First off, my ebook giveaway lasts thought today so if you haven't yet downloaded these stories of Horror and (okay, one of) Comedy, jump in and grab what you like. See my July 4th blog for details.
I was just watching "Branded" (2012), a curious film that points out a few things and gives an interesting visualization of it in the last half of the film. I won't go into it so as not to give spoilers, but suffice to say that an individual's activities feed the bigger picture, and that feeds the desires of the individual in a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. There's too much going on to discuss it all here, but it evokes some questions. Here's one.
There is a push now a days for us to not follow marketing campaigns about our looks, to accept who we are, how we look. I've always felt a need to be very careful about being satisfied with oneself. To accept, to be satisfied with oneself is to settle for mediocrity when you could achieve more if you weren't satisfied with how one is. We need not be obsessive about our need to be more than we are, but we also do not need to be fully satisfied. I understand the argument that we can be satisfied without being fully satisfied but we tend to always go too far with things. We need an instability in our nature to maintain an equilibrium. To be satisfied, then not satisfied as we and things in our lives, change. Acceptance leads to easily to complacency.
We've heard for a while now that being thin is Wall Street's way to make us spend money on products to make us look "their kind of beautiful". I'm sure there's some truth in that. Actually I'm sure there's a lot of truth in that.
Still, it's more okay now to be overweight because our mental feelings have become more important than our "physical feelings". Should we feel okay that we're overweight? Should we allow ourselves to think that it's okay to be obese? Should we try to be unrealistically thin? Or should we just try to be, thin? Is thin more beautiful than fat? What's the decision point in that? By accepting people as who they are (in the case of being fat), aren't we simply accepting them as fat? IS that okay? For them, or for us, or for our society? Surely we shouldn't be mean toward overweight people, but should we allow it to be something we accept as "okay"? Isn't that kind of like "throwing in the towel" and surrendering? Isn't that even more unhealthy than accepting it as okay?
I guess a lot of the question here is, is it now bad to openly hold a position against something that is bad for us, and allow others to know that is their situation? Or, have we become so politically correct that this is no longer acceptable, or possible?
This is like another well known situation concerning children. Once long ago, if a child was alone in a store acting badly, an adult could chastise them, could "straighten them out". Try that now and that adult could land up in jail, or a fist fight. As a young kid one in the 1960s, I got "read the riot act" at a store for my doing something I shouldn't have been. My mom walked up, heard from the old lady what the situation was and she THANKED HER for basically doing her job, as she said to the woman. Then when the woman walked away, it was as if both her and my mother, and likely any adult nearby us, seemed like a cohesive band of authority figures.
But getting back to America's weight problem, who does the situation reward anyway? Are we healthier when we are being overly concerned to be thin, or in being unconcerned about being overweight? That is, did we spend more money on healthcare say maybe in the 1960s for thin related issues when women were so concerned about their looks, or now where apparently many aren't concerned enough about their looks and America is overweight? The question there is, which is REALLY worse for us? It would be interesting to see a real accounting of which was worse financially. And of course we'd have to include the mental health issues on both.
Remember that many anorexic behaviors are attributed to a strict religious upraising, or certain types of jobs as that with models and actresses. It would appear that on the former way of thinking, the cosmetic industry is rewarded while on the latter, the healthcare industry is. But should we aspire to being thin, or fat? Or is a mediocrity best of being semi overweight? What is even meant by "overweight" has also changed with the Zeitgeist. Should "overweight" be having more fat than is necessary, or more fat than is healthy? Surely we have the right in this county to be fat, or not, but as an indicator what is really best for everyone?
What direction are we really headed in now? This all seems to be a mere "glance at" by our government and our population. As I recently mentioned elsewhere, back in the early 20th century you almost had to pay to see a "Fat Man" in a Circus sideshow. Now, who would pay to see what is all around us, on the streets of all of our cities? What happened?
Here is another important thing to consider and one that we do not consider quite enough. Some of us try "hard" to lose weight yet we don't put any real effort into it. Not effective effort, just, effort. But putting "just effort" into things that do not really do much other than cause us a lot of effort, simply gets us us nowhere. In fact, it may get us less than nowhere as we eventually want to give up.
Typically we want to maintain our life as it is, yet still lose weight to get in shape. For some of us, it's like that old adage where you do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. It's just, crazy. To change you really have to make changes. Really, the best time for this change is when you are young, just starting out, maybe starting a family. Don't get caught up in that "American Dream" fiasco that can make you in the end, fat and sedentary, and too rushed to LIVE Life. Because before you know it, you will find you truly ARE trapped.
To be honest, fat really isn't necessary in a modern society. Not as it was in the times of prehistory when it truly had a purpose. Being healthy is about a lifestyle, not an "effort". It's not about being fat or thin, though I would argue that thinner is better than fatter, too thin is not, too fat is not. It's what you can live with and what is simply physically healthy and best for you. And it's different for everyone, only you can decide that, with help from those who know and don't simply make guesses or wishes about it.
But as Humans tend to be OCD about things, latching on and over doing, or obsessing about what we choose to do, we do need to be reasonable about our choices. But we need to make these choices, on considered thought, on educated thought and on motivated thought. We need to monitor ourselves and our choices and adjust every so often. A little paranoia is healthy, too much is easily unhealthy. There is no easy, pat answer in life. It's in ongoing process of continuing existence. And that's too much for some people and they find solace in eating, or drinking, or whatever.
We also need to consider how over our entire history as Humans, we have developed and how we live now. Being "healthy" isn't about feeling good about being fat, nor obsessing to be completely thin, or not even a happy medium therein. But in having the right amount of fat on our bodies as we need, which frankly is nowhere near as much as most of us carry around with us. Something that as a collective whole, wears on our national infrastructure and our pocketbooks.
With all of our time being sucked out of our lives by jobs and families, we need to get back to the basics, and design our lives to begin with from the start, to allow us to be healthy, to have the time to live that way, and to live like we want to live. Eating and exercising to be healthy. Eating (and moving) to live, rather than living to eat. And to finish out that reference to moving, sadly we're not living to move.
Which just might make a lot of this a non issue.