A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole


Yesterday I met up with my father and brother to consolidate vehicles on a trip down for a family birthday celebration in southern Maine. The most convenient and central place to do this is in a to-not-be-named fast food parking lot (think clown, not king) in Newport, ME. Now that I think about it, that’s probably not the best place to leave my truck, but such is life.

Anyway, my father and brother don’t have my distaste for all things fast food and it seemed that they’d skipped breakfast, so into the spot we trekked so they could grab a bite. Since I wasn’t eating I thought I might as well sit down and take in the show, and I have to say I was pretty shocked at the spectacle that was strewn in front of me. Admittedly it had been a while since I’d been in one of these restaurants so my memories aren’t the sharpest, but the people watching was much more horrible than I’d imagined it would be.

I’ll estimate that there were 70 or 80 patrons in this place and another 20 or so staff. Out of the 90-100 people in there that I was watching not a single one of them looked “healthy”. Not a single one.

I don’t mean that there were no supermodels or fitness stars running around the place. What I mean is that there weren’t even some happy, normal people there. Actually, what I truly mean is that everyone in there was in some varying state of unhealth.

High body fat, low muscle tone, horrible posture, bad skin, bags under the eyes, weird skin tones, shuffling gates, “burnt-out” looking faces, low levels of excitement, I saw it all. The depression in the room was palpable. Even when there was a disagreement about an order (I observed several in the few minutes I was there) it seemed like all parties were just going through the motions of indignation, as if being truly upset would require too much energy. Even the teen-agers, who should be in the “prime” of their life, looked stiff, slow, listless, and beaten down by whatever rock they’d been living under.

It was like one of those movies about future societies where the human race has split into two groups: The “Beautiful People” who are tall, athletic, healthy, well-fed, and whatnot versus the working, troglodyte class which are small, ugly, and jacked up. I didn’t see any Beautiful People there (there were no mirrors!) but I did see plenty of the others. I felt like I’d tumbled down some sort of rabbit hole and ended up somewhere very unfortunate.

Now, is this a representative sample of our entire society? Of course not. It’s just one dude sitting at the mecca of slovenly feeding and watching the herd. However, I think it’s pretty telling that out of one of these joints every single person in the place was very, very far from optimal health. THIS is where our society is headed and quite frankly, it scares me to death.

Look, people: Fat, weak, and sick is no way to go through life.

Here’s three ways to take your health back:

1. Fuel your body with decent quality food.
YOU have the ability to control (to a very large degree) what you put into your body. There are varying levels of nutritional rule adherence that you can take this to, but on the simple side some decent quality lean protein, a vegetable, and some raw nuts and seeds is always going to be better for you than a “mixed origin” burger, sugared and trans-fatted roll, and some further trans-fat fried and sodium chloride-hammered potatoes. Honestly, the stuff in that greasy cardboard (anyone remember the old school Styrofoam clamshells?) can only be classified as “food” in the most liberal of judgments.

And no, ketchup is not a vegetable.

2. Train the muscles you can’t see. The muscles of the posterior chain, all the way from your upper back down to your glutes, hamstrings, and even calves, are responsible for most of your locomotive power and postural alignment. They’re also the muscles that we tend to ignore because we can’t see them flex in the mirror.

Stop being such a fucking curl-jockey and do your upper back work, pull-ups, and deadlifts. Do the exercises you don’t like to do, because chances are they’re the ones that you need to do.

3. Find something in life to get excited about. Now, I’m not saying that the people I saw at the fast food place didn’t have anything to be excited about, I’m sure that if I threw a can of Budweiser in the middle of the room there’d have been a mad scramble. However, from the looks on most of the faces in the room I could have yelled “Fire!” and they’d have all just waited for sweet release rather than hit the exits.

You don’t need to go through life like some sort of schizophrenic lap dog, but if you have something that truly excites you and makes you happy, then it carries over into the rest of your life. People can see that there’s something driving and pushing you to move on and they respond to someone with a purpose.

Drop a tip below on how YOU stay healthy!

Comments on A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole Leave a Comment

September 8, 2011

Johan @ 2:07 am #

funny , but oo soo true

Isaac @ 3:40 pm #

Thanks for stopping by, Johan!

It’s unfortunate that it had to be said, but at least I might as well try to get some humor into it!


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