Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Being Fat

Take it from someone who is fat, there is no such thing as "health at any size". No self-respecting, professional doctor is going to tell you that being fat is "okay". They'll tell you your health is "normal" for your age and weight, as in you're not dying right that moment. But they're not going to tell you that you're "healthy". Because being fat, isn't healthy.

If your back, knees or other joints ache because of your weight? It's because you're too heavy. If you find yourself getting winded or sweating a lot doing even fairly simple activities? It's because you're too heavy. If you find that your mobility is difficult, and even limited? It's because your body is carrying too much weight.

Those are medical science facts. There is no open debate to have about fat being "healthy" or not. Our society is too image obsessed, yes. In that, I agree. People should not purely want to lose weight or get in better shape so they LOOK better. That is, quite frankly, shallow and dishonest. People shouldn't want to lose weight because they're worried about their so-called "image". They should want to lose weight and live healthier, so they can BE healthier. So they can get more out of their body, so they can physically FEEL better, health-wise, and so they can have a higher overall quality of life. And, not to put too fine a point on it, so that they can also, barring unforeseen events, have a LONGER life.

Being overweight and out of shape, especially considerably so, is NOT healthy, and it IS detrimental to your well being on pretty much every level. There is this pervading attitude that being overweight, even being obese, is "okay", and "I'm comfortable in my body". Well...that's great. But I hope you're also going to be comfortable with developing issues as you get older, such as diabetes, heart problems, respiratory problems, back and joint pain and issues, etc. etc. And it WILL only get worse and worse, the older you get. Your quality of life (meaning how you feel on a daily basis, and functional and healthy your body is), will go from bad, to outright shitty, the older you get. And, on average, you will NOT, in point of fact, live to a terribly "ripe old age".

I say these things because I have struggled with weight issues for a good half or so of my life. I was addressing them a couple years ago, with a far more active lifestyle and purposefully healthier diet, and it was bearing results. And then I basically relapsed, for a variety of reasons. But I am now close enough to where I was before I STARTED that change back in 2015, that I have basically lost most of the progress I had made. And thus, functionally, will now have to "start all over", which, at 35, will in fact be even harder than it was at 33. Especially without a gym membership.

I say these things, not to be "mean", nor to "trigger" anyone. But to do something that our society seems to be valuing less and less these days. I'm being honest. I'm being blunt, and I'm being real. So many people, especially younger people these days, seem to want to have life cater to them, to have everything sugar-coated, to have code-words and alternate phrases for everything, to have every blow softened and every harsh reality shielded. And frankly, THAT is unhealthy. It is mental. There is no cause nor value in going out of your way to shame or bully someone over something, especially something like weight and health. But there is also a world of difference between "shaming", and telling the stark truth.

And that, I think, is perhaps more dangerous than the epidemic of unhealthiness and obesity in our society. Is the growing, and rather disturbing, trend of people essentially shutting their eyes, putting their hands over their ears and humming, any time anything "too real" or "too painful" gets brought up. We are slipping into a society that actually tries to state that you CAN'T talk about weight, or race, or any other "hot button" topic, and certainly not if you don't fit into very specific categories yourself. There is this idea that you can't even have a CONVERSATION, open and honest, about serious issues anymore. Not, that is of course, unless you happen to share the other party's exact views on something.

And that kind of willful blind ignorance and cowardice is dangerous. More dangerous in it's own way, than open and willful bigotry. If intelligent, mature adults cannot have an open dialogue about ANY topic, then something is seriously wrong. There is a spreading mentality of wanting to be in "safe spaces", and to have everyone be in their own safe little bubble, where the only people they want to interact with, are people who share their own views and beliefs, basically a reciprocal-affirmation echo-chamber. And there is, I'm sorry to say, nothing terribly intelligent, or mature, about that. In fact it's rather ignorant, not to mention childish behavior.

It isn't fun being fat. It also isn't fun being told, or otherwise reminded, that you are out of shape and unhealthy. It sucks. But it's also reality. And intelligent, mature adults, who are truly "strong" people (and don't just pay token gestures to the word), can face reality, no matter how much it might be uncomfortable or inconvenient. If you're fat and unhealthy, you're fat and unhealthy. And if you're OKAY with that, well...then congratulations. But accept responsibility for how your quality of life will progress. Otherwise, face it head on, as I try to do, and need to re-double my efforts in doing, and do what needs to be done to get better. I often hear that certain people "can't help" being fat. And I'm sorry...that is utter bullshit. Even if you DO have some sort of "condition" that contributes to your weight, that doesn't mean that being active and eating/living better, won't help. Because it will.

And remember, it's not about image. Who gives a shit about image? It's about you, yourself, and your own quality of life. Me? I've been sick of being fat, and all the crappy health issues that come with it, for years. I 100% felt better when I was active and eating well, getting lighter. Our bodies were not meant to carry major excess weight. That is why, take it from personal experience, it quite literally feels BAD to be fat. It's your body going "ugh, DUDE, this is a heavy load! Lighten UP please!". Being overweight puts extra undue stress on your entire body, every single system, including your skeleton, and that stress becomes harder and harder for your body to bear over time. So who gives a shit about your image? The only thing that matters, is striving to be the best possible you, and not merely feeling better ABOUT yourself, but more importantly, feeling BETTER, period. 

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