The major problem that most of us have with exercise is instant gratification. It's a flaw of our generation. When we do something, we want someone to acknowledge it, even if it is as trivial as going to the gym and putting in a few sets.
And let's face it, our nation is growing... in waist size. And the media isn't getting any nicer to anyone they don't deem "attractive." We are constantly being told how we should look, how we should dress, and what we should eat. Or more forcefully, what we should not eat.
But isn't that part of why we go to the gym? So we can eat the things we love and not feel bad about them? I mean, that's why I go to the gym.
There is a problem in our society. We should not have to defend the 6 cupcakes we ate for dessert, or the loaf of bread we ate instead of a proper meal. If I want to eat a bag of Doritos for dinner, that should be ok. I don't owe anyone an explanation.
But also, society doesn't change over night. And those habits I detailed above are not necessarily the most healthy decisions. So what can we do to alleviate the pain from these important social problems?
This is the part of the infomercial when someone busts through the wall and exclaims "Sweet Ending Gym!"
Here's the idea.
On the surface, the gym looks like an ordinary gym. Except that everyone inside is working really hard and enjoying themselves instead of pretending to do another set and considering giving up on life.
Every person proudly carries around an identification card that tracks all their activity in the gym. The card is inserted into each piece of equipment and records your movement. And it's calculating. So every time you run a mile, that card is tracking your distance, your steps, your speed, and the number of calories you burned during that time.
That's not the exciting part.
Now imagine you are at Dave and Buster's because this is about to get crazy. At the end of your workout, you take your ID card to the clerk. The clerk will swipe your card and tell you how many calories you burned during your session. That number will be converted for you in any way you choose: cookies, pizza, milkshakes, whatever you want. When you make your conversion choice, you will receive your instant gratification, in the form of delicious snacks.
Wait, you may be saying. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of working out in the first place if you replace the number of calories burned with calories eaten?
The short answer is, kind of. Sure, you aren't going to lose weight that way, but are you going to feel bad that you indulged a little that day? No. You won't. Because you worked for those cookies. You earned those french fries. You'll eat those precious goodies with a smile on your face and a light heart. And that's the society I want to live in. The one where people feel good about themselves for being themselves. Not where they work hard to achieve an ideal that doesn't exist.
We aren't perfect people. We have flaws. We have vices. And if I want to run 50 miles a day to support my Doritos habit, I think that should be ok.
Alice and Quinn