America Needs To Lose Weight


Americans could stand to eat less junk food and more whole foods. Similarly, we could stand to consume a lot less media.

Courtesy of Lisa from Pexels

Body mass index, which is your weight divided by your height squared, is an indicator of health but not THE indicator of health. At the very least, it gives people in fitness and weight loss a basic metric from which to gauge progress. America needs to lose weight, but this post isn’t about weight loss, per se.

Junk Food.

News media is junk food for your brain. It’s interesting to me that people went so hard after Monsanto but would largely leave CNN alone. That is, until Donald Trump came along and shone some much needed light on the pervasive media-industrial complex infecting America.

Americans could stand to eat less junk food and more whole foods. Similarly, we could stand to consume a lot less media and spend more time with friends and family.

Fear Of Change.

I once had a client that was afraid to lose weight because he was afraid of change. Essentially, he thought something like, “If I’m not the fun fat guy, then who am I?” He was stuck in a sort of this or that mindset and could not envision some third version of himself. He’d been the fun fat guy for so long that he was either the fun fat guy, or no one. His size made him special but his size was also making him miserable.

We’re in a similar place in America. We all sense we need to change but aren’t entirely sure who we would become if we were to change. We’re stuck in a left-right binary and have no concept that there might be some alternatives.

Endings and Beginnings.

That’s the trouble with thinking in binaries. We know the possible endings when everything is this or that. Either the good guy or the bad guy is going to win. Batman either defeats Joker, or he doesn’t.

We fail to realize an ending of one thing might actually be the beginning of another thing. If one empire falls, another will rise in its place. The fun fat guy can become someone else. Batman can save Joker from himself from time to time.

From Mufasa to Scar to Simba, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. But alas, we fear change. America is the happy fat guy trying to decide whether or not he really needs to lose 100 pounds.

United?

In The New Right, the author Michael Malice points out the difference between the phrases, These united states, and The United States. The former indicates there are actual independent governments operating separately from one another but loosely part of a whole, and the other; a sort of conglomerate of corporations that appear to be separate but really just have different facades. Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken are all owned by Yum! Brands, and are basically copies of themselves – the same restaurants serving different foods.

I suppose my question is, are these united states only bound together because we have to be – as if we’re different restaurants all owned by the same parent company?

A Cautious Optimism.

A largely homogenous culture (whites) fought a civil war over slavery but ultimately wrestled with ideas entrenched in state’s rights. If a group of men were willing to go to war over owning other human beings, I have to wonder – can ideas like “democracy” and multiculturalism really coexist? One might easily ask – what is the collective voice of a “melting pot” without any nationalistic identity? How could a government possibly represent such a conglomerate of people?

I am cautiously optimistic about the state of affairs, because that same client of mine made the decision to stick to a weight loss plan and become someone new, someone better. It wasn’t easy, but he used it as an opportunity to reinvent himself. He was able to find that third option, outside of the fun fat guy or some vague version of himself he didn’t know. Neither the founders nor the participants in The Civil War had internet. Or air conditioning. Or unbridled access to information. We do. We’re given opportunities that simpler but wiser men could only dream about.

People worry about America being free or communist, left or right, healthy or unhealthy – when perhaps we are viewing an indicator of health as THE indicator of health.