|Your feet can take you places... if only you let them.|
It hits me more and more often. The great paradox of North American ways.
We are "supposed to" be very slim - and ideally very lean too - as any North American media will tell you. Need I say the North American media is everywhere?
... all the while following the North American way of life, which includes:
- eating whatever you want in whatever quantities you want, whenever you want;
- centering celebrations and most of your social life around food (and we're not talking green salads here);
- patronizing restaurant chains, including fast-food and doughnut joints and coffee shops (sugar and cream, please!), on a regular basis;
- unwinding with alcohol;
- taking your car to any and all destinations, even within a kilometer;
- working full-time, mostly in a seated position;
- spending most of your free time in front of the TV or another screen, e.g. the computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.;
- exercising "a little bit" at best;
- having kids.
Well, in case you hadn't noticed...
Those two things are NOT compatible! Having a thin, "media-style" body while leading that kind of life is an impossibility.
The only way people remain slim and lean, especially past their twenties and after having kids, is either by
- smoking (which I DO NOT recommend);
- being sick: most very thin adults I know, if not a smoker nor a fitness/nutrition fanatic, have a disease that explains their small waistline. Please don't assume someone is healthy unless they tell you; health issues are more common than we think. In this case, I'm thinking Celiac Disease, Crohn's Disease, Hypoglycemia or any other condition that has an impact on the digestive system;
- becoming a fitness/nutrition fanatic. I am using the term "fanatic" on purpose because the "healthy lifestyle" that some of us adopt is indeed interpreted by many as "extreme". I beg to disagree, as we will see in a moment.
Yes, most people think it's "extreme" to eat wholesome foods and no (or very little) junk. I have heard someone comment, upon seeing a table covered with fresh fruit, veggies and seeds/nuts, that there was "no human food there, just bird food".
Well, I have news for you: start eating that "bird food" on a regular basis, cut down on the rest, and you will see your life take a whole new turn, for the best. I PROMISE.
Most people think plain water isn't very palatable. Yet downing a glass of water every 2 hours or so, avoiding other types of drinks, can significantly increase your physical and mental well-being. Who would have thought?
Most people think it's extreme to get up early to workout, or to use your lunch break or evenings to exercise. Yet it's the only way to get it done. And it has to be done. The body was made to move, and if you allow it to move daily, it will payback in a hundredfold!
Most people think it's unusual, or weird, to not take your wheels everywhere. An example: from my place to my workplace, it's a 15-minute walk. And so I walk to work, rain or shine, sun or snow, whatever the weather. It's refreshing, it's calming, it's my alone time with myself to notice nature while taking in some oxygen. I love it. Yet every single time someone realizes I walk there instead of talking my car like everybody else, they invariably have a jaw drop, look at me with a bewildered look on their face, and say "You walk?!?!?!" They seem to think I'm the latest weirdo in town.
Okay, I do know a couple of lean thirty-something people who have kids, who do not smoke, who aren't sick and who are not fitness/nutrition fanatics. But they are few and far between. And even if they are no fanatics, they do have an "abnormally" small appetite, and/or they do not tolerate food or alcohol excesses very well (I wish I knew their secret).
But for most of us who can easily eat half a dozen doughnuts or down half a dozen beers without feeling much discomfort, it ain't so easy! And even if we sometimes do end up feeling yuck, resisting temptation can be quite a challenge. I know I love my chocolate ice cream and glass of wine (not together though).
I certainly feel like I'm going against the current with the way I eat and the way I exercise; it might not be extreme, but it certainly isn't mainstream. Yet it's the only way I can stay fit. I don't care so much if I look like what the media throws at us, but I do like the fit of my clothes. More importantly, I sincerely feel that my "extreme" way of life is what has protected me against our modern age's predicaments: I do NOT suffer from either anxiety, depression, insomnia, high stress, low energy, low libido, name it. I have in the past, when I was leading a "normal" life. I do NOT long to go back to that life. Food for thought...
To me, the choice is easy: "extreme lifestyle" all the way! Even if it means getting up at 5 to go to the gym!
It's fun, too! Here's a sample of the music I heard at the gym this morning:
Please share your thoughts!