This past week, USA Today came out with a story that polled about 1000 people asking if they would rather have a million dollars or a great body. 1 out of 4 would rather have a perfect body than a million dollars. I don’t know about you, but I was wondering about health. Why wasn’t there an option that asked if people would like to be in great health? In my humble estimation, that’s a two-fer. If you’ve got your health, you’ve likely got a healthy body. Would it be perfect? There is no perfect, whereas health offers a number of benefits!
There is no doubt that we live in a time when validation is often based on the external, what you have, what you look like, etc. Have you seen the new show, The Voice? It goes against the norm of judging based on looks, etc. The premise of the show is that singers seeking stardom audition for judges that can’t see them, they only hear them. The idea is if they are less than attractive or super hot, it might skew the judges vote. So, they are initially judged on talent alone, (what a concept). This is a great illustration of not judging a book by it’s cover, because we may think we know what we’re going to get, but that is not always the case.
I know for me, when I lost all my weight, people were nicer to me. The same thing happens with someone with new found fame or money, suddenly it’s cool to be associated with you. What’s wrong with that shallow picture? I’m convinced that’s why the diet industry is so incredibly successful. Each and every day people are striving to be accepted and that often comes with a visual perception. “If you’re pretty or thin or rich, you’ll have it all.”
Remember the show, The Swan ? A select group of women, down on their luck, worked with a group of experts including, a therapist, dentist and plastic surgeon to overcome their issues. Not sure how the plastic surgeon factors in, well I do, but it’s just so ridiculous. Then there’s the show, Bridalplasty in which girls compete before their wedding day for plastic surgery. Huh? Wha? I wonder how long the marriage lasts after so much plastic surgery? Something tells me those men wanted to marry the girl they met, not the girl that was created. Likely, they think that perfection equates to happiness or success. I know some beautiful people and they have just as many troubles as those not viewed as “beautiful” (beautiful is relative, don’t you think?). The best advice I ever got was from my Grandmother, she always used to tell me, “It may be shiny and new on the outside, but you need to dig a little deeper to find out what condition it’s really in.”
The sad thing is many of these folks on these shows as well as people that watch them believe that, “If I only looked like that I’d be so much more successful! If I could lose weight like the people on that show, I’d finally get that job or get that guy or girl, etc.” The Biggest Loser is a good example. Sure, they lose weight, a lot of weight, however, once they’re off the show, they go back home to the same stresses, the same issues sans the chef, trainer and therapist. The only thing that’s changed is what’s on the outside. (Yes, I know, their vitals have changed) But, if it’s not permanent, and they’re not maintaining healthy patterns, then what really changed? Only the outside.
I tell my clients all the time, change has GOT to start from the inside out, period. The truth is that if you want to change your life, there has to be a major mental shift. Just because you look great, how is that going to translate to the ideal job? Get you out of financial trouble? One needs to shift the way they think and feel internally and start conveying that externally. If you wake up tomorrow and you’re an ideal size, the “upkeep” will likely throw you and you’ll be back where you started. If you win a million dollars tomorrow, it might help you pay off some bills and buy some things you’ve always wanted, but does it change the core of who you are, bring about bliss and utopia in your life? Probably not. If you didn’t have it before, you’re not likely to have it when circumstances change, unless you realize change is an inside out process. You can’t project what isn’t there.
No matter how great someone’s body is, you really have to come back to self, i.e., values, character, integrity and the things that really, really matter. To me, my health is what matters because having my health allows me to do all the things I really want to do. Having my health allows me to feel great and project that energy. Focusing on my health every day gets me a lot further than focusing on my 6-pack. So, I ask you, if you had to choose between a million dollars, a “great” body or excellent health, which would you choose?
Here’s to your health!