I’ve had the search query, “how to be happy at any weight” pop up on my stats page twice in three days.
I could go right at this one as this is a simple answer for me but allow me to broach this subject with something a little easier to work with; being a drunk.
I tried when I was a younger lad, for quite a while, to convince myself that I was happy as a drunk. I tried to convince others, as my liver was shriveling and hardening up, that I could be a useful, fantastic guy if only things would go my way once in a while. They never did, of course, go my way. How could they? The truth is I just tempted fate too many times with stupid decisions. Fate bit back. Add to that the fact that I acted like a tornado blowing through the lives of anyone who cared about me and that I had a tough time delivering pizzas let alone hold a respectable job – folks, I got fired from Wal-Mart (technically they gave me a choice, “quit or we’ll fire you”).
Put simply, I was a loser living a loser’s existence… A bit extreme in the wording of course, but it is what it is, if I’m honest about it – and I am.
Okay, there’s the context, now here’s the trick: You tell me how to find a way to be happy with that.
Let me save you some trouble and maybe even a few synapses… It can’t be done. Sure you might be able to make a decent case that with some mental manipulation but in the end you’re living a lie.
As I see it, or “in my humble (yet asshole-ish) opinion”, in many ways, trying to live fat is easier, simpler, harder and more insidious than being a drunk all at the same time. Fat kills you slow. You give up bits and pieces of your life at a much slower pace…and it’s likely you’ll never give up all of your freedom until the very end, when fat finally kills you. As a drunk I spent a lot of money on perpetuating the lifestyle. If that wasn’t enough, living a drunkard’s life is hard on the body, on the health. Now, I’ve been heavy though one would be hard-pressed to call me fat and I can tell you, I didn’t like it. I wasn’t having fun.
The point is very simple in the extreme example above: If I am truly honest, I can’t lead a happy life at any weight any more than I can lead a happy life as a raging drunk. Worse, the sad truth is that fat, or in my case heavy, was a choice. Sure those first 30 pounds came on fast and I didn’t realize what was going on until I was already pushing maximum density but there was a choice that came right after I realized my metabolism simply wasn’t what it used to be… I did choose to not do anything about my problem.
Of course that didn’t last very long, I changed my mind within 24 hours, but the fact remains, I made a choice.
Now, I’m not lost on the fact that I could be one of a rare breed who is willing to take responsibility for their actions rather than blame others or “genetics”. God knows, it certainly isn’t the easy way to do things but if I want to be happy – truly happy, I have to rid myself of the delusion that happiness can be achieved while I’m blatantly lying to myself and others about what it is that’s keeping me from being happy in the first place. The only way I can be happy and fat at the same time is if I believe the lie that it’s really not all that big a deal to have to sit at home while the wife and kids go hiking on vacations. It’s really not that big a deal if I get too heavy to ride a bike again… That I can’t see my shoes anymore. That I’m out of breath trying to put my socks on or climbing the stairs to my daughter’s bedrooms so I can’t tuck them in or kiss them goodnight. That I can’t go for a walk on the beach with my wife or that I don’t want to go swimming for fear I’ll have to take off my shirt.
There may be people out there who can indeed live like that but I’m not the one. My happiness directly depends on my fitness. I cannot be happy at any weight.
I can, however, be happy if I’m on the path to get fit – there is a difference between knowing that a path exists out there somewhere but choosing to watch others walk it and walking it myself (or riding it for that matter).
For the new year, don’t believe the lies that are told at the donut shops: That fat is a genetic sentence, that fitness is too hard, that you can’t do it… Get on the path and stay on it. It’s a lot easier to be happy on the path than sitting on the couch watching others walk it.