I have a confession to make. After all my proclamations about being healthy and how mental health is paramount for any and every individual’s happiness, it turns out I only care about how fitness makes me look. As well as being fit, I like to look the part as well. It is partly my ego and looking better makes me feel better.
It is probably over a decade since I was fighting fit. I have always been fit for purpose, but not since I last competed on the track have I been the model professional or set an example as a beacon of health and fitness. A lot of it can be put down to complacency and a certain level of comfort zone embracing. One settles into a routine, living life on automatic pilot.
As I am rarely out of sportswear, the accumulating inches on the body were less noticeable. Even as sportswear has become more streamlined, clinging more to the body, I just ignored the obvious midsection snugness. I workout so I just assumed I would be alright. As I have gotten older and reduced my training load, I haven’t reduced my dietary load. I like food and it has been showing for awhile.
As much as most believe that it is the inside, the character, of a person that matters the most and only the most shallow among us would deny this, it is not true. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that. But we do, all the time. What else can you judge a person you have never met by? We are and have been sold the importance of image. Fitness on social media is never fat. Yes, there is a movement, in our liberal world, toward opposing any sort of body prejudice, but all that means is people are afraid to voice the truth. Truth does not always mean being brutal or derogatory, sometimes people need to hear reality. But I digress.
Even before the massive proliferation of social media, image and the way we look has been a thing since man recorded images. Old masters paintings generally depicted the most affluent and healthy in society. Though they were not always the best-looking people, they were generally shown in their best light. With the advent of photography and the moving image, how we looked and compared became even more evident.
So, like it or not, how one looks, especially depending on what you want to project to the outside world, really can make a difference. That is not to say you have to conform to a certain look. There are people who genuinely are comfortable with their bodies, even though others may think they could look better, but – and this may seem contradictory – if one is happy, not just paying lip service to the notion or being edgy, there is no reason, if they are not harming any other person, for them to change.
Personally, I feel l have let my standards slip too much. I have allowed too many excuses – really kind of ignoring my own mantra, oops. – ‘I’m getting old’ – not alone with that – ‘I just had a knee operation’ – two years ago. Two. – ‘my back is bad.’ – nope. It really isn’t. – ‘I don’t feel like it. Maybe tomorrow.’ – said by every unfit person that ever lived. You see, excuses are easy. Coming up with reasons not to take action, soothing one’s own guilt, making a never kept promise to start soon, all excuses.
You see, excuses are easy. Coming up with reasons not to take action, soothing one’s own guilt, making a never kept promise to start soon, all excuses.
As I sit writing this somewhat meandering blog post, I am yawning, tired from training twice today and having trained over the past week. I have made a decision, just like I did with blogging, to commit to getting back to my best self, my fittest self. Like my blogging – today a case in point – it may not always go swimmingly, but very few things that take a concerted effort do. Getting fit is not a linear process. Not being fit, however, can only lead to more excuses and I have had enough of them.