Just perusing the isle on running for instance, you will find books guaranteeing you a 4-hour marathon in 4 months (actually a book I agree with, depending on your starting pace.), how to train for a marathon on 3 days a week, running for dummies, and running for pros. Walking has even more books, and cycling even more.
Are we getting more active? Nope. That can be proved by the millions of books on no-effort diets. Geeze louise. The grapefruit diet, Atkins, The Zone, Fat Smash, Fat Flush, low-carbs, low-fat, low-calories, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem.. the list goes on and on and on. Even celebs are cashing in on our obsessions for perfection. Susan Sommers - WTF. She is so not the next Farrah. (FYI - that was a throwback to the Three's Company days.)
What ever happened to simply balanced meals, moderate exercise, and a positive outlook? I guess that that is just too basic for most.
I will admit - I fell victim to Atkins - lost 60lbs but gained most of it back. I was on weight watchers, lost weight but was tired of paying dues and living in front of my computer and doing the point counting every day. I felt deprived, guilty, and hated myself for it.
Motivation from Tony Robbins and that freak who yells and tries to sell the "Gazelle" contraption - whatever his name, you know who I mean, the guy on QVC or HSN... yeah that guy - Christie Brinkely hocking a Total Gym, thousands of books on how to get what you want, when you want it, how you want it. Ab Crunchers, Thigh Masters... The only thing you will lose is your wallet.
Are we obsessed with self-improvement, going form one unattainable goal to the next, trying each fad and taking every word in some author's book to heart? I think the newest OCD is right in front of us. And I name it after the guru, nay, the grandfather of Self Improvement and motivation - Tony Robbins.
I, for one, am calling it quits. Quits on trying to obtain perfection. I am 5'8", and have a few lbs to loose - 30 to be happy, 50 to be my "ideal weight". And the sad thing, although my BMI categorizes me as OBESE... I am far from fat. My head hurts just contemplating it all.
Balancing work, life, and food... now that is a feat. But, somehow it is attainable for millions, so why is not for other millions? Genetics... yeah, I'll buy that on some level. A friend of mine is TINY, resembling a scaled down barbie doll, but she has amazing biceps and never works them out. Why? Genetics. I build muscle easily, and can loose weight very easily when I make an effort - but likewise I also gain weight just as easily. Genetics? I'd say so.
So how have we gotten so far away from the days of balanced meals, group exercise, and real food? Everything is processed nowadays - even a lot of vegetarian foods have fillers and crap in them we just do not need.
We have constrained ourselves into fast paced lives where now we are tied to everything in an instant by cell phones, emails, and if you just cannot spare the time for a real message - IMs. UGH!!!!
When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand and actually used a stamp to mail it? And no, Christmas cards do not count.
When was the last time you walked to the store, or to an easily accessable place instead of driving there? I know for me it was a while ago even though the supermarket, drugstore, bank, and even my favorite resturants are all within a very VERY reasonable walk (think in terms of minutes not miles).
I got sucked into the world of perfecting the perfection search... my take on the fountain of youth. I am searching for my perfect self, and in the process became a wholely unhappy person who on the outside seems happy with everything, but inside hates herself and wants to look like those she sees around her. I sold my soul to the devil (and the devil's name is obsession)! I wanted the quick fix. The loose "30 lbs in 30 days" type fix. The "run a marathon with no training" type fix. The "make someone else responsible for me and my results" type fix.
Well no more. I quit that job, revoked my "perfection club" membership, got back my soul, changed my address, sold my pitty-party dress (because I do not dance to that tune no more!), and moved the hell outta that town.
I want to get healthy. Physically healthy. I still am going to loose weight, and still am going to run like I stole something, and still am going to enjoy life to its fullest... however this time I am not setting timelines - I am setting a no-limits limit. If this was Texas Hold 'Em, I would be "All In" with the green check on my side.
So who is with me on this? Let's start helping ourselves - by stopping to feed the commercialized self-help crap. You and me. We can do it.
In the immortal words of one Mr. Anthony Robbins:
Problems are not permanent. Only your soul is permanent.
Hmmm... funny he should say that.
And with that, I will get off of the soap box... for now.