Weight loss has to be one of the most popular topics in North America these days. And if you can give people hints, tips, sure-fire action plans for getting that hated weight off their bodies, never to return, well, popularity and riches are assuredly yours.
By now, you probably realize that I look at things just a little differently. I don’t do wholesale systems for anything, so I’m not going to start when talking about weight. Besides, it still comes down to the dreaded “eat less and exercise more” which is simple to say and kinda hard to do. And not something that I want to spend a lot of time writing about.
But what gets me is the fact that we hate our extra weight so much. We hate our bodies for putting it on and keeping it on without ever stopping to think about the process that allows this to happen. Because that process, unhealthy as it might be in excess, is kind of amazing.
Our bodies remember things that our minds know nothing of. They are tied to memories of the past, to our ancestors who lived through repeated cycles of famine, times that killed off so many people. We read that history and we think that because it was so long ago, because humanity as a whole survived, that the story was inevitable, that it doesn’t really matter. But to our ancestors, it wasn’t a story, the outcome wasn’t inevitable. It was real life, with real people and very real losses. Our bodies connect us to that past and to a community of people we will never know.
The ability to store up weight is a miracle, one that our ancestors bodies learned through trial and error. One that they passed through millennia down to us. One that, like Great Aunt Harriet’s good china, we don’t really want now.
But storing weight is how our bodies protect us. And it may be inconvenient, like small dogs barking at imagined intruders, but it is protection, it is our bodies just trying to help. And if you look at it that way, it’s maybe a little easier to deal with.
So maybe say thank you. And remember our ancestors who worked so hard just to live, whose bodies learned a trick for making survival more sure.
We are part of a continuum. A community.
And yes, we want to be healthy. And extra weight can be unhealthy. So we try to eat better and take ourselves out for a walk and learn to be a little more healthy.
But don’t hate that extra weight. Shed it if you must, but thank it first, for reminding you that you’re connected to a past you never knew, to ancestors who lived and suffered and died and made the incremental changes to give your life a chance.