Yes, I Am Fat. And Yes, I Do Know How I Got This Way.
So in defense of the millions of intelligent, well-educated Americans who are overweight, even obese, I want to clue our healthier friends into a little bit of knowledge.
Yes, we know we’re fat. And yes, we know how we got fat.
We didn’t wake up one morning and decide not to give a hoot about our own personal health or our life expectancy. We didn’t just decide wearing baggy, dark clothing and having a drawer full of leggings made us fashion plates. “I’m so excited to wear a t-shirt in the pool!” said no chubby person, EVER. Trust me on that one.
For millions of Americans, food has become a reward system, a crutch, a comfort, and oftentimes people who ABSOLUTELY know better use food to make themselves feel better about their jobs, their relationships, their decisions.
Somewhere along the way, we chose the easy way out. It’s easier to grab drive-through than to make dinner. It’s easier to come home and veg on the couch, rather than go sweat in the gym. It’s easier to push our feelings down with food than confront the very serious shit happening in our lives. And DENIAL just ain’t a river in Egypt, friends…
But for every moment we know we’re avoiding the real issues, there are 10 fast-food commercials, pizza delivery services, cronuts and In-and-Out burgers that just say, “Hey, eat me and in the haze of your food coma, you won’t worry about the other stuff…”
I saw this picture yesterday, and I thought “Well, DUH! That was ME!”
About a month ago, I was in charge of a big Friday night event at work, with quite a bit of pressure riding on it. I was working at least 70 hours a week for two weeks before the event. By the Wednesday before the event, I was officially into the 18 hour days. It was 11pm and I called Mr. Big. I was frazzled, I was exhausted and I was sad because I was stressed.
Three months ago, this type of emotionally-spent, physically-exhausted state would have caused me to eat a cheeseburger (or two), or drink a (entire) bottle of wine. But Mr. Big made the BEST suggestion for me in that moment, and one I’ve used several times since. “I know you’re tired, but why don’t you go run for a half-hour or so? I think you’ll feel better, and it’ll probably help you sleep.”
And you know what? It DID help! I was able to shake off the stress, and twenty minutes into the run, I decided to stay for an hour because the endorphins were just starting to kick in and I was actually smiling and singing along with Ke$ha. And that night, I slept straight through and was better equipped to tackle the next day.
For me, exercise has become a way to “clear the deck” so to speak. Whether it’s just a walk outside during my lunch or a full-blown, sweating-like-a-wildebeest workout (see below, I’m not kidding about the wildebeest part), exercise does just as much for my emotional well-being as it does for my physical well-being. And recognizing that was a BIG step forward for me.