Saturday, March 7, 2009

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A Weighty Issue

Is there a more emotive topic regarding self concept than weight. More specifically ideal body weight?

There is a media driven obsession with defining the ideal body, actually the obsession is the selling of magazines.books, TV shows and so forth.

There seems to be a bizarre attraction-repulsion with modeling ourselves on the image of pseudo celebrities that we don't even admire, yet feel compelled to measure up against.

A dose of emotion, inspiration, adversity and voyeurism, contributes to the ongoing success of shows such as The Biggest Loser.

The massive contradiction within Western societies' attraction to the ideal self as epitomised by the latest red carpet spokesperson is how abject our failure to measure up actually is.

These role models that so inspire us to join the gym, enroll in pilates and spurn the nightly glass or bottle of wine, lurch from bulimia to anorexia as often as they change lovers.

Who wants to be a Super Model? Is there a show that better taps into the vicarious desires of mothers and daughters. There but for the grace of god...genetics, obsessive dieting, egocentricity, and psychological well being, go I.

This obsessive compulsive nature that strives for neo-perfection as defined by the media, is destined to end in a valley of tears and broken dreams.

What life partner wants to measure up to the perfect being. Waif thin, joyless, competitive and judgmental of their peers. We live in a world that is coming to accept child obesity as normal, yet there has never been more money spent on diet programs, gym memberships, and ab-machines!

The contradiction is stark. Everybody wants to go to heaven, yet nobody wants to die. A lifestyle that is out of kilter with health cannot be balanced out with the latest fad diet.

Check out all the great fad diets. of recent history. Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup, Zone, Grapefruit and Beverley Hills to name a few. How many real disciples do these diets still have?

Expediency explains the illogical viral like spread of these diets. We want quick and easy, immediate results, and we want it now.

Look at anyone in great shape in their 60's or 70's and you see someone who besides being blessed with decent genetics and a touch of willpower, also embraces a lifestyle of exercise, moderation, and little excess with a joie de vivre.

Meanwhile the rat race Sex in the City Wanna Be's will eventually find it all too hard and default to worn out, can't be bothered old age before their time.

It's not that hard. A little structured exercise. 4 or 5 moderate portion meals per day, preferably grilled. Some form of destress activity. A little perspective and a sense of humour may just be the dose of medicine that keeps the Dr away.

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