I count myself incredibly lucky. I have never had a life threaten, well anything. Other than some crossed wires in my brain, I don’t have any disease or other health affecting issues. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink half as much as I wish I did. That is all positive but with all positive there must come a negative. I don’t really exercise although I should do something or other. My diet could be healthier in the same way that the Sahara desert could be wetter. I am not a big fan of vegtables or most things healthy. I also have a weakness for drive through foods.
I am over 40 and yet when I am in the shower, I can still say hello to my little friend. My pants size is a 36 (most stores) and I don’t find my jeans too tight. My stomach isn’t what you could call flat, rather it fills out my clothes nicely. Being tall, 6′ 3″, means I can carry my weight pretty well without looking too overweight.
I am also nearly 240 pounds. This means my BMI is 30 (Oh my gawd I am obese!!!!). BMI incase you are not aware stands for Body Mass Index. It was invented in the mid 1800s by a Belgian working on social physics (Facebook for the peasants?). It takes your weight and your height, does a little math and places you on a graph that many people believe is correct and the final word on how fat a person is. I have been a member of several gyms over the last 12 years and I listened when trainers told me what my BMI was and how I needed to do this and that. Did I mention that I never stuck it out at a gym for very long?
I am not sure that I want my self worth measured on a chart from nearly two centuries ago. As a race, humans have grown taller over through generations and when you look at the average height of a Welshman (for I am Welsh) from the mid ninteenth century, it was 5′ 5″. This would make me a giant! Even more so in Italy where the average height was a tiny 5′ 3 1/2″. Does this chart take that into account? What about diets? I am sure that the average meal in the 1800s looked a lot different to what we eat today. No preservatives, no mystical E numbers. If the food is different and the culture is different, shouldn’t the chart be different?
I am very fortunate that I know some incredibly fit people. Personal trainers, sportsmen, even people who actually run for fun. I have always been of the mind that the only time I will need to run is when being chased by a large, angry, carnivous animal and even then I don’t have to out run it, I simply have to out run the person I am with! I have never been able to run much. I tended to be able to play tennis all day without slowing down but run 100 metres and I would be lucky to finish it without slowing down to a walk. I accept that I am not a runner, the same way that I have realised that as much as I love competing, excerise and I won’t be close friends anymore, if at all.
My life is a crazy miss-mash of children, wife, work, more work, different work, sleep and now and again trying to relax. If I don’t have time to fit a girlfriend in my life, how am I going to squeeze in some exercise. You see, I value the time spent at home with my children. I look forward to spending moments, minutes, hours sat by my wife, perhaps not even talking, both doing different things or watching something togeather. I can’t cycle to work as it is too far. There isn’t something that I would swap for exercise. It is fun to play with the kids, run around, rough house and be silly but it is also wonderful sitting down and reading to, or being read to, the three of us competing at Super Mario Carts, or playing with Lego. Unless I steal the TARDIS I can only spend so much time with them so I want to make sure I try to enjoy as much of it as possible.
I am not envious of those healthy people who exercise regularly, eat the prescibed number of vegetables a day, drink moderately, who have slim trim bodies whose clothes always fit well. Yes I wish I was slim but do I wish it enough to do something about it? No. Rather than being miserable (well I would be) looking after my body so that I live a little longer, I would rather enjoy my life now while I still can.
It is tempting to describe those well exercised, healthy, ‘beautiful people’ as being perfect because this is what we are told perfect looks like through media. Being perfect means that you are who you should be, doing what you need to do, and that you are happy with who you are. That is perfect and don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Does this mean that I am perfect? Not yet, but it is a much more reachable goal than lowering my BMI to my recommended level.