This was a sincere question I was asked by a teenager from another country. I looked around the room and realized that indeed the size and girth of America have gotten quite large and little of it was of the athletic or muscular type. I think of the New York Yankees and all the teams hitting so many home runs and wonder, "looks like a wee bit of help from the outside injected in?"
While I hope I am wrong about the Yankees. I can't say I am crazy about the size of the average us citizen. I don't think we were made or constructed to be so large, but I wonder if we gave a basic physical fitness test to everyone, how many would have to stop?
Trust me, the large size doesn't mean one can't be athletic. I marveled at a huge woman in the gym, doing her stretching exercises. She appeared to be a dancer in her past, and if you saw here in street clothes, you would not probably believe she was that flexible. But this woman was in a gym and perhaps not the norm.
"Sir, can you go do a 100-yard dash? now try two?"
Hey, my 100-yard dashes resemble a whale lumbering down a track. It is a far cry from my peak athletic level years ago. What I do know is my body and joints like and enjoy being stretched and stressed out from what is more of a sedentary life as we age.
I also know I love to cook and enjoy food. As you age, it is not really the exercise that keeps you lighter, but instead your diet and nutrition. I have this goal I want to achieve weight-wise, where when I am there, I simply feel healthy. I don't know how to explain it, and I think it is easy to misconstrue your current fitness with some body image or fitness level of your past.
when you bring the reality of it all into focus, usually we are probably in worse shape than we imagined.
there was a man my age in the gym ribbing me about trying to reboot after a few weeks off from the gym. "you are supposed to ramp up into it."
I tried to smile, "I did. but as you age, you have to move every day as you lose whatever you had so quickly."
He smiled back, and understood. "yeah, none of my friends will come and exercise, they all have medical issues, diabetes, heart issues….I tell them it is pretty simple, they just have to do something each day. Move. I admit the hardest part for me is simply the idea of getting over that I have to go to the gym."
So I smiled, and I know there is hope for me and my goals. They are not unrealistic but will take a few months of disciplined work to achieve.
Wow, did I stray? When I was asked the question by the teenage boy from another country is said, "look around the country, we have an abundance of inexpensive, fast foods. We have become a drive-through culture that is figuring out ways to have your order with an app, and everything is instantly brought to you. It won't matter if it is a meal, drugs, sex, whatever? And then with portion sizes, the "large" in American doesn't even exist in most of the world. We merely are eating too much and not really moving much as we think if anything goes wrong, we can go to the doctor, and some magic pill will allow all the damage we do to ourselves to "magically" cure what in essence is shooting ourselves in the foot. The reality is most of these magic pills are advertised on the "entertainment box." Many sit in front of at home – watching. that screen is being replaced by tiny screens we carry around and can order anything from as the consumer society collides with capitalism to create more and more unhealthy people."
I don't' think that is precisely what I explained to the young man, but he understood. It is easy to understand. All you have to do is just look around the norm of American society.
He did ask about the other end of the spectrum with plastic surgery, makeup, the insecurity to appear and have lots of stuff as well, but I mentioned that would be for another day and time. a large bodybuilder type walked, and he looked at me, and I said, "no, that is not only the product of hard work and eating a good diet – that also is a person shoving several thousand dollars of drugs into himself to get bigger muscles, for reasons, I don't understand."
it is funny, the more massive people looked life fluffy marshmallows, and the bodybuilder looked like he was a watermelon ready to pop like a zit.
My real fascination is the behavior of all this. Our culture, habits, and how many people say, "why am I doing this? It isn't' good for me." when I see people smoking cigarettes, I wonder about the emotional versus the factual reality of inhaling smoke. I do remember how hard it was to quit chewing tobacco that was touted as safe and fun when I was playing football. That was quite the lie. It wasn't safe, it gave you a buzz, but it was trying to kill you with each pinch you put in your mouth.
I do get how hard it is to change. But if you keep pushing forward, I think as you age, you give yourself increased odds for a healthier life. It is no guarantee, but it has to increase the odds dramatically.