Why we are the way we are|The Pollyanna Syndrome

Posted on January 23, 2010


 Oh the humanity. In the last 24 hours, it has become completely clear to me why we, as a people, are sicker, fatter, and less happy than ever before. It’s not that I didn’t know it or see it before….that’s why I started this blog, why I work with personal training clients & why I now work in a Performance Center that is changing the lives of the young & old every single day. So trust me, I knew it before, but the experience I had last night was such a clearly detailed, perfectly shining example of why I do what I do, and why I push you all to learn, do, and share all this optimal wellness stuff with others. So what happened last night to warrant this blog post?

Part of my work in the Performance Center is to go to area golf & home shows to work a booth where we educate people about how they can be healthier & have less pain, sickness & suffering. Part of this booth is offering a scan of the nervous system function & muscular balance to anyone who’d like to do one. It’s painless & takes less than 5 minutes to get valuable information that will truly change the quality of a person’s life.

So I ask anyone walking by, would they like to get this scan done, and I tell them what I just told you. Here’s what some say in return, “Oh, I would rather not know how messed up I am” or “I already know I’m a mess-that’s not changing!”, as they walk off either limping, or with one shoulder higher than the other, or with terrible posture that is totally fixable (and not that hard to do!), or overweight to the point that its’ killing their low back & knees, or with all of these things along with the disease & dysfunction they’ve racked up from not caring for their bodies. And then they wander over to the $500 drivers where they spend 30 minutes deciding which $500 driver to buy. Sigh.

Here’s my new definition for Pollyanna Syndrome, which normally means to have a foolish or blindly optimistic viewpoint of life. Here, it means to blindly ignore what we are willingly doing to damage our bodies & foolishly ignoring obvious symptoms of failure on our part to care for ourselves.

 Are you ignoring obvious signs that you’re not doing your part to ensure your genes get past down for another millenia? It’s time to take off the Pollyanna glasses gang, and address the reality that we’ve gotten ourselves into our sick & broken bodies, and we can get ourselves out. There are plenty of do-gooders out there who have sickly bodies – but I’m telling you – it’s not possible to live to your highest calling & pass on the best genes possible to future generations if you’re sick or broken. It’s fundamentally impossible. The vibrational energy that comes from the body of someone uncaring toward themselves does not match with the vibrational energy of a person living their ultimate calling in their ultimate life.

At a show last weekend, a lawyer for the Army told me about the things he sees in recruiting centers across the country. He said, ‘if the Army had their way, anyone who wanted to could join the service because they are just thrilled to have people who want to serve,’ but part of his job is to make sure standards are upheld so that people who don’t meet the weight/fitness/intelligence/motive requirements are not accepted. He said that it’s very tough to find acceptable recruits from the 17-24 bracket these days because the majority are too fat. They are smart enough, they have good motives, but they are greater than 36% body fat (which is the biggest you can be if you want to join the Army).

Folks, 36% body fat is big. Really big. Anything greater than 30% body fat equals an increased risk for early mortality- heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, etc. Needless to say, we were shocked that most of the kids they are seeing are bigger than that. It’s sad, but it’s reverse-able. And that’s what everyone needs to latch on to. This. is. reverse-able. You just need to care enough to turn the tide. Mayor Daley (Chicago’s lovely mayor/nut job) cared enough about changing things that he managed to change the direction of the flow of the Chicago River. The man turned a river to run the opposite direction! For goodness sake, he’s not Moses & he’s turning rivers because he cares about getting a project done! Surely we have similar gumption for our own bodies as he does for the Chicago River!

 Do not go foolishly forward thinking aches & pains are ‘just part of aging,’ that being over-fat or under-fit is an ok way to live. It’s not and there are serious repercussions that go with them – it’s just the unfortunate thing that you sometimes don’t see these repercussions for 10, 20, or 30 years. Maybe it’s because the Boomers who are now aging were all hippies who “lived for today, man” & so they take the same attitude towards long-term health care. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The reality is we’ve got to address some things if we don’t want to screw ourselves out of a healthy, happy life.

We’ve got to believe the best for ourselves & that we can make a healthy life for ourself – and hey, that it’s actually fun & joyful to do! (You don’t have to hate exercise forever, it’s ok if you find something that you actually enjoy a little bit.) The reality is, if you don’t care enough to do something about your body – no one else is going to and that is going to be the determinant of the quality and length of your life.