get fit

whose responsibility is it anyway?

Normally I don’t think of myself as what you might call an “internet troll”. I don’t like responding to controversy or getting involved in heated message board debates. But I read something today that really actually got me upset. And I don’t think it was meant to be particularly controversial.

It was this article called 10 Ways We Can Shape Up Together in the New Year | Rana Florida from the Huffington Post. The author outlines 10 different ways that “we” can shape up together in the new year. Except it isn’t a list of things an average person can do. Rather it is a list of what other people/organizations/communities should do to make losing weight easier. And while I agree that it isn’t easy to lose weight, I don’t think it’s up to others to help me lose weight. That responsibility falls squarely on my shoulders

So much of my struggle to lose weight has been due to my personal denial. And a big part of that denial was deluding myself into thinking that I am not responsible for my personal choices. That would manifest itself in a myriad of ways from not being honest about my food consumption to blaming my large posterior on “bad genes”. But it wasn’t “bad genes”. It was the seven donut holes that I had as a mid-morning snack before the burrito for lunch. It was the fact that my only activity was walking to Chipotle to get said burrito. I also blamed my job and busy schedule a lot and would often say things like “I would look like that too if I didn’t have my career/my responsibilities/my life”. But the truth is that I would look like “that” if I prioritized it.

I think the author here doesn’t give people enough credit. Instead of pushing for subsidies for healthy food or discounted gym memberships or free wellness exams, the author asks for calorie counts on menus. And while there are a few “healthy impostors” out there, nobody thinks the double bacon cheeseburger with fries is on the lean and fit menu. In fact, posting calorie counts on menus doesn’t actually work.

While I agree that the world is not portion-control/healthy lifestyle friendly, that is partially our fault. Companies are in business to make money. And if we demanded organic kale salads instead of McRibs then trust me, McDonalds would be serving up a McKale as fast as possible. We have the opportunity to push companies to offer healthier products by demanding them with our wallets. Not with a government mandate. 

<end rant>

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