common among obese individuals. Allowing ourselves to be sedentary will contribute to mental difficulties and create a cascade of failing health that will eventually end in disability and death. Why would anyone look for an excuse to allow themselves to become immobile and sick? It’s much easier to do what seems like the hard thing in the moment and choose our food wisely and get active with doctor approved exercise that we enjoy.
Feeling like we are entitled to good looks and great health is not enough to do the trick! Our feelings don’t matter! All that matters is that we become accountable to ourselves by learning about nutrition and applying what we learn. There is an irony that is beyond my ability to comprehend, and I’m seeing it more and more on social media. There are nutritionists and dieticians galore who are obese and seem to be making a pretty good living telling others that it’s not only okay but it’s the “good life”. No, it’s not. I’ve been obese and out of shape. There’s nothing good about the feeling of not having the energy to move all that around. There’s nothing good about the high blood pressure that MOST people will develop and there’s still not anything good about trying on swimsuits in a department store mirror when your body is out of shape. Don’t even start an argument with me about those things. I’ve lived it.
Get Busy, Get Health!
If you want to address your excess weight and health issues, rationalization about fairness will not fix your problem. A visit to your medical doctor, a good nutrition and fitness program, and being willing to commit for the long haul will get you where you want to be. As a woman who has been overweight, obese and out of shape, I can tell you that you’ve got to be tougher than your desire to have instant gratification. You’ve got to be willing to make yourself uncomfortable for a moment by thinking through your nutrition and planning your meals and snacks. Avoiding sugary desserts that do nothing except destroy your body will be hard in the beginning but that misery is short-lived. The discomfort of the moment will create a better life and give you what you really want.
There is a grain of truth in the rationalization that “It’s not fair! I deserve to be fit too!” Yes, you do so make it a priority and JUST DO IT!