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Santa's Exercise Plan - Part 5

Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Read Comments

Santa's Exercise Plan - Part 5

This comic is a continuation of Santa's exercise plan and type-2 diabetes cure. Previous comics are: Santa's Diabetes, Santa's Weight Limit, Santa's Exercise Plan, Part 1, Santa's Exercise Plan, Part 2, Santa's Exercise Plan, Part 3 and Santa's Exercise Plan, Part 4.

Most people who wish they were 50 or 100 pounds lighter don't always consider the ramifications of looking more fit. In Santa's case, as shown here, it turns out that the public has an expectation that Santa be obese. (He's gotta be "jolly," right?)

So what happens when Santa is lean and fit? Here, I imagine that the children are frightened by him. They're expecting a hug belly and a jolly-looking face, and what they get is a fit, lean guy.

In real life, when you lose a lot of weight, you'll likely experience a similar reaction from the people you know. Ignorant people who can't even remember what "healthy" looks like will ask you one of three questions:

  1. Are you sick?
  2. Do you have cancer?
  3. Are you a meth junkie?
You see, the average American is so unfamiliar with a healthy physique that they are incapable of recognizing one. Obesity is so rampant that many people think obesity is normal and that being fit means you're sick. It's been scientifically shown in various studies that parents of obese children do not even recognize their children as being obese! (And those parents just keep handing out candies and cookies to their children, too, as if they're competing in some kind of hyperactivity contest...)

Americans are so used to seeing overweight people walking around that they're shocked when they visit France, or Asia or South America. They can't believe everybody is so thin there! The inverse is also true: when citizens of Europe, Asia or other regions come visit the United States, they're absolutely stunned at the numbers of overweight or obese people they see.

So if you're currently overweight (like I used to be), and you're committed to losing body fat and dropping the pounds, be prepared for unexpected reactions from other people. Some of them will take you completely by surprise. Don't automatically assume everybody is going to be happy about YOU being thinner, fitter and more youthful.

Remember the jealousy factor. Depending on the quality of your friends, you may find that they become extremely jealous (and maybe even hostile) when you start looking younger, healthier or more fit than they do! Some "friends," you see, don't want you to look good because it makes THEM look even worse by comparison! So don't be surprised if your so-called friends start telling you things like, "you look sick" when you're actually looking fit and healthy.

It's sad to say this, but it's absolutely true: America is no longer a society where it is socially acceptable to be lean and fit (except in certain circles like martial arts, cycling, etc.) The "norm" around here is to be extremely overweight, and anyone who deviates from the norm is considered strange by the overweight crowd. You should see the looks I get when I say NO to offers of cake, cookies, coffee, steak dinners, milk, donuts, hot dogs, fried foods, snack chips, sodas and other junk food. People look at me like I'm from another world. They've never met someone who didn't gorge on crap. The whole idea of being healthy is utterly alien to them.

But when it comes down to a decision between honoring my health vs. pleasing some social circle, I choose to honor my own health every time. Just as Santa Claus is learning in this cartoon, it's more important to be true to yourself than to try to fit the public's expectations of who you're supposed to be.

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