Tuesday, May 22, 2012


People have told me I'm lucky to have been able to embrace a healthier lifestyle.  I'm not a believer in luck - or should I say I see luck the way Stephen Leacock, the legendary Canadian writer and humourist once put it?  He said "I'm a great believer in Luck.  I've found that the harder I work the luckier I get".

Rather than feeling lucky these days I feel grateful.  I'm grateful that I have learned what I needed to do in order to stay fit and healthy and that I also do them.  Many people are smart enough to know about calories in vs. calories out but how many are willing to act upon that knowledge?  If I sound smug I don't care.  I've seen too many people talk themselves out of whatever they need to do because they are so sure they can't.  It really means 'won't'.

To that end, having given up my gym membership temporarily, I vowed to continue working out on my own throughout the summer.  I miss not having a trainer, if just for the opportunity to learn new ways of working out, but I'm glad I'm able to put to use some of the techniques I've learned over the last few months.  I've been using the fitness room at the club we belong to exercising with Higgie and a friend of ours outdoors at the beach ever since the weather turned warm.  Higgie went to work early this morning and our friend was a no-show but I still worked out.  Why?  Especially since I was so tired from a long and grueling weekend at work?  because I know I have to.  And for that I'm grateful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Can't = Won't

Lately it has occurred to me that people treat being overweight like a disability.  Of course, it goes without saying that being overweight can lead to all sorts of health problems, Type II Diabetes and Osteoarthritis just to name a few .

I'm reminded of the episode of "The Simpsons" when Homer learns that his company has a provision that allows the disabled to work from home.  Furthermore, he discovers that obesity is considered a disability and so he sets out to eat as many donuts as he can in order to qualify.  What he finds it that being housebound and unable to move is lonely and boring.  So it begs the question, why be a prisoner in your own skin?

Why indeed.  Could it be that we unwittingly see ourselves as being disabled in order to avoid exercise?  Why else would a perfectly healthy 27 year old man tell me that he can't run because of 'foot problems'?  The real problem is, he doesn't move them.  But it's far more comforting to think he is unable.  Which leads me to another question: is it more likely that in saying "I can't" we really mean "I won't"?  Or, "I don't want to"?  (That's two questions, actually.)  In this culture where there's a pill for everything, how much easier is it to think that we have a medical problem than to face the fact that WE are the problem?  

I won't jay walk, I have no desire, ever, to sky dive or go hang-gliding.   So it just naturally follows that in order to avoid having to go on medication or face crippling myself I WILL remain active and eat healthy food.

Having said this, I am now coming to the end of my three month membership at the gym.  I have loved being a member there but I've run out of money for the time being.  Higgie has promised me that he will work out with me in the mornings so we are going to try doing our own mini boot camp together with a friend of ours.  Every time I don't feel like going I will remember the 'can't =. won't' equation.  Here's hoping it works.