What the Documentary Fed Up Taught Me About Getting Out of a Rut
My life was a lie. I came to this conclusion while watching the Fed Up documentary that is currently streaming on Netflix. My heart ached with empathy as I watched obese children struggle with bullying and weight gain. Although I never suffered from childhood obesity–now I just struggle to lose those formidable extra pounds. I could understand the difficulties of doing everything right, and still not being successful.
You see, that’s what being in a rut is all about. You can do everything right, and still not get the results that you’re hoping for. So we become paralyzed, afraid to make any decisions because we are fearful of the outcome. Our only consolations are conjured lies that are broadcast through television, lies that keep us from moving forward. So what’s the secret of getting out of a rut and winning back your life? You have to throw out the rulebook and stop living based on other people’s standards.
You are what you eat?
I was raised on the adage that weight was all about calories in and calories out. This is the first lie. Every calorie is not counted the same. Firstly, calories from a snickers bar don’t offer as much nutrition as calories from a handful of almonds. In fact, the calories from the snickers bar will immediately be stored as fat. Yes, we can try and burn these calories off. However, we would have to swim like Michael Phelps in order to do it. So if your body is bad at metabolizing sugar–like mine. You’re going to gain weight just looking at a piece of candy.
This same concept holds true with negative emotions and thoughts. Some of us can bounce back from negatively relatively easily, while others cannot. The truth of the matter is that we have been gaining a negative self-image, much like weight, ever since we were children. It all started when your teacher embarrassed you. Or even when a parent angrily called you stupid. Throughout the years, these thoughts gained momentum, expanding slowly like a 48-inch size waist. These thoughts saddle us with doubt and cause us to be indecisive. They protrude into our businesses and personal lives like a bulging belly over our waistline, deterring us from moving forward.
You can’t lose weight because you’re lazy.
This is the second lie. You can’t lose weight because your boggled down with programming, and are tempted with food at every angle. A wise man–who was helping me with my weight problem– explained that eating was a bad habit. I didn’t know that was true until I finished watching the Fed Up documentary. Fast food restaurants have crept into schools. Gas stations are littered with king size candy bars and “sugar pop.” We can’t sit to watch one program on television, without being bombarded with commercials about food. Food, especially junk food, is everywhere.
This same concept applies to real life. We want to be successful– yet failure is everywhere. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business fail within the first 18 months. Studies by the National Student Clearing House Research Center reflect that only 56% of first time college students will actually complete a four-year degree. Let’s not forget about the litany of reality shows that bash and berate people when they fail. Shows like Shark Tank, American Idol, and Hell’s Kitchen’s success rides on public ridicule.
So we keep getting spoon-fed that hard work is the key. We need to keep working and it will all pay off in the end. Meanwhile, we are saddled with debt, stuck in underpaying jobs, and utterly dissatisfied with our lives. So what do you get when you work hard? Burned out! Disgruntled. Discouraged. Let’s face it. Working hard isn’t going to bring you success. If that were the case, most of the people in the world would be successful. Sadly, the opposite is true. Very few people in the world are succeeding–and the disparity gap is growing each day. Why? Because we insist on lying to ourselves–and thus continue to abide by rules that simply aren’t a good fit.
You are a failure if you’re not a size two.
If you just watched television, you would believe that the average American size is 0 or maybe a size 2. However, this is a lie. In truth, the average size in America is 14. Yet, no one buys size 14 clothes. What does this mean? It means that average size women are stuffing themselves into clothes that are way too small. It doesn’t stop there. We continue to stuff ourselves into boxes that don’t fit. We wear titles that are awkward and ill fitting, and put on façades that are ready to burst at the seams. So then, we have to ask ourselves, why suffer? The honest truth is that we have been programmed to.
Failure is a big business. We can see this in the diet industry where people depend on you to yo-yo diet and fluctuate between sizes. We can see this with every new fitness trend that promises to deliver superior results. We can see this with the increasing amount of cosmetic surgeries. Yes, feeling bad about yourself is big business. So why give any of these greedy corporate pigs any more of you precious time and money?
The ideal is an illusion.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I may never be as successful as Oprah, or have as much money as Richard Branson, or even be able to swim like Michael Phelps. I may never have the talent or charisma of Beyoncé, or the body of Gisele Bunchen. And I am fine with that. I admire all of these people very much, but I no longer strive to be like them. Instead, I live my life by my rules, by my own standards. I enjoy being extraordinary to my family. I love riding my bike on the beach. I like reading outside on a lawn chair. I love to inspire and don’t care if I reach twelve people or twelve million. My intentions are all the same, to help people live their best lives. So if you’re fed up and are stuck in the rut, ask yourself, what you can give to society to make things better?