Resolutions, Rebranding, and the Body You Have

Resolutions, Rebranding, and the Body You Have January 4, 2022

What caught the eye of your internet-mom this afternoon was a weird bit of cross-discourse about body image, fat-shaming, and weight loss.  No links, I’m going straight to bullet point answers to the questions and arguments these various voices are circulating:

  • Why yes, our culture is obsessed with body image, and it can’t help but fuel psychological hang-ups about being thin enough (women, generally) or muscular enough (men, generally).  For women, in particular, take this challenge: Keep a tally of what portion of movies and television shows feature a female lead who isn’t noticeably slender.  It’s a thing. The star is always skinny, that’s how it works.  It’ll mess up your brain.
  • Absolutely, sloth and gluttony can cause weight gain.  Doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for a lot of people.
  • Other things cause weight gain too, and you can’t control all of those things.
  • Also, some people just aren’t slender even when they are perfectly fit and healthy.  Other people have serious health problems usually associated with obesity even though they are slender.
  • Therefore: Being either ashamed or proud of your weight is an emotional time-waste for most people.  Your weight may or may not be something you can control, and it may or may not be an accurate reflection of your health.
  • Furthermore, it may be relatively easy or more difficult for you to adopt practices associated with good health, so pride, once again, is not just a deadly sin it’s an absurd one.
  • What you can control is the effort you put in to taking care of your health. Not your weight, your health.
  • While physical health is not more important than spiritual health (so you are deluding yourself if you look fantastic on Insta but your soul is a fetid pit), making an effort to improve your physical health is a good spiritual exercise.
  • There’s nothing like trying to work on your physical health to help you uncover other underlying factors that need to be addressed more urgently.  So even if your resolution to be a better steward of your body doesn’t work out the way you hoped, if you allow it to do so it will help you discover things about yourself that you need to know.  So that’s good.

What I’m going to recommend you work on is one of two things:

(A) Make an effort to improve your blood sugar.  See, for example the results of this study reported in Science Daily: “Long-term blood sugar history predicts risk of severe COVID-19 among diabetics: Two- to three-year history offers more accurate prediction than shorter time period.”

If you are not sure where to start on dealing with your blood sugar problem, here’s a list of a few resources I mentioned last time I lectured you at length on this topic.

If you aren’t sure you have a blood sugar problem, invest $20 in an inexpensive but reputable-brand glucose monitor available over the counter at Walmart or your nearest pharmacy and for goodness sakes find out.  Type II diabetes doesn’t tap you on the shoulder one night in a wave of the wand from the Sugar Fairy; it’s a condition you develop slowly over time, and which you can detect before you start developing serious health problems, rather than waiting for some random doctor’s appointment to finally catch it farther down the road.

It is one of the cheapest, easiest, most potentially life-changing diagnostic tests you can run, and you can do it at home whenever want.

And reminder, y’all: Even though you’re fully-vaxxed (good) and all your friends are fully-vaxxed (good for them, too), COVID infections are spreading among people who are carefully ensconced in their vaccine-mandated bubble, and they are causing serious disease among fully-vaxxed patients with underlying health conditions.  Poor blood sugar control is the one underlying condition that is both tightly associated with serious disease and death and which you can have some control over.

PS: If you’re doing everything your doctor says to do to control your diabetes and it’s not working, then resolve to find out if there is a different approach to managing the disease that might work better for you.

(B) If you don’t have a blood sugar problem yourself, resolve to be genuinely supportive of people who do.  And by that I mean I quit friggin’ flooding the world with cookies.  And the like.

You know what I mean.  You don’t need to drop hints.  You don’t need to assist other people with their meal choices.  But you could just completely quit bringing food to non-meals, and start only bringing real, unprocessed, unsweetened foods to actual meals.  That would be fun.

(Also: Did you really need to have this meeting? Because there are people who’d like to be out getting in a quick walk, and instead you are making them just sit there?  Fewer meetings is a great way to help other people improve their health.)

***

Finally, as long as we’re talking Plague 2022, resolution for everybody: Join the Clean Air Club.

Duisburg, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord - huge rusty pipes with blue, green, and red spigot valves

Photo of a rusty pipes with big colorful valves courtesy of Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Duisburg, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord — 2020 — 7824-6” / CC BY-SA 4.0.


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