Irony At Easter…


One of the great ironies I see in the social media era is this…

I have a network of friends, liberal, open-minded people, who would fight to their death to protect my human rights. If I were gay, transgender, smoked pot, or preferred having sex with inanimate objects, they would support me. Yet there is a duality in how they view people’s religion – they are against it.

By the way, being against religion doesn’t make one an atheist, it makes one an antitheist, and that’s dangerous. Simply put, if a person is against religion as a collective, or a specific religion, that is a form of prejudice – period. To be against anyone’s beliefs in favor of their own is an undeniable act of bigotry, and cannot be justified, only rationalized. Hint: when you rationalize bigotry, you don’t look so good.

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Religion has been part of our cultural DNA since hunter-gatherer times. If we accept that cultural evolution parallels biological evolution, and that over time it weeds out traits that don’t serve the cause of advancement, then cultural evolution would have weeded out religion millennia ago. This has not been the case. Though religion has changed through the years, its practice is at an all-time high.

Religion, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of culture. All art began as sacred art. All social structure began as sacred law. All wonder, I believe, is rooted in sacred awe.

As millions of people celebrate Easter this week, I am saddened to see so many of my open-minded friends poking fun at the Christian faith in the forms of memes, sophomoric observations, and childish ridicule. We should do better than that.

To all my friends who celebrate Easter, may you celebrate in peace. To all my friends who ridicule the former, don’t be so gutless. Please support those who wish to celebrate in peace, as you would support those who would rather not.  Be well…  rc

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If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this more recent twist on a classic from Dwight Yokum  Enjoy….

The inner light…

The inner light…

It took me a long time to have this picture taken.  That is, it took a long time during the photo shoot.  You see, I had to stop and cry a lot.  Taking my shirt of, and revealing the body shown below made me feel worthless – based on where that body had previously been.

Roy_Pig

Taken on 9/11/12. Ironic, as it looks as though I committed and act of terrorism — AGAINST MYSELF!

I had to come face to face with it though – with what I had allowed to happen to my body.

This photo was taken on 9/11/2012.  Ironic, as it appears I was in the process of committing an act of terrorism – against myself.

In truth, I just let my guard down for a while.  “For a while” could easily have turned into forever, but I didn’t let that happen.

No, I’m not going to insert of photo later on in this post of how I look today.  Trust me, I look fucking great.  That’s not my point.

I’m sharing this for two reasons:

1)  To let those who struggle with issues of personal fitness, eating, and body image know that we are all human, and we can all become vulnerable to life’s challenges – even experienced fitness trainers.

As a fitness trainer, former marathon runner, lifter, cyclist, bodybuilder, and life-time practitioner of daily action, I became vulnerable to all things which anyone else might find blocking their path; depression, relationship issues, self-loathing, junk-food-medication, alcohol, and more.

Once I when I realized I was down though, I chose to get back up, and here I stand.

2) To remind those prejudiced, zealot fitness assholes who think they know everything about life, about exercise and eating, about how to change the body, the mind, and the attitude, but who actually prize physical appearance above all other virtues, that at the time this picture was taken, I was still very active.

Shell shocked, but still functioning…

At the time the picture above was taken, I was running with my running pack each week, and fairing quite well.  I was lifting daily, and ahead of the game with my poundages.  I was still a good business man.  I could still crack a nice joke.  I could still turn a phrase like ringing a bell.  I was still a good father, a good friend, and a good citizen in my community.  And what I looked like didn’t have a fucking thing to do with who I was on the inside.

Yes, I want to look good – but looking good is only a shell.  Though my shell may ebb and flow through the rocky course of my life, so long as I live my intentions, who I am on the inside should never waiver.

I no longer look like the picture above.  If I did though, the only thing that would be changed about me, would be how I’m perceived by (some) people around me.

But that wouldn’t really be about me, would it…?  It would be about them, and their prejudiced tendencies with regard to physical appearance and beauty, which can be separate from functional fitness.

In truth, I do prefer the way I look today over the way I looked in that picture.  And trees are made out of wood.  I went to a party several weeks ago wearing a pair of jeans I could have worn in high school.  There was a confidence in doing that which escapes description.

The confidence that comes with looking better and possessing a higher level of personal fitness does, I believe, enable me to contribute better to all facets of my existence.  Perhaps that is the single greatest rationalization of my life.  I don’t know…

Looking good, feeling good…

This I do know: There is a difference between aesthetic fitness, and functional fitness.  Aesthetic fitness is simply the act of looking good – looking good is optional.  I believe all of us though, have a responsibility to be functionally fit – the progression of our society depends on it.

I won’t attempt to deny the superficiality that is behind my pursuit of being aesthetically fit.  I would rather go through life with aesthetic fitness than without it.  I try very hard though, not to judge any person for any reasons, least of all for what they look like or how they function.

In my day-to-day psyche I work very hard to remember that in the end, none of us will be judged by the shape our abs or whether we do sinister justice to that little black dress.

In the end, we will only be judged by the deeds of our minds, of our hearts, by our actions toward others, and that whatever we do, be done out of love.

Taking me back…

As far as getting back to my current level of conditioning an appearance goes, to change the landscape of the human body; both in terms of ability and in terms of appearance, there are not two more important words than:

–          Awareness

–          Discipline

I became aware of that which I wanted to change.  I applied the discipline required to affect those changes.

In fitness, I believe these are the only two words which matter...

In fitness, I believe these are the only two words which matter…

With a healthy respect for those two words, an entire attitude can be formed, and a body can be changed… Be well.  rc

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Please check back in two weeks to see what happens when I hit the “stop” button on the blender in my head.
Oh, and there is this from Poi Dog Pondering.  Enjoy….

