Written by: Charlie Bourne
I want those who read this to know that I am not a doctor, I have professional medical training only in trauma related injuries, and have only my experience to relate. This post should not be treated as medical advice. Have a good conversation with your physician and always, always, always do your own research. Also, there are probably people who are going to read this and get their feelings hurt. Know this, truly, from the bottom of my heart….I don’t give a fuck.
For anyone who has spent any significant amount of time outside the United States and then returned, one of the things you visually notice is how fat Americans have become. It is a well-known truth, that the good old U S of A has always been a global leader in the obesity epidemic. Currently, the WHO once again has us in the upper echelon of fat bodies across the world, despite their report that obesity across the world has tripled since 1975.¹ This is purely unacceptable from the point of view that we have the technology and the economy to be able to remedy this situation, not to mention the fact that there is a global epidemic of obesity, and at the same time, have a global issue of starvation. Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to pandemics of this magnitude, so I will only speak to the individuals reading this and hope to provide individual size solutions. I just want you to understand that there are bigger issues around the world than you see on a daily basis. As the Jim Rohn saying goes, “You can change all things for the better when you change yourself for the better.” I think the first step is to take a look at your immediate surroundings right this second, are you sitting at your desk at work on the computer, hunched over, poor posture, in a chair that would probably make chiropractors and orthopedics squirm? Are you slouched on your couch, straining your eyes staring at your brightly lit phone, with a bag of chips scattered on your lap? One of the things that many people do not recognize is that it is not the extremes in their lives that needs to be changed, but it’s the attention to detail that makes the difference. What if your company offers movable desks like the Varidesk®? What if you spent some beer money on a smart watch that monitors your sedentary lifestyle and alerts you to move around? Many companies offer incentives to promote healthy lifestyles such as paying for gym memberships and monetary bonuses related to health. All you need to do is ask someone at your company. You don’t have to become a personal trainer, world class power lifter, or professional nutritionist, although if you do, I highly doubt anything negative will come as a result of that. The main thing is to pay attention to the details of your existence and tweak them in small increments over time in order to promote a healthier lifestyle. After many years of repetitive progression, I have gotten to a point where I am up before the rest of the world, and clanging iron in the gym before most people can pour their first cup of coffee. For me, this has become a way of life because it kick starts my day, makes me way more competitive in business, and has just made me feel better about walking around everyday in this meat-vehicle (thanks Joe Rogan) that I have been blessed with. I always tell everyone to always, always do your own research, but do this simple task if you want some immediate motivation. Walk into any food court in the mall and watch the amount of people spending their hard-earned money to stuff their ugly faces with “food” that will have as much nutritional value as a bag of wood chips. “Oh, what Charlie? Are we all supposed to turn into these vain, shallow insta-models who care more about the filters on their selfies than the emotions and self-image of those that haven’t been genetically blessed?” If you are one of those people asking that question, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve already lost because Ad Hominem is a real thing: no seriously, go look it up. I’ll admit, there are extremely arrogant dumbasses that take up limited space in the gym, taking pictures of themselves, but really, the only people I have a problem with are the ones that treat their gym session as a photo shoot rather than a time to work. If the guy who deadlifts 2.5x his bodyweight, or the girl with her hair up in a sweaty ponytail crushing squats wants to take a second during their breather to take a progression pic or a motivational snap, by all means have at it, but then it’s back to work. One of the greatest things about fitness is that it can be en masse, or it can be individual, but it should never be offensive. True gym rats, fitness experts, and health nuts all know that we all started somewhere. Those who respect what fitness has to offer the world will look at the overweight person struggling through their workout and will be just as inspired and proud of that person, as they are of their fellow iron warrior who is literally bending the bar because of the amount of weight they have on it. Let me make this clear, those that persecute and ridicule people who are trying to better themselves are the scum of the earth. Nobody has the right to belittle someone who has recognized their own faults and committed to a plan of action to right those wrongs. Okay, now that that is clear, let me also say this: If you are an enabler for obesity, disease, and indolence, you can take your opinions and shove them just far enough up your ass that they have no chance of trickling out of your stupid mouth again. This is America, and I believe in freedom of choice, freedom of expression, and just freedom to do what the fuck you want. That’s what I fought for, and that’s what I’ll always believe, so if you want to choose to be fat, be fat; if you want to express your uneducated, moronic opinions on the fitness community, express away; and you are free to do whatever your fuckin’ artery-clogged heart wants. But know this, I am free to tell you that you’re garbage when you act like it, I’m free to destroy your thoughts and beliefs in the public square when you try to spout any crap about how the fitness world is negative, and I will continue to do so until one of us is dead; take a guess as to which one of us will go first. To the rest of you who want to change yourself, feel better about the way you look or feel, or just stay in shape long enough that you can accomplish your goals just to see them taken away when the robots enslave us all, I’m telling you, get up go for a walk, get on a beginner level lifting program, and switch that cheeseburger out for a salad at least once a week. The devil is in the details, and once you conquer those, the larger scale shifts will start to happen.
- “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 1 Oct. 2017, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/.