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.

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