I thought it might be a good idea, even though I'm sure I won't keep it up for long. Apathy is my defining characteristic, after all. But even if some of the entries are lameish, the totality of product will build up so quickly, that it's got to be worth it. At least I'll get that warm feeling of accomplishment.
Conveniently, today I have something to talk about. Yesterday, I watched the Biggest Loser, and those people are gross. I know there's always a story behind any particular person's obesity (stress, bad genes, sedentary lifestyle, metabolism issues). But you know what else is behind every obesity? Lots of eating. Eating too much. Eating when you're full, and what I find nastiest: eating when you're full and you're already fat. All of these people, for at least a year, have been really fat, really overweight, and chosen to keep getting fatter! And now, they're all a sad bunch, with no motivation, no sense of self.
And here's the thought: more and more lately, we hear that everyone's self-esteem needs to be boosted, that the worst thing about the "obesity epidemic" is the low self-esteem and feelings of guilt that all the fat people harbor. But we don't hear enough about self-control. The two can't be separated! Only when you esteem and respect yourself and your body can you be expected to work at taking care of yourself. True. But most people never think about the converse, which is also true: if you don't work to take care of yourself and your body, you will inevitably lose self-respect. (and understandably so... take the Mean Girls exchange:
Gretchen: "In the United States and England, 7 out of 10 girls have a negative body image."
Regina George: "Who cares? 6 of those girls are right!")
Well, yes, you're basically right, Regina. We can't just go around convincing people that they look great and healthy if they don't.
Here's the deal: feeling good helps you work hard, and working hard helps you feel good. Everybody agree? Good. The reality is that we can't just spontaneously feel better whether we're in good shape (in my experience). But you CAN start to work hard without feeling better.
So spread the word. Don't worry about your self-esteem, worry about losing weight, and as soon as you've lost just a little, you've started yourself on a nice little cycle. Soon you'll be Lance Armstrong (I don't know anyone else who is so in shape and so knows it-- I think he's kind of a bitch, actually).
The four-hundred pound kid who works with us (I say kid; he's less than a year younger than I) is nicknamed Darth because his breathing is so heavy he sounds like Darth Vader. Only a very very few people know this nickname, and I never felt guilty about it. I think probably I still don't. But this morning, after watching Biggest Loser last night, I hear that he spends almost all his day playing video games and looking at pictures of fit/buff young men. I don't know what to make of it. I just have no idea.
The thing that I don't like-- I know everyone has his vices to struggle with, and a lot of times, everyone fails-- but people whose vice is overeating look markedly different from everyone else with every other vice. And they look gross. And I'm sure they know it, and it's not anyone's job to tell anyone else about his vices. But I think we should stop going out of our way to tell them to be happy with themselves.
Smokers are just as unhealthy, but no-one ever runs ad campaigns to tell smokers they're beautiful just as they are, or they should love themselves, and we accept you for who you are, or if you can't quit, we know how hard it is, and the most important thing is to feel good about yourself.
No. If you smoke too much, stop. If you're fat, lose weight. And get back to me about your feelings when you're done.
Can you imagine a series of anti-obesity commercials like the anti-smoking ads out now, showing how many people die, what a fat person's arteries look like, the cost of triple bypass surgery, or (sick) gastric bypass surgery? Show a bunch of orphans whose parents ate themselves to death? What kind of hue and cry would that trigger? Maybe I should start one.