For those of you, much like us, who were born, raised, and still live below the Mason Dixon line, how familiar does this sound:
- Everything revolves around food. Someone gets married - let's eat! Someone is sick - send them food! Someone graduated college - out to dinner we go! Someone dies - bring their family food!
- Gyms are scarce and working out at home is rarely done on the regular. A fitness regimen isn't a priority.
- In true Paula Deen fashion - we only eat things that are fried, dripping in butter, or covered in sugar (or all of the above). But hold on a minute, we do eat our greens...so long as they are cooked with ham hock or in some kind of creamy casserole.
- Taking the time, money, and effort to buy and prepare clean foods and to exercise regularly is just plain selfish. We've got huge families to take care of and we're deeply involved in our small community - there just isn't time for that nonsense!!
We can say these things because we're from this place. We live in the same small town we grew up in, and while the aforementioned sound like stereotypes.....we hear each of them, a lot....a lot a lot!
And listen - the two of us are NOT perfect! We are often in attendance at those events that revolve around food - and ask our family and friends, we do not eat perfectly clean 24/7!
But what we want to point out is that if you are using any of those above statements as excuses - we are here to call you out!
Yeah - there probably isn't a gym very close to where you live....but get off your butt and do workouts at home. Either create your own workouts or invest in a DVD program - there are so many different kinds, for all fitness levels, for all interests, for all abilities! Or just go outside!! Take advantage of that beautiful countryside - run, jump rope, ride a bike! But don't just do this a couple days a week - get a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout at least 5 days a week!
Try to make just as many family/friend get-togethers revolve around activity as they do food! Get a group of friends together to go bike riding. Invite your family on a hike. Bring so-and-so over to try a new workout DVD together!
Typical southern cuisine is pretty spectacular...we will admit! And there is nothing wrong with indulging - "(mostly) everything in moderation"! But there is nothing spectacular about what happens to your body when you have fried chicken, mac & cheese, and a slice of pie EVERY DAY, especially if you combine that with not exercising!! Make these things only once-in-a-while....you'll appreciate them even more!
And lastly, there is absolutely, positively, 100000% nothing wrong with putting in the time, money, and effort to take better care of yourself! Not only is it good for you, not only will you feel better, you're relationships will benefit from it ten-fold. You'll be a better parent, you'll be a better spouse, you'll be a better friend....the list is endless. If someone has the audacity to criticize you for buying healthier foods, investing in a workout program, or taking a few hours each week to prep food and workout.....either ignore them and strongly consider the need for that person in your life, or share with them why you do this and the great side-effects from it....maybe you'll inspire them!
In summary, southerners ≠ not caring about our health. Do not let any heritage, any geographical location, any anything determine the importance you place on your health!
Now, we realize we might hit a few nerves with this post....and we welcome any feedback: good, bad, or indifferent! You can comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay & Timothy