Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's funny, Websters defines healthy as: possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality. And yet...I'm beginning to truly believe that your level of "healthiness" is just a direct and somewhat backwards reflection of your level of self-deception. I seem to be surrounded by people who are "making healthier choices"....while they wallow in pits of blackened tar. One friend brags that she spent an hour at the gym working out--and during our 20 minute dialog over the phone, she consumed an entire pint of cherry garcia. Another is discovering "Buddhist peace" while continuing to drown in the suffocating relationship she swears completes her. A fellow artist I know has taken up jogging...because he passes Mrs. Felp's house...and she offers refreshment of a most personal nature.
His wife is thrilled with his new interest in getting healthy.

Life is a maze. We navigate with a slew of handicaps to challenge us. While one might be blind, another has no arms; one limps, one crawls... One has money, another none. Education, experience, hell--just good taste and manners can either put you ahead--or if you are lacking them, behind. So we travel. Questing after a healthy life--after all, health is the "key" to happiness. It matters not the magnitude of financial or relational wealth you possess if you don't have your health. Our media sports laugh-track laden shows that portray deception, ridicule, and exploitation as amusing. Our evening viewing is peppered with advertisements for new medications that have such gruesome side effects as to make one wonder who in the blazes would actually take them. Our salad bars are dripping with thousand calorie dressings, crunchies and toppings which eradicate all validity of wellness from the copious plates being carted by smiling people secretly confused as to why they cannot drop those pounds since they are working so hard to eat healthy.

Exercise, religion, food--has it all become one spiritual quest? Or just a billion dollar scam we all participate in. I suppose it might be...but what are we seeking? Excitement? Satisfaction? Distraction? Perhaps "balance" is the only real "healthy." As each of us indulges our vices, do we make up for it somewhere else? Like benevolent vampires? I wish I knew the weight of it all....does a thriving career balance out a disintegrating marriage? Does giving up a career to "stay home with the children" counteract slim Christmases and canceled vacations? Is being slender worth skipping cheese? (dear God, please say no) Where is the handbook that has the calculated mass of everything? Can someone please write one??

My personal system is called "what would you pay."
My darling mother used to color her hair. And she cut coupons. Buying what was on sale--plus a coupon might save her 3 or 4 bucks! However, the results at times did not resemble those gorgeous Feria commercials. (shudder) There are actually shades of red that should be labeled "Whore in the Store" and "Cheap Corner Hooker Red." One Sunday I asked her, "mum...your hair looks like...well, if I had a magic wand, would you pay me $3 to fix your hair before you go to church?" She looked at me....and then laughed. She swore she'd never use another coupon. What would you pay to have it turn out just right? When you have that horrid migraine, would you pay someone the $15 you'd save to go to the Drugstore, the cheap grocery, and the discount market for everything on your list? That particular day, at that particular time--just pay the extra $15 and get it at one place. Is it worth doing laundry at midnight to spend the evening playing swear-word scrabble? Cutting the lawn in the rain so you don't miss the game? Skip the ice-cream so you can have the brie? What would you pay?
Does sacrifice for iniquity equal healthy?

I'm just like everyone else. I justify, I explain, I rationalize my decisions. I seek to balance my hunger for the nefarious with bean sprouts.
Twenty minutes ago I put Splenda with fiber in my whiskey.


You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

I've been thinking a lot about this lately too. Maybe it's all this resolution talk. Maybe it's because I'm on a diet. Maybe it's because losing all this weight has actually made me happier. I feel like that should be wrong or it shouldn't matter. But it does. Am I shallow? Does that matter? What's a materialistic, appearance-preoccupied Buddhist to do?

(I don't have the answer to that.)

Out on the prairie said...

I hear you with the commercials for drugs,such as if you feel more suicidal discontuinue.Discontinue what, Life?I have noticed corn syrup being changed back to sugar.Hmm me thinks it is still a calorie,corn is better money now to make ethanol is all.I live to be happy, plain and simple.

You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

P.S. I want to be in a band called Benevolent Vampires. First I have to learn how to play guitar (well).

ace and friends co. said...

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meggles1971 said...

I was always brought up being told "Everything in moderation"! Unfortunately I still have not been able to fulfill this in most aspects of my life, but I keep trying anyways. I think that everyone is prone to addiction in one form or another, whether it is to dieting, exercise, gambling, smoking, drugs, career, eating, etc.....I think we are all doomed, but maybe the Buddhists are right after all and maybe we get to figure this all out in another life!

P.S. I want to be in the Benevolent Vampires, but first I need to learn to sing (well)!

Candice said...

haha! Splenda with Fiber, in Whiskey?! Sounds like you have created a new drink, now you must name it! May I suggest "The Regular, Skinny Bitch."

Chantel said...

Mandy--losing that weight damn well better make you happy! lol Isn't that the goal? Healthy DOES equal happy, don't you think? (well, except salads...and low fat cheese)

"Benevolent Vmpires" would be killer!(heh) I want to be one of those groovy back-up singers/dancers--in black--with fangs. And I'll hand out flowers...or berry lifesavers.

Prairie--being happy rocks, dude.

Welcome Ace!

Meggles--I hear you on the moderation thing--with occasional splurges, right? (and you're in the band!) lol

Candice--that is PERFECT! We're headed out next weekend with pals and I'm so going to order it with that "well duh, stupid" look on my face.

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

Best blog ending ever.

I loved this.

Meanwhile I have a big preachy moment in tomorrow's blog where I wax rhapsodic over the virtues of jogging.

Forgive les moi?


Mom et al said...

I don't know if I think of it as 'pay' so much as 'choose'. I choose carrots over chips, but also choose beer over pie. It does not necessarily mean that they are all good choices to another person or maybe even for me; but there is beauty in the fact that we have that right to decide what we need, want, and can live with. Are we fooling ourselves? Maybe. Life can be so hard in a multitude of ways for so many...without vice? *Shudder*

And you've made me think enough for one day. ;)

Danielle said...

Well, you know that I am on a quest to find my "happy". Lots of fun let me tell you.
Let me tell you my drink. Green tea (because we all know how healthy that is) splenda (for the cancer)lemon juice (cause it tastes good) and almost 2 shots of whisky. Heat. So healthy I almost forget it has liquor in it. Or maybe it is the whisky that makes me forget!

Melissa said...

Wow, I LOVE this post! I know we are all on a quest to find what makes us happy and "healthy". I guess everyone has their own definition of what it is. I am your newest follower from FMBT and I absolutely love your blog!