I wrote a post a while back in which I explored the question “Is it possible to be happy at any weight”?
Somebody used the search query in the title above to get to that post the other day.
I’m pretty happy with that post though it wasn’t much more than an impressive run at beating around the bush.
The truth, no BS, is this: I can be happy at any weight… between 165 & 175 pounds. Less than that and I’m too skinny. More than that I’m too heavy. I’ve been a lot heavier and I’ve been a lot thinner and I wasn’t happy with either (though thinner was a little easier to live with). Now, anyone can get too upset, this is not going to be one of those “trash fat” posts where I rant about the obesity epidemic. Complaining about a problem is almost as useless as accepting it.
First, I cannot be happy A) Heavy or B) Sedentary. Tried it, hated it, don’t ever want to go back. It hurts too much* and I never got close to obese (I was classified as overweight). Here’s the truth as it applies to me: Being happy at any weight outside of that 165-175 pound range, especially over 175, is impossible unless I’m doing everything in my power to get myself back in shape. Now that last sentence is very important – I can be happy with my weight (and/or body) when I’m working on fixing it or if it’s within the proper range. We can fairly argue over what is normal but as far as I’m concerned, the mirror doesn’t lie, even if I do have a problem interpreting what I see in it (I do have a problem with seeing myself heavier in the mirror than the world sees me which is why I picked that 165-175 pound range – thankfully my wife wasn’t afraid to let me know once I lost too much weight).
We all have our faults and weak times and I’m certainly not going to kick my butt for a relapse, however once I realize I’m not exercising hard enough or that I’m eating too much to burn with the effort I’m putting forth, something is going to change… And that’s the ticket. What drives me up a wall is all of this, “everyone’s body is beautiful” stuff – that’s a donut shop lie as far as I’m concerned. Mine, as it is today, is okay at best but it’s good enough for me to be happy with. Throw twenty more pounds on me and there’s no way I would ever try to kid myself into thinking I’m beautiful. Now, my weight crept up on me. I didn’t notice until I was already overweight. Sure my pants size changed, I went from a 30/34 to a 32/34 but I thought that was a good thing because I’d always been so skinny. Well, once I saw a photo of myself with a double chin, I knew I had a choice to make; to change because I couldn’t be happy like that or accept being overweight. Acceptance does not equal happiness. Once I made the decision to take control of my weight and change it, and followed the decision with action, then I could be happy at that weight because I was working towards a solution. Trying to figure out how to live happily while continuing to live in the problem would not only have been impossible, it would have driven me nuts. What I must remember, without exception, is this: Progress, not perfection.
Please, if you don’t understand the simplicity of life and normal mental health, read those last sentence two sentences of that last paragraph again. At only 195 pounds, I knew my chances of getting sick and dying early were increasing. Moreover, I first decided to give in and let myself get fat rather than fit. So, how does one become happy, knowing they’re living in a problem, with a countdown clock ticking in the back of their mind? Impossible feels like a good word to use there.
Everything changed once I started living in the solution. I knew my body still wasn’t “beautiful” but it was as good as it could be at the moment and I was making progress.
*Living a sedentary, overweight life hurts more than an active, fit life. This may sound odd because when we first set off on a path to fitness or weight loss, it hurts a lot! Once the weight is lost and the body has had a chance to adapt to the exertion, it has been my experience that there are far fewer aches and pains associated with a fit life (Barring improper form or medical issues of course). Consult your doctor to make sure fitness is safe for you, yada, yada, yada.
Brian Williams reads the news now and while he could be better described as an “info-babe”, he does pull down an important interview now and again.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Brian Williams embellished his involvement in a helicopter incident in Iraq, claiming he was in an aircraft that was hit by an RPG and small-arms fire, that was forced to “land hard”. Not unlike Hillary Clinton, who once claimed she had to land under heavy enemy fire, that she and her entourage had to run heads-down to the hanger, only to have a video surface of her walking about the runway, smiling and shaking hands with her hosts, Williams wasn’t on the helicopter that was hit by an RPG – he was on another aircraft that trailed the one that was hit. Why change the story? Williams’ story is harrowing no matter which helicopter he was in. In Hillary’s case, put aside the politics for a second and look at what the woman has accomplished in her life – First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, good God, her success story is no less impressive if her story were true – so why lie?
What difference, at this point, does it make?!
A Million Tiny Pieces, Yoda. That’s what difference it makes, at this point. James Frey is the author of the book “A Million Tiny Pieces” that shot to fame when Oprah Winfrey highlighted the book on her show. The problem is, many of the scenarios in the book were made up or embellished to make his story less boring. He fell into obscurity just as fast as he rose to fame, though he definitely sold a book or two in the interim. The problem is that we all know someone like this, who has to be the story, and will “make stuff up” so they can seem more brave, more a victim or combine the two to be less impeachable. They’re the drama queens.
In Williams’ case, it matters because now he’s got a structural weakness in his armor. Anything he reports on will be subject to scrutiny. After all, if he was willing to embellish the helicopter story, what would stop him from embellishing on Global Warming, say – and that’s a story that requires embellishment to survive? It’s not just that he was dishonest once, it’s that he’s that guy we all know who will make stuff up to make the story a little scarier or more interesting.
Now, back in the ’90’s and earlier, when the left controlled, or had a monopoly on, the media, something like this would have been ignored unless Williams was disliked by the left for some reason. To an extent, this is still the case though. How many of you who are reading this knew about the “sniper fire” story or the “dead broke” story pertaining to Hillary Clinton (in which Hillary claimed she and President Clinton were dead broke on completion of Bill’s second term in the White House, that they had trouble getting mortgages for their homes afterward? Now, how many know that Mitt Romney went on a trip with a dog in a carrier strapped to the roof of his car – or better yet, know of President George W Bush’s “sixteen words” on iraq’s WMD program that were reported as a lie even though they weren’t?
Now, this won’t devolve into an “it’s not fair, left vs right” whine-fest. To tell you the truth, I don’t care. I don’t care if Williams stays or goes, I don’t care that he is a drama queen and I’ve grown bored with the machine and I’m certainly not going to chuck stones at Williams or Hillary because they’re liars (or politicians – the two terms are often interchangeable) when the truth is, if honesty were the goal, 90% of us would be looking at the same dollar bill, just from different sides – heads or tails, and we would all be able to agree on a lot more than we currently can.
…And that is what is so sad about politics, no matter which side you’re on, and why it makes a difference.