APADIA 17: Counter-Culture Health
(What’s APADIA? See here.)
I am very, very, VERY far from being the healthiest person I know. Yet even still, I am “weirdly” healthy.
My healthy habits are extremely imperfect. Yet they still mark me out as unusual.
(Note: This is a list. It’s not to brag about the habits I’m proud to have developed, and it’s not to flagellate myself for the many ways in which I fall short. Also, it’s a snapshot of right now. I know it’ll be different in a month or a year.)
- I have about three liters of water a day, about eight hours of sleep a night, about two drinks a month, and about two books a month. I’m satisfied on these counts.
- I exercise with five classes a week plus 1-4 other activities each week, and I’m making progress toward my current goals, but I do get dissatisfied with how far I am from being as strong or fast or flexible as I’d like.
- I weigh 20 pounds less than I did a few years ago, which I’m happy about, but I’d prefer to lose up to 10 more and lower my body fat by at least 5%. The vast majority of my diet is clean, whole food, but I’m not satisfied with my caloric and macro balance. I’d particularly like to bump up my plant and seafood protein.
- I rarely use my television or tablet, but have far too much screen time with my phone and computer. I meditate rarely, not daily. I haven’t had a church in a few years. I go to therapy check-ins about monthly, but I’m always going to be a work in progress.
As a culture, Americans fetishize health, but in many ways, we stigmatize people who actually practice the behaviors that lead to it.
We’re supposed to be able to work nonstop, get by on too little sleep, treat ourselves to decadent food – yet look and feel as though we’re in the peak of health.
News flash. You don’t get that without effort. A lot of it.
According to recent statistics, three-quarters of the people on the planet weigh too much – and in the US, 90% of men and 80% of women. As one article put it, In an Obese World, Fitness Is Counter-Culture. And the bar is set pretty low. Last year, the Mayo Clinic published findings that 97% of Americans don’t live a healthy lifestyle – which they defined as eating healthy, exercising moderately, not smoking, and having an acceptable body fat percentage. We eat about 25% more than we did in 1970 – and fewer than 20% of adults or children get enough activity.
This is all – literally – deadly. And with screens and conveniences and lifestyles, it’s not getting easier to fix.
So yes, I’m assuming that whoever you are, you probably found me weird for at least one of the things that I listed above. But they’re what I count toward living a healthy life, and that’s something I prioritize. Today’s status quo does not lend itself to health. So here’s to being weird.