The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind. ~G.K. Chesterton
Despite the fact that the disease of obesity is spreading through our country like wildfire, our nation is still hooked on the idea of achieving optimal health. For goodness sake, just look around. In every drug store there are a plethora of shelves dedicated to a myriad of totally under-regulated tablets we know as vitamins. In every bookstore there are dozens if not hundreds of books dedicated to some bizarre diet that claim to get you back to that high school body of yours. Oh, and guess what’s on practically every single commercial nowadays? Yep, you got it right – it’s those ridiculous advertisements for companies like Nutrisystem and Medifast.
So you get the picture. Our nation is obsessed with the idea of being lean, mean muscle machines.
And to be honest, I was too . . . . and it all started when I was just in 3rd grade.
Third grade wasn’t easy. Now I am not talking about the academics, those were a piece of big fat chocolate cake. What I am talking about is the social aspect of school. At the time, I had just moved up here from about 20 miles away and though 20 miles doesn’t seem like a ton, it truly was quite an overwhelming adjustment for me. I had to go to a completely new church that was densely populated with elderly individuals. Plus I had to go to that damn school and try to build friendships from scratch.
Through out the whole time I was trapped in 3rd grade, I tried with all my might to discover someone to confide in. I began to observe the other students as I sat quietly on a swing in the playground, trying to discover how I could change myself so I could fit in. After a week or so of strict observation, I discovered that every single one of the other students were healthy. They could run fast on the playground without their lungs burning due to lack of oxygen. They could play soccer like a bunch of little Olympians. But most importantly, they didn’t have an ounce of fat on them. In other words, every single one of those little third graders were thin and trim. I remember quite vividly that the moment my brain made the connection between thinness and popularity, I vowed that I had to find a way to become fit. Unfortunately, by making that vow, my future was changed forever. As you all probably know I ended up being taken hostage by Ed and eventually was admitted to a hellhole called Rogers Memorial Hospital.
So you all may be wondering what on earth any of this has to do with that quote by GK Chesterton up above. Well, I am going to ask you to stop for a second and think about it. . .
For me, by trying to be what I thought was healthy, my mental health began to slowly decline to the point where I soon became trapped in an anorexic mindset. That’s EXACTLY what the quote said would occur. Now, I am positive I am not the only one who’s mind was stolen by anorexia because they tried to be healthy. I am positive so many young girls, women, boys, and men all meant anorexia at the same time they tried to work-out more, eat more “nutritiously”, or lose what they thought would just be a few pounds.
So before I go, let me remind all of you that health does not just mean that your body is physically functioning at an optimal level, it also means the your mind and thoughts are functioning optimally as well. Unfortunately, as this quote warns, it is difficult to have both. But just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean it is not possible.