Super Human

Sometimes I think I am fighting a losing battle in my quest to want people to feel better, feel better about themselves, eat healthier and live a longer life.  I am just completely blown away by the 700 pound woman who can’t leave her home who supports herself through donations from the internet just for being obese.  To top it off, she wants to gain weight – 300 pounds that is – to qualify as the world’s most obese woman in the Guiness Book of World Records:

Seriously??? Do we need a category for that?  What’s next – the person who can smoke the most cigarettes in a day? The person who can drink the most alcohol in a day without killing themselves? The person who can shoot the most heroin, smoke the most crack?

You get my point – the absurdity and over-the-topness of American culture is simply out of control.  Oh, and one more thing about this – So there I am at the gym on the elliptical machine, watching TV (I know, shocking) and what are they showing – the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island!!!! If you have never seen such a display of gluttony, please check it out on you tube – you will never overeat again.

How was everyone’s Fourth of July weekend? It was a slow TV week – even the Real Housewive’s didn’t run.  But, what did air were two of my favorite new shows: The Nine Lives Of Chloe King and Teen Wolf.  Let’s start with Chloe – a sixteen year old girl with superpowers – my new Buffy equivalent.  I mean who wouldn’t want to be a 16 year old with superpowers?  Count me in!

However, what is interesting about the show is that it is your old-fashioned “coming-of-age” story told in a completely new way.  Metaphorically, the show is simply about growing up.  Chloe, on her 16th birthday (a typical rite of passage, no?) begins to recognize her superpowers and during the next few episodes, slowly begins to understand her responsibilities that go along with these powers.

Isn’t that when we all start to try to figure out our own place in the world? And, as we mature we learn who to trust, who not to trust and how to make decisions for ourselves that may have dramatic consequences.  And you know what, sometimes those decisions we make will be wrong – like Chloe when she lost her first life by falling out ofCoitTower – waste of one of her lives but a valuable lesson learned – watch the show already and keep up.

It’s ok to make the wrong decisions, especially when it comes to food and our health.  It is expected and is going to happen from time to time no matter how superhuman and dedicated to the path you may be. What isn’t ok, is if you don’t learn from those experiences; don’t learn that you may be gaining weight from eating so much bread; or, what may of my patients do, is to ignore how they feel when they eat something they shouldn’t be –something they have given up in their health quest; yet seemingly couldn’t live without that day; and then feel awful.

Listen to your body – it is always going to tell you what it wants, what it needs and how to control the urges. Speaking of controlling urges, here is where my other favorite show of the summer comes in: Teen Wolf.  This is another “coming-of-age” story yet told though the tale of a 16 year old boy with superpowers.  I smell a theme here.  I bring this up because I watched this episode last night where Scott, the teen in question, is learning how to control his ability to turn into a wolf.

So, again, this is not so much a story of whether we will turn into a wolf, (that could be fun although the wolves in these stories, except for True Blood, almost always lose out to the vampires – Team Alcide v. Team Eric – you decide and let me know – seriously) but how many of you can’t control your urges to eat and act like a wolf when it comes to meal times?  It’s as if an alien force takes over and you can’t stop yourself from buying the world’s largest muffin (read cake), indulging in just a small ice cream cone; or just ripping into the giant bowl of pasta.

Learning how to eat takes time.  Just as Chloe and Scott are going to take some time to figure out how to cope with their abilities – let’s not call them superpowers; so will you.  You need to learn how to understand and use your abilities, knowledge and sense of pride, accomplishment and just plain self-esteem to do the healthy thing.

We have a grave responsibility to ourselves and to the general public to start thinking and acting healthy.  The health care system can’t sustain a population that is anymore obese.  Chloe and Scott both try each week to become a better person and apply the knowledge they learned the week before to achieve their goals. Can you say the same? If not, why?

The knowledge is out there; the ability to be healthy is out there – you just need to stay focused and stay committed to the cause.  Use your power for good, not evil; because we all have superpowers within us – maybe not fun and cool ones like they have on TV – but ones that can help us survive and navigate in this toxic world.

Here’s my real point, you don’t have to be superhuman to eat in a healthy manner; or to exercise on a regular basis; or to stay with a dietary regimen if you need to lose weight.  Often, it may feel that way because the odds are so stacked against us.  The cheap white breads, pasta, cakes, etc. all look so good and smell terrific when you walk by them – I give you that.  However, time to use your super human abilities and turn away; reject evil; fight for goodness.

After all, isn’t it time to channel your inner superhero: a strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman … who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!

RHONY, RHONJ and the reunion of Mob Wives this week – I can breathe easy again.

Until next time…