Friday, July 27, 2007

You are who you hang out with

I had a conversation this morning with some women who had read an article in the New York Times about how if you hang out with overweight people, you yourself are more likely to be overweight. According to the research, however, the reverse is not true. You can't hang out with skinny people and expect to be skinny.

At first blush, this logic is distasteful to those of us who struggle with weight. Oh, great, I can gain weight simply because of who I hang out with, but I can't lose it?

Yes, I do realize that I not only hang around with a very trim and fit person, I am married to him, but he's got that whole kick-ass metabolism thing going for him to where he can have a relatively inactive lifestyle (see months of post-surgery recovery) and not gain an ounce. This is incredibly frustrating to a chunky girl who merely thinks about brownies and gains four pounds. So for the purpose of this discussion, we shall disregard M and his fit, trim body that can consume strawberry rhubarb pie on a daily basis and be none the worse for it.

I thought about the research some more and decided I disagree with that theory. Research be damned! While there are all kinds of things that contribute to weight gain or loss, including heredity factors and how you were raised, lifestyle is a huge component of whether or not you are healthy (or fat vs. skinny).

For instance, I know if I lived anywhere near Stef, I'd be thin. Or at least thinner. That girl is more active than anyone else I know, and it's contagious. I'm not a big player of sports, but she makes it fun. Don't get me wrong, playing sports with M is fun, too, but he puts so much freakin' English on every ball he hits/throws (whether it's ping pong, tennis, volleyball, whatever) that it's easy to get frustrated and want to stop playing. The boy can't help himself...he just can't. I'll yell at him to stop (just cut me some slack for a bit already), and he does, for about two or three plays. Then he goes right back to it.

He loves to play sports, too, so it kills me that he hasn't realized that I'd play a heck of a lot more with him if he could just back off the English a little bit. (And now that I've written it twice, I'm wondering why, exactly, the term for putting spin on a ball is called "putting a little English on it.") Let me also just say that it's frustrating to be average to below-average when it comes to sports skills, and be married to Hermes (the Greek god of sports). I'm no freakin' Nike, in case you haven't noticed. M is so inately talented when it comes to all thing sports that it's quite intimidating.

Once, when we were in college, I got myself some rollerblades (you know, back in the day when they first came out and were quite popular). I practiced and practiced, thinking, "Ooooo, I'll be able to get really good before M gets some, and I'll at least be better for a little while." I had those things for something like six months before he got his. The first day he strapped 'em on, he went zooming around me like he was born with 'em, while I still wobbled around and headed for soft, grassy areas to land. I had the urge to chuck my wrist guards at his head. I comfort myself by thinking, "Yeah, but he can't make photographs like I can!"

Anyway, normally my idea of vacation wouldn't include kayaking and playing tennis and such. That isn't something I would plan for myself. I am Spa Girl after all. However, I like to be open to trying different things, and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how great it felt to be active. Even though I got frustrated with tennis and wanted to chuck my new racket at M because he was Englishing all over himself again, it felt good to be moving.

Granted, there are other factors that contribute to my sedentary lifestyle that I managed to leave behind on vacation. I do have a small child to care for, so we can't come home and grab our rackets and go play for a couple of hours, nor do we really want to, as those couple of hours after work are the bulk of our Zoe Time during the week and neither of us wants to give that up.

So while I realize that my current life doesn't enable me to have as active a lifestyle as Stef, what I'd like to do is maintain enough activity to keep me interested in doing things, and to remind me of how great it feels to be active. The overall goal is that when Zoe is old enough to putz around on the tennis courts with us I'm not 800 pounds of blubber who wheezes just going to get the mail.

I think maybe I just need to hang out with more skinny people. (Not skinnier people, just more people who are skinny.)


Post a Comment

<< Home