In the last – maybe – six months, I’ve had two friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while say the same two things; “You look great!” followed shortly thereafter by “I haven’t been to a gym in years!” concluded by laughter as if this were somehow endearing and hilarious.
My question is this: Why is this funny?
Of course, I politely laughed along, but when it happened the second time I was seriously befuddled. Why would you openly admit that like it were a joke? After some consideration, I’m guessing that it’s a deflection or some form of self-deprecation, and it got me thinking.
I’ve found that it’s common in American culture to wear laziness as a badge of honor. I see it on Instagram and online all the time that people embrace not leaving the couch for hours or that the “only thing they’re lifting is a piece of pizza.”
To be fair, everyone deserves to take a load off and embrace the couch from time to time – I certainly do – but it’s almost a cultural phenomenon. According to the CDC, only 20 percent of Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity. I won’t lecture about why that’s terrible, but in short it’s leading us into a massively obese, disease-ridden statistical picture.
But returning to my original point, and a much less dramatic one, I find that the people who offer up their laziness actually do have an interest in looking and feeling more like those who aren’t lazy. So what’s standing in the way? I think a major factor is just getting started. It’s either just daunting in general or they don’t know how to begin. Or maybe they think that have to work out for hours a day to see changes.
That’s the great part about the human body – especially one that hasn’t seen exercise in a while. Making small changes can reap large rewards. I’m sure you’ve all heard about people who’ve just cut soda out of their diets and lost 20 pounds or so. And, I know a 30-minute workout may seem like a lot at first, but a 30-minute workout is literally two percent of your day. Two. Percent. For those people who remark that others who exercise and live healthier lifestyles are “lucky” or that they could “never look like that,” you’re wrong. You so can. It just takes consistency and a little determination in the gym and the kitchen.
A small investment in yourself can make such a big difference, and it’s so worth it. Who knows, maybe after a couple months of making small changes your friends will be the ones telling you how much they wish they could “be that lucky!”