I Hate Fat People (not my words)…

Warning:  This one is lengthy.  If you are not willing to read every word, from beginning to end, go ahead and delete it now – please. 

Black, White, God, Darwin

It seems, relative to the turmoil of recent decades, that racial prejudice in America might be on the decline, and that racial tolerance could be on the rise. Though absolute racial harmony may never happen, I am grateful for recent progress – and despite the current political rhetoric involving race, there is no denying that there has been much progress in my lifetime.

I won’t get too happy though — just over the hatred horizon there is an age-old prejudice on the rise once again; one involving god, God, or the belief in gods.   I recently watched a TED lecture by Richard Dawkins, calling for an outright war against the belief in God – what he calls, “militant atheism.”

Conversely, many modern Christians look down on atheists and agnostics more than ever, as the scum of the Earth, and wouldn’t dare allow their daughter to marry one.  It seems that as we have become more accepting of the variance in human skin colors, we are less accepting of contrary opinions on just who made and dyed the skin.  Let’s face it, we just need somebody to hate.

"Uhm ehr, ah.. I forget, did you make me or did I make you...?"

I Hate Fat People (not my words)

I camped recently with a dozen or so friends along the Niobrara River in North Central Nebraska.  We had arrived on a Wednesday, spent our first two days in camping solitude, enjoyed some good alone time on the river and at the campfire – and then Friday happened.  Setting up camp behind us on Friday afternoon were some real-McCoy hillbillies from Georgia, and they looked and acted every bit the part.

As Cooter and the Biscuit family unpacked the Chevy Lumina 60 yards to our north, my friends and I gathered round the campfire, consumed some (more) alcohol, pushed our collective intellects to the brink, and began poking fun and making jokes about our new neighbors – me taking my share as lead heckler.

"Dear makers of Patron, Thank you so much for making me such a nice guy. Sincerely, The Idiot By The River...

I could have poked fun at the way they were dressed.  I could have commented on the cars they drove, or even the way they spoke.  I did not.  I simply spied that they were very easy to spy, and I began to pile on.  One fella in particular looked to be pushing the 350 lb. mark, and I threw most of my ignorant darts directly at him.  As the Patron bottle became depleted, jokes increased, and for an hour or so, humor at the expense of obesity was my mission.  Then I heard a fellow camper utter this retched phrase,

“I hate fat people.”

I sensed he was sincere.  I might have been the instigator here, but I cringed to hear my friend say this.  I immediately shifted gears and began poking fun at the way the obese man was dressed – because that was easy, and jokes still needed to be made.

I had no place whatsoever making fat jokes, but I did so in the spirit of laughter, not hatred or prejudice.  On my return home from the trip, I was ashamed when a good friend and fellow camper sent me an email calling me out on my behavior.  My friend suggested that me, of all the people in our group, by virtue of how I make my living, should have been much more sensitive to a heavy person.

There is no excuse for what I said.  I am not prejudiced of any persons; Jews, Muslims, Christians, Blacks, Whites, nor heavy people.  I have championed many heavy people over the years and gained more wisdom from their struggles as I have from their successes.  I had become heavy at one point in my own life and gained a new perspective from my own struggle.  For one moment by the river, I chose to behave like an idiot and I am sorry for that. 

Where Are We?

I will go out on a limb and suggest that the 350-pounder from Georgia was neither a fitness enthusiast nor a discriminating eater – but that doesn’t make him bad, or worthy of hatred. 

In subsequent weeks those words spoken by another, “I hate fat people” continued to resonate.  I have begun to reflect on, and attempt to observe what level of prejudice exists toward heavier people.  I have explored news periodicals, fitness & weight-loss blogs, had discussions with clients, friends, and people in my community, in an attempt to increase my awareness of how others truly view obese people. From this limited stream of information, it seems more people I know truly are prejudice towards obese people than I would have thought – most of whom would be considered obese themselves by the BMI.

The NAAFP ain't gonna tolerate that....

Who Are We?

We are a nation whose obesity population is on the increase, with an increasing number of those obese people becoming increasingly prejudiced… toward other obese people?  That math does not add up.  I can see a day when obese people might take up arms against the morbidly obese, as heavy people put up fences to keep the regular obese people out.  For millennia, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews have all found reason to hate, as have persons of different skin colors found reasons to hate.  And I can’t help but wonder; in the future will obese people also become a passionately hated portion of society…?  If so, there is little doubt that justification for that hatred will simply be because, as it has been said through the ages, “Because they’re different, from me – that’s why!” 

 
 
 
 

 

And history might declare that Ireland and Northenr Ireland were finally brought together for their mutual distrust over people with excess belly fat...

 

Help Is Not On The Way

If a person does not wake up and go straight to the gym and does not eat steamed rice and broccoli at dinner, he is not a bad person.  If a person never gets off his ass and chooses to live off peanut butter and M&M sandwiches nine times per day, that person is no less a person that anyone reading this.

I can make many (successful) arguments why obese people, and society as a whole, would be better served if the weight were taken off.  But our society is not set up for obese people to succeed in weight loss.  The potential for success in weight-loss exists mostly in the fringes and isolated pockets of like-minded people – places where most obese people tend not to hang out due to internal fears.

The only food pyramid that seems to matter...

Take a look around – with your eyes open this time.  Though there are many resources and tools available for heavy and obese people to use that they gain control and make positive changes, those helpful tools are kept at the edge of social boundaries and held there by the many bad ideas, big profits, deadly agendas, and an almost universal acceptance of gluttony in the modern age.  Think about it – please.  And the men who hold high places…

Be well.  rc