Another article calling Newfoundlanders FAT. It’s consistent, dripping out like a WAKE UP call but everyone, it seems, is still hitting snooze!
What’s the REAL issue behind our obesity? I personally think it’s ALL the things we’re not talking about… the anxiety, the depression, the Culture of Silence; instead of dealing with our emotions we’re eating, drinking, snorting, gambling them away. And that’s created one hell of an unhealthy province. We’re. The. Fattest. We used to be the friendliest. Now, we’re the fattest, unhealthiest, drunkest province.
What’s it going to take to WAKE UP PEOPLE? Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian Writer who called Newfoundlanders on the Northern Peninsula FAT, was called ignorant and “he could have been nicer about it” – nice isn’t getting the message across, is it? And see what we did there? We made him wrong and changed the subject to – he was unfair, ignorant, we attacked him as a writer instead of saying “Holy fuck, we’re fat, we should do something about that”.
That’s what we do! We make everyone else wrong. Karl Ove Knausgaard started a conversation in Newfoundland because of his bluntness, but the #1 thing I hear is people whining and complaining about it. “Oh it’s the Government’s fault, food is too expensive! Speaking of the Government, the fucking roads a mess wha?” And we move on. “Personal Trainers? Highway Robbery by, I don’t who they thinks they are, charging the likes of that, sure I could have the biggest kind of car payment for that kind of that money every month”. Priorities Much? The biggest house, car, the purse you’re carrying seems to be so much more important than the body you live in everyday. Wouldn’t dare spend all that money on healthy food when I could drive an Escalade”. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with people having nice things and spending their money on whatever they please, BUT, when you’re driving an escalade and complaining about the cost of food, then you might want to take a look at your priorities!
We make it about everything and everyone else, we play the victim and blame others because then we don’t have to look at ourselves – eating jiggs dinner every week, fast food 2-3 X a week because we claim it’s cheaper or we’re too fucking busy (my personal fav!) to exercise, who got time for that? “I got to be on Social Media for 4 hours a day, I can’t cook healthy meals and exercise, I don’t have time for that. Between social media, my TV shows I got to watch, I got a job too and the youngsters? Jesus, you don’t know how much time they takes up.”
Blame. Blame. Blame. It’s not your fault. It’s someone, something else’s fault. Then you don’t have to take responsibility or accountability for it.
And you know what? Everyone agrees with you. You get to be right and you get to be the victim at the same time.
When I say ” it’s not really that hard, I just get up every morning and do it” – the response is typically “well, you don’t have kids, you’d never be able to live like that if you did” or “well, you’re a trainer, so it’s easy for you”. You know what? I don’t have kids, but I have tons of fit friends and clients who do; they get up BEFORE their kids or do it during nap time, or do it at lunch time or do it after the kids go to bed – but you know what? None of that fucking matters. You’re using that as an excuse about why I can do it and you can’t. The reality is, if you want it and if it’s a priority, you’ll find a way; you’ll squeeze it in wherever you can. There’s hundreds of thousands of Fit Moms out there doing it right now. And you’ll do it, now, today… not when this happens, or that happens… always waiting for the “perfect” timing because “now isn’t good for me” – just more bullshit excuses to put it off. “It’s summer, I am waiting until the fall, I don’t want to miss out on anything because I’m on a diet, you know.” What are you missing out on? Type 2 Diabetes? Chronic diseases? A heart attack?
And it’s easy for me? The reason it’s easy for me is because I made it that way. I got up, every day and did it because I made it a priority. If you would listen to me sharing my stories with you, you might learn exactly how you can do the same thing to change your mindset about exercise, instead of sitting on your perch judging me and making it mean I’ve got it easier than you. I don’t have it easier. No one does. And you thinking that way means you don’t get to learn and grow and change; instead you stay stuck in the blame game and playing the victim and making everyone else wrong so you can be right.
And so, you get to be right. But what else do you get? You get to be fat. You get to be unhealthy. You get to have a higher risk of chronic diseases. You get to have a lower life span. You get to be angry, bitter, resentful, unhappy, unhealthy.
It’s not about right or wrong. Most of us get so fucking stuck in our need to not be at fault, we stay stuck in our ways of self destruction and blame. Because it’s not easy to look at ourselves. I had an obese client look at me recently and said “I looked in the mirror this morning and for the first time ever, I realized, I did this. I created this. I blamed everyone around me. I blamed my genetics. I was angry and I ate and I didn’t care. And it’s hard, to look at myself and know I created this”. And in that moment, he had the freedom to change. Because he was willing to see HOW and WHY it happened, that he could change. Until he was willing to see that no one made him eat that food, he couldn’t change, because until he could take 100% responsibility for everything in his life, he wasn’t emotionally or mentally capable of changing long term.
That’s what we have to realize provincially. It’s not your mother’s fault, your fathers fault, your genetics, your kids fault, your husband/wife/partner, no time, no money, the governments fault, McDonald’s fault… it’s not their fault. We joke about the salt beef, deep fried fish and beer diet and then we blame it on the cost of food or something else. What the FUCK is funny about obesity? What is funny about “beer guts”? You know what a beer gut is? A heart attack waiting to happen, that’s what a beer gut is.
We want to have someone to blame it on. But the truth is, YOU are responsible for what happens to you and for you. Did you have shitty things happen? I’m sure you did – no one in this life that I’ve met has had it easy… alcoholic homes, abusive/negligent parents, rape/sexual abuse, suicides, bullying, affairs, divorce, death, illness, financial losses, you name it, people have experienced it. You can either choose to deal with it, deal with the emotions and learn to let go or you can avoid it, you can make up stories in your head about what all of that means about you and then you can eat your emotions, you can lie on the couch and watch TV to avoid, you can spend hours on the internet avoiding your life, you can complain, make everyone else wrong and you can look for every excuse in the book.
Until you are willing to look at yourself, who you are and who you’re being and WHY, will you be able to overcome the obesity/weight/health issues you have. And when I say you I mean we, because we’re all the same – my struggle with smoking over the year’s is someone else’s food addiction, someone else’s food addiction is another person’s cocaine addiction, someone’s cocaine addiction is someone else’s addiction to complaining, someone’s addiction to complaining is someone else’s addiction to gambling. It all stems from the same place – our believe systems; friends, social networks, upbringing, religion, teachers/parents/influencers -determines what “addiction” we’ll get. And some of us have numerous.
When we stop the blame and the judgement and realize we’re all one in this, we can begin to lift the veil of secrecy that prevents us from letting go, accepting responsibility and moving forward to live an authentic, happy, healthy life.
That’s what I want for Newfoundland. This is my home. I want us to live healthier, happier lives! That’s why I get up everyday and do this. There are days I want to quit, there are days I think I can’t listen to the excuses, bullshit anymore. There are days when I want to only focus on my health and let everyone else implode on themselves if they want. That lasts for a minute or two, because then I remember my purpose and my purpose in life is to change the health of Newfoundland. Because we are an amazing, hard working, resilient people who survive on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. When we band together, we can help each change anything.
Put a hand out. Ask for help. Offer help to someone who needs it. Be a support for someone else. Most importantly, go and look in the mirror, that’s who’s holding you back. Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s not easy, I know, I’ve gone down that road myself. But when we decide we don’t want to live another minute this way, then we can create the change by being willing to see how we’ve gotten here.
Now dust off those runners and get at it, every time you hear yourself make an excuse do 10 push ups, or 10 squats, or 10 burpees, go for a walk, just do something. Everytime you choose something new in the moment when you want to do the old habit, it will create resilience so the next time, it will be easier to make the better choice.
Stop complaining and just start doing it.