I’m glad I didn’t have to lose weight back in the 80’s or 70’s, and not just because I missed that whole Jazzercise craze. Occasionally I get e-mails from women in their 40’s or 50’s who’ve lost a lot of weight and tell me they only wish they’d been able to do it sooner in their lives like I have. I don’t think it’s fair to compare because I have several advantages over them that come from existing farther down the time stream.
I loves me the Internets. A lot of the information I have learned about fitness and exercise is from articles I’ve read online. Even though I didn’t start using the Internet until high school, it’s difficult to remember a time when I wasn’t skimming my eyeballs across an Internet browser for at least an hour or more a day. I think I was dependent on the World Book Encyclopedia for most school research projects, which was more readable and shorter than the huge Encyclopedia Britannica. It even had pictures! Now if I’m curious about anything I don’t need a library card. I just google it and out comes the information. I’m sure I could find magazine articles and books with similar information, but it would be much more time consuming. I don’t want to have to drive to the library every time I don’t know how to cook a sweet potato or turnip or cauliflower. Also, the Internet provides anonymity, so I can look up information about loose skin and embarrassing topics without fearing a librarian catching me.
The word “blogging” didn’t even exist nor did the actual blogs. I would have pretty much been in this alone. I have friends and family who would have supported me, but not all of them are overweight. It’s difficult to get together a group of people who are all trying to become thin without having to pay a monthly membership fee. It’s so simple these days where anyone can set up a blog or visit message boards for support and advice. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to lose all this weight without the accountability that came from weighing-in for you guys every week. Blogging is all about thinking and as long as I’m blogging I’m forced to think about my health and fitness goals.
I also have the advantage of knowledge. The diet plan that has worked so well for my life didn’t even exist 20 years ago, at least not in a book. Even though we don’t know half as much about the causes of obesity as I’d like us to, there is much more scientific knowledge about proper nutrition and health than ever before. Didn’t they tell people in the 90’s that fat in foods would actually make you fat? That turned out to be wrong, but Snackwell still made a fortune selling fat free cookies. I’m sure some of the stuff we believe now will also turn out to be wrong, but we still know more than before.
I have disadvantages too. The small size cups at most fast food restaurants are equivalent to the medium or larges of a couple decades ago. Portion sizes keep getting larger and larger. It has never been more affordable to eat crap. There are more and more office jobs where people sit in cubicles all day long. But all in all I’m glad I was born in the 80’s and had to lose weight in the… oughties? What the hell is this decade supposed to be called, anyway? The turn of the century? The turn of the millennium?