Written by Maci Sepp. Media by Jack Dawdy.[divide]
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve studied a growing trend that has harvested itself among the people of modern America and infested their minds: being healthy. Whether it’s going on a low carb diet or working out at the gym five days a week, everyone is doing it, including me. Or at least, I’m trying to. There is nothing wrong with trying to be healthy. In fact, most people would encourage it, but it seems to me that healthy is being taken to a whole new extreme. Basically, if you are not benching twice your weight and limiting yourself to organic leaves for every meal of the day, you’re not anywhere near being healthy. The thing is, as much as I try to do these things, I just can’t.
I know I can’t possibly be the only one who struggles with this “getting fit” dilemma. I buy the proper workout gear, I know how to use gym equipment correctly, and I make sure to eat a decent amount of fruits and vegetables, but I still always come up short. It’s not like the old days when you could disguise a healthy look with nice clothes, shiny hair, and a glowing face. Now, you actually have to work at it and prove to people you have the perseverance and the strength to carry on. One problem I have when trying to be healthy is always thinking I can balance out a row of cookies with a hard run on the treadmill or sitting down to watch Netflix with eating an apple. I bargain and make excuses as to why I can eat this or can’t do that. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy being healthy. I usually enjoy a brisk jog in the morning or a colorful salad for lunch, but no one would ever categorize me as healthy. It seems as if you are either a lethargic couch potato or someone training for a triathlon. There isn’t a neat little box for us “in-the-middle” people.
I wish I didn’t feel the need to reason with myself for eating dessert every once in a while. Honestly, if you are eating fairly well and getting a good amount of physical activity, there is nothing wrong with getting a dollar ice cream cone at McDonald’s. In fact, you should be proud at the bargain you’re getting. And the same goes for people who have never visited the gym. If you’re free one day, grab a couple of your best buds and try out some equipment. You may look silly, but everyone has to start somewhere. So maybe our problem isn’t that we’re too healthy or not healthy enough. Maybe our problem is that we feel the need to categorize ourselves and place ourselves on a spectrum that has nothing to do with who we are inside. The numbers we see on the scale or on a chart don’t add up to who we are as people. Getting fit does not mean we have to fit a certain standard. We should just do what we feel comfortable with and encourage others to do the same.