Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth
But has trouble enough of its own
Ella Wheeler Wilcox submitted her “Solitude” poem to The New York Sun in 1883. What a valuable life lesson in four, short lines. It earned her $5 for being selected for print. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s $114 in 2015. Not bad.
I thought about the wisdom and necessity of laughing at oneself after laughing myself to tears reading a post by blogger Geraldine DeRuiter, and picked up by POPSUGAR Fitness, who chronicles her experimentation with the Paleo diet.
Yes, health is serious business. But, sometimes, we can get caught up in the quick fixes, scams, fads, extremes and general absurdities in the diet and exercise realms that we lose sight of the ultimate goal. And, when we come to the realization that we’ve been had by the latest infomercial, book or, in Geraldine’s case, “the hot guy at the gym” who told her she “ate too many carbs,” we should whack ourselves upside the head and say, “What the hell was I thinking?” We should also share our antics with a friend and have a good, solid belly laugh to celebrate our newly found wisdom.
The moral of Geraldine’s story is extreme, sudden, huge changes in diet (or exercise, for that matter) don’t help us lose weight or get fit and healthy because they are unsustainable for 99.99 percent of us. Particularly in the case of food elimination diets. Most of us don’t want to and simply can’t give up fill-in-the-blank food for the rest of our lives. Nor should we. The truth is there are billions of people who have lived and are living long lives at healthy body weights who ate gluten, dairy, meat, fish, eggs, fruit and even (God forbid!) refined sugar all their lives.
Here’s something else I firmly believe. Fitness is a state of mind as much as a lifestyle. Depriving ourselves, obsessing over every morsel of food or every minute of a workout is really unhealthy. It creates an aura of negativity around things that are life sustaining and should be enjoyed. That kind of negativity strips humor and joy from our lives. Geraldine chronicles that as well.
In fact, Geraldine says all of this much more hilariously and poignantly than I ever could. Enjoy her post here and I promise to laugh with you.