Seriously. Every single one of them needs to have their head examined.
Before any of you start rattling off statistics at me, allow me to explain. I’m not talking about people who purposely avoid food that make your arteries break down and cry. I’m well aware that one meal alone at your local Crack in the Box is enough to kill an entire herd of elephants.
Nor am I talking about moving your body until you work up a fine sweat, rather than just getting off the couch and waddling over to the refrigerator (although, and let’s be honest here, a lot of Americans do work up a sweat doing that these days).
I’m talking about the perspective healthy people have about getting and staying healthy.
All this became apparent to me when I, myself, decided it was time to get healthy. Now, I’m not writing this to receive your praise or catalog the calories I burned in one afternoon. I consider this whole “lose weight and get fit” business my own and no one else’s. I’m only bringing it up here because, well, I want some answers, damnit. Someone please, please explain the reasoning behind a few of the comments I’ve gotten from friends who’ve noticed my sudden lack of Hostess Cupcake intake.
Just to clarify, I like all food, so the idea of cutting unhealthy food out of my diet isn’t so nerve-wracking as it might be to some. In other words, I have been known to eat rice cakes of my own free will. My problem is that I eat six of them in one sitting.
“Isn’t oil and vinegar on your salad boring? They make Ultra-Lite Lo-Cal Non-Fat We-Dumped-A-Ton-Of Sugar-In-It-So-It-Tastes-Good Ranch for dieters, you know.”
“Lettuce is just a vehicle for salad dressing.”
“Why don’t you buy those bags of pre-shredded lettuce? I get tired watching you do it by hand.”
“Fruit is so bad for you!”
“Milk? Do you realize how unhealthy that is? If you’re worried about your calcium intake, why don’t you just take supplements?”—To be fair, I did do extensive research about this issue. Guess what? Organic skim is perfectly safe. Did my friend believe me? No. . .
“Just eat power bars—you don’t have to put any thought into it, and they’re the healthiest food available.”—Dirt tastes better than power bars.
“Hey, I’m on the way to the supermarket, and I saw t-bones were on sale. You want me to pick you up a few while I’m there? You can’t beat beef for protein! For gods’ sake, it’s only 32 oz.”
“Is that salmon? What, are you Catholic, now?”—From my Catholic father. To be fair, I think he was trying to be funny.
“What’s that, water? Why don’t you have some Gatorade instead? It replenishes your electrolytes.”
“You should do that no-carb diet! You can eat a pound of bacon and still lose weight!”
“You should look into getting one of those gastric bands. So much easier than dieting.”—From my skinny mother, who I swear secretly wanted me to be a teenage anorexic.
My biggest problem with the following is that, aside from one or two who are physically impaired, my friends are supposed to be so gung-ho about being active. Insert whining where appropriate.
“It’s a nice day. We should do something outside. . . hiking? No, I don’t want to go hiking. Let’s go see a movie.”
“Skiing? Isn’t it dangerous? Oh, no? Um, well. . . you know, I think I’m too old to go skiing.”—He’s 40.
“It’s so far to walk downtown! Let’s take the bus.”—It’s a 20 minute walk and all downhill.
“Why don’t you join a gym?”—In response to various things, but mostly when asking for ideas for free ways to exercise. I’m cheap. I also got it once when complaining that I get bored very easily at gyms because there’s nothing but exercising to focus on, which discourages me from going. Oh, and they smell.
This last scenario is the most confusing to me:
My one friend alternates bike riding and jogging every day, and as such is pretty fit. I, on the other hand, am in terrible shape and smoke like a chimney. Nevertheless, whenever we walk home from the downtown area (about a mile up a moderately steep hill), he’s acting like his lung just collapsed, whereas I’m only slightly out of breath.
So, based on the above examples, I can but draw one of two conclusions—either I’m missing something, or healthy people are all wackjobs. Is that what’s going to happen to me? Maybe I should just stay fat. It’s easier being fat. See a cheesecake, eat the cheesecake, feel guilty about the cheesecake, have some chocolate to boost endorphins, be happy. None of this “it’s actually healthy, because the strawberry topping has antioxidants in it” shit.
Ah, fuck it. Ending up a chain email horror story isn’t my idea of a good time. Self-delusion, here I come!