and Fatness Evolution through Mild Revolution
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ask if I ever skip my workouts or stray from my diet. They want
to know why and how I keep up my rigid training regimen; I mean
there’s more to life, after all. Yeah, I know that, I say.
Usually the enquiring mind is housed in a body that is sinking with
gravity and spreading in the bottom to meet more efficiently his
or her swivel chair’s cushioned surface. I enjoy lifting weights
and non-nutritious foods don’t interest me. My answer, the
truth, puzzles them.
tried it before, they tell me, and never felt better. They quit
eventually -- job, kids, time -- and here they are again, sitting
and wondering and asking with a round smiley-face dotted with searching
at that place in my training where I don’t feel anxious, behind
schedule with a need to catch up, guilty for not having maintained
my exercise and eating habits, or down on myself because I’ll
never get it right. My training goals have been met for now, today.
It’s summer, and my heart’s desire is to count each
day; hold it, stroke it and share it with a friend before I let
it go. The gym and my workouts are integrated with the latter passions
and therefore well attended. I don’t plan to push my lifting
or strive to reach new heights; that will happen naturally in the
course of embracing the days.
ought to get back to the gym, I suggest to my dear friends; you
know the ropes. They always agree, but quickly point out the time
it takes each day and the months it takes each year to get in condition
-- an unbearable burden upon sloping shoulders. They actually begin
to suffer before my gaze. Their eyes dart from wall to ceiling,
they fidget with their keys, wallet, purse or buttons. The important
thing to remember, I remind them, is the good feeling you have all
over when you are amid uplifting people, exercise and sound eating
habits. Why, you’re a foot off the ground, strong, energized
and full of spirit, vibrant and motivated. Well worth the time invested,
don’t you think? And that’s just the beginning; your
whole life is enriched and enriching.
I don’t know, they squirm; the kids and school and work and
traffic and the people, the dog, the cat and the bats in the belfry...
terrorists and nuclear waste and elections. By now they’re
a mess, sweating, shirt’s unbuttoned, hair’s looking
like Don King. I don’t know, they offer more; my mom’s
dad’s cousin on his sister’s side had a heart murmur
when he was nine... his wife drinks... I might have a genetic predisposition.
One thing is certain, I note without comment, you do have a predisposition:
to procrastination, fear, doubt, timidness, evasion, ignorance and
have a rebuttal for each of their reasons -- pitiful, shameless
excuses -- for deferring, postponing or otherwise ignoring their
health and fitness attainment through exercise and right eating.
However, to make my point I would lose a friend and gain a rival
and my chance for future encouraging conversations would be highly
compromised -- that is, stomped, shredded, mangled and torched,
sunk, blasted, battered and devastated.
to any persuasion to pick up the fitness ball and run, unfortunately,
is neither certain nor immediate and is achieved only over time
(which is lost time) and when the out-of-shape condition is substantial
(like out of control). How painful it is to watch someone deteriorate
before your eyes. Have you seen it? Of course you have. Your friend
or your client or your co-worker needs to act; it’s become
noticeable, and the time is here and now. But it’s not exactly...
um, desperately pressing (life or death) at the moment, it can wait.
Neither a coma or rigor mortise has yet to set in. The ostrich sinks
its head deeper in the sand while time, eating and inactivity continue.
Big bird at work!
outcome is easy to imagine, utterly predictable and as obvious as
pigeon dodo on one’s windshield. A year goes by, more fat
is gained, more muscle is lost, strength, energy and endurance evaporate
and the spirits, the attitude and personality grow green and slippery
at the edges. Bad habits are established and accepted. Rather than
develop, the person diminishes over the year. Yes, achievement is
evident in certain expressions of their life, but those that assure
health and longevity and real joy have been abysmally neglected.
here before, haven’t we? Obesity has made headlines again.
Swell. The word “fat” is loose on the lips. I wonder
(I think we’re all wondering), will real changes come about
with the mounting focus on the human being's grave state of physical
fitness -- that is, lack of physical fitness -- obesity and its
related killer diseases? The toll these weaknesses and flaws are
taking on our whole being is devastating. The resulting dysfunction,
lack of control, guilt, embarrassment, discomfort, physical limitations,
potential employment restrictions, sky rocketing hospital costs
and exorbitant insurance premiums are enough to paralyze us in a
hundred ways. It’s a big industry and must not be cultivated
as a business for profit, but as a legitimate personal and national
concern (world tragedy), a catastrophe. We don’t need to further
exploit the associated wretched diseases, where “big bucks”
are the motive, and the marketers are the only winners. We must
start caring before we are consumed by our own appetites and greed,
gluttony and stupidity.
hopeful. We can fix this mess, it’s controllable. I’m
looking for a sort of social evolution, through a mild fitness revolution.
We need honest, humble and devoted responsibility to our nations
of peoples via the elected governments, of, by and for the people.
We need uncompromised and comprehensive physical education and food
education in schools, and the elimination of junk food, sugar foods
and soda pop in their cafeterias. We need personal responsibility
in caring for our selves and those we directly guide and effect.
People who exercise and eat right demonstrate personal care and
discipline, and are generally healthier in mind and spirit as well
as body. These are rare and wonderful qualities upon which to build
greatness. A wholesome balance in one’s life should be sought,
naturally and logically, and the message -- a welcome, long-overdue
reminder -- is getting out there. Television, the boob tube, has
a chance to redeem itself and stand up for our betterment and development
(that’s a novel idea), not just our entertainment, indoctrination
and purchase manipulation. It works, the word spreads like the miles
of broadband. In time and with repetition and the notion that fitness
is cool, we just might see fat fade, and health and strength come
into clear focus and sharp contrast. We can dream.
Asking mankind to exercise and eat right is a not unlike asking
him to be moral and practice respect, to stop hitting, hurting,
stealing and cheating. We offer freedom and freedom offers choice;
choice often spoils. Exploitation is a choice. Instead of plans
for health and goodness, we might see fat-loss marathons sponsored
by Coors on ESPN, Mr. and Ms. Joe and Jane Average Body competition
on cable (Victoria’s Secret), Fitness Island Reality TV on
primetime (McDonald’s) and Watch Bill Shrink on MTV (Coca
Cola). It’s a crooked path we follow, too often suited to
our wandering ways.
up to us -- the sturdy and self-sacrificing -- to spread the right
word and the good news. Next time you talk to your office manager
who has three beers at lunch with his pizza and breathes heavily
after a trip to the water cooler six feet from his desk, or an acquaintance
in the church choir who is fat and uninformed and can no longer
hit the high notes of Amazing Grace, or a stranger on the subway
who is smoking and coughing and wheezing and gasping, tell him or
her the simple steps to becoming fit, vigorous and shapely: throw
out the sugar, no more junk food, soda pop and chips are out, stop
snacking, down with stuffing your face, more protein and fewer non-nutritious
carbohydrates, Bomber Blend instead of Wheaties for breakfast, less
TV and more activity, exercise instead of tranquilize, walk and
run and stop stumbling, eat fish -- don’t drink like a fish,
say no to drugs and yes to dumbbell incline curls and presses, quit
the cigs and join a real gym. They’ll love you for your concern
and consideration; they’ll admire your in-depth knowledge
and they’ll be grateful for your tender, life-changing advice.
is, it’s true, but you won’t and they wouldn’t.
The truth is a puzzle, indeed.
in flight with all of your might. Sing on the wing and roar when
you soar, always.
God's speed... DD
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