Psychology Of Getting Fit – Part 1: Realization

PS: Obviously this post is not intended towards the genetically obese or those with hormonal deficiencies. So grow up and don’t get your knickers in a twist about this.

This is a complex topic and I don’t think one long post will do justice. So in order to properly cover the topic, I’ll split this into a few parts.

Now I’m sure you know damn well what the risks of being overweight are. Well, if you don’t then here ya go. Knock yourself out.

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers, such as endometrial, breast, and colon
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone within a joint (Osteoarthritis)
  • Reproductive health complications

In case you didn’t fully understand it, let me break this down for you – If you are fat, you have the risk of…

  • dying much earlier than your skinny friends

But even though you know this you don’t give a rat’s ass about it do you? I mean, come on! If I told you there is a bomb in your building, you’d freakin run your fat ass as far as you can… but if I told you you’re going to die early ‘cos of your fat ass, you don’t take me seriously! Hmmm maybe it’s ‘cos brown dudes and bombs are a more believable combo than brown dudes and fitness advice. That’s a post for another day.

But why is an early death not a scary enough reason to make a change?

I spent a good chunk of time thinking about this and it seems the problem with all these serious risks associated with being overweight is that none of them hurt instantly. None of the risks I mentioned above actually hit you in the face. They don’t scare you enough to make you shit your pants! Know what I mean? Sure overweight/obese people have more heart attacks, but you don’t see moderately fat guys dropping dead on the street everyday. This gives you the false hope that nothing is really wrong with you.

May be there are other consequence?

What if I told you every day every person you meet is trying to tell you that you are fat and that you need to take action? You think I’m messing with you? Not one bit.

  • You look great when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning… but truth is… you still look like a tub of lard.
  • People lie to you on your face when you wear new clothes. True story.
  • People judge you when you eat.
  • The waiters laugh at you behind your back. Again, true story.
  • When you sit, anywhere from 10-100% of people in the room look at your bulging belly (depending on your level of fatness).
  • People are laughing inside their heads when you say you’re going to workout.
  • People are ROTFL inside their heads when you say you’re going on a diet.
  • You spend more on food. You spend more on medicine. You spend more on unused gym memberships.
  • More often that not, you end up in the ‘friends zone’.
  • Colleagues/friends pause before they ask you ‘Do you want to join us for a run?’.
  • Your son/daughter says ‘You need to go on a diet!’.
  • You are embarrassed and out of breath when you chase your son/daughter around the house.

How do I know all this? Been there. Done that.

How is this post even helpful?

Well, next time you find yourself in any of these situations, remember this post. Calculate the amount of money you spent on medicines and doctor visits in the last year. Count the number of times you caught the flu. Think of the number of times climbing a flight of stairs left you panting.

Realizing you are fat or weak or unhealthy (or all of these) is the first step towards a healthier life. Once you realize this, it is a lot easier to do something about it.

What can you do about it?

That’s the topic for the next post in this series.

In the meanwhile share your experiences. What similar situations do you or did you encounter? Which ones made you realize that you had  to make a change? Share it and help other folks make the connection.

Peace out.

 

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13 responses to “Psychology Of Getting Fit – Part 1: Realization

  1. Soundarya March 10, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Wow quite a post Raj. Been there and done that too. Denial is the first step and of course the two other thoughts ‘Its not my fault I am fat’ and another one ‘I am not really obscenely fat or obese’. these keep u in a denial zone for a long time and honestly no matter how much people around u who love u and care for u and tell u or friends advice u that ur overweight and need to do something abt it, its IN OUR OWN DAMN MIND and unless we want to change our weight and are determined to do it no matter what exercise/diet we follow it wont work. This is my experience but once u put ur mind to it and u start seeing results nothing makes u feel better and stronger. Forget aesthetics or looks thats just one level(though it is definitely nice to wear a small/medium size dress:), but the strength and energy levels u build after weight loss is something else and I have learnt to respect my body and mind for that.

    Awesome post Raj am sure a lot of ppl will relate to it and respond.

    • RG March 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

      You definitely did your part to get to where you are now Soundarya. Thank you for the comment!

  2. Sowmya March 10, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I have never been called fat. Even now when I know am and can’t do any of the activities I did as a kid. In fact, in India people ask, “why don’t you eat you look so thin you need to put on weight now that you have a kid”.
    Fat according to me is not being able to do one or more of the following:
    1. climb stairs without running out of breath
    2. keep up with your playing toddler
    3. not run out of steam mid day

    I call it being fat, some people might replace the a with i. But the same thing essentially.

    Nutrition is a big fat culprit in India. How do you make people realize when their whole idea of being healthy translates to nothing more than eating full meals and emptying the plate?
    Also, it is considered rude to refuse food (even the junk ones) when you visit people and people mock at your food choices and portion sizes at restaurants (just a salad? only that much?). These factors don’t matter in the first world, but with no concept of space, it’s hard to be polite to hosts. Any ideas?

    • RG March 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Thank you for bringing it up… I’m in the process of writing a post about India and morals and customs and politeness and…. health.

      Ideas? Plenty. Wait for the post.

  3. ML March 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Tough love.
    Will pass along.
    ML

    • RG March 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Sometimes you just got to be an ass. People change the channel if you talk like Morgan Freeman always the time. Know what I mean?

  4. GSL March 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Very nice post..food is a drug..it can cure and also addict. Eat this and feel better now.
    A fat person wears their hurt/worries around them and to shed that padding means to come to terms with reality. Fat is not physiology..I think its psychology.

    • Sowmya March 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

      Spot on! After learning about eating disorders I thought it’s prevalent only in the first world. But I was completely proven wrong. Everyday I see people eating even when they are full and stuffing themselves with what’s available instead of what is really good for them. You are absolutely right, it’s a psychology.

      • RG March 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm

        It’s pretty sad… people stuffing their faces with food even though they know they shouldnt.

    • RG March 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

      Thank you for the nod of approval. There is a lot of more to the psychology of being fit and I’ll try not to disappoint.

      Oh and I might steal ‘Eat this and feel better now’ as a concept for another post!

  5. Mahesh March 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Awesome post. Hope people realize the importance of being fit and take action right away without postponing.

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