A friend of mine recently started working out. He’s about 3 days strong now, and I remember thinking: You go boy! Starting a major lifestyle change and sticking to it is definitely an extremely difficult thing to do, especially when you have friends, family and a significant other, all who aren’t jumping on the bandwagon with you. Of course, it helps if you have short term goals that you are working towards, like say a beach-ready body in time for a vacation, or to fit into those old size 7’s in time for an upcoming reunion. He’s got a wedding to go to in May in the Caribbean so he’s got his short term goal laid out. And, as I came to find out, his girlfriend will be joining him as well (both on vacation and in the gym) and is desperate to shed a few pounds before meeting his family in sunny beachland in a skin tight bikini.
I give them snaps, because not only are they totally being supportive of one another, but they’ve made a commitment to being healthy and in shape together, which can only further their happiness. But, I fear for their continued success at regular gym attendance, more so her than him. You see, the problem is that she is a big girl, and people like to give her rude or dirty looks at the gym while she is working out…her response was something to the effect of “I’m big? No shit Sherlock! I get it! I’m HERE aren’t I???”. Now, I have been baffled by the onlookers looking discouragingly at this woman who is trying to get in shape and lose weight in the natural and healthy way…what is she supposed to do? Buy a home gym and hide her working out until she is down to the last 20 pounds and THEN, only then, appear in public to sweat like a pig with the rest of the women who work out for show in their cute little workout get ups?
Seriously, I am all for people taking accountability for themselves and their lives. But as a society, we give people who are trying to clean up their act a really rough time. You see a known alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in two days who is detoxing and is acting rude, irritable, and downright ignorant and mutter “go take a drink, drunkie”. Or, you see an extremely overweight person at a restaurant eating a salad with the dressing on the side and topped with healthy looking grilled chicken and nudge your friend while smirking and say “who is she trying to kid? You KNOW she wanted the double bacon cheeseburger with extra lard!!” But why is it our natural response to not give these people the benefit of the doubt? We would rather see the junkie in the corner zonked out and high as hell than sketchy and needing a fix but resisting the urge because they want to get clean, even if that means erratic behaviour for a while. We would rather see the fat guy eating 2 whole plates of pasta, washing it down with 10 gallons of coke, with a slice of pizza and a whole cheesecake for dessert than a guy who is trying to count calories.
Like, WTF is that about? OK, so maybe in a perfect world people would never get to 250 pounds overweight. And stupid people looking for a fun time or to drown their sorrows would never develop an addiction to the drugs or alcohol that were supposed to be a temporary, occasional freedom. But whatever, we all make mistakes, and we all make HUGE mistakes. Does that mean we should never be allowed to change? Like, once you get past a certain point, you’re denied access back into the world of fitting into the “norm”? Just because something like obesity is a visible problem, something everyone who walks by can clearly see even without trying, doesn’t make it any worse than the compulsive liar, cheater, petty thief, or inconsiderate and arrogant person.
What really pisses me off is that many of the same people who are so critical and judgmental of these issues with real life people are the ones who cluck their tongues in sympathy and complete understanding while watching Intervention or the Biggest Loser. Sorry guys, not everyone has the opportunity to go on an international television show to fix their problems. In fact, most people have no choice but to go it alone. Instead of casting stones because they got to that point, silently applaud that rather than sinking in dejection and misery for the rest of their lives while remaining in the same shitty yet completely alterable state, that they have finally picked themselves up and are doing something about it. *Sigh* I hate stupid people, I really do. Let’s all learn to encourage positive changes in people and society rather than consistently creating an atmosphere full of resentment and disgust, which necessarily creates fear and immobility, perpetuating the cycle of negativity and self destruction.
Again, *sigh*. Well, here is hoping *fingers crossed* that they stay tough and hang in there through these beginning stages so that they can make it to their goal! And if not they can always get matching cutesy beach outfits and hope all that people notice is that they look crazy!! lol