Last week my local daily newspaper ran a story about Tennessee Titan Shaun Smith. Smith had a sub-par season and he blames it on being overweight. You can read the story here.
Now, people. Shaun Smith is PAID to be in good physical shape. As a defensive tackle he doesn’t even have to be thin. You’d think that someone who’s earning $7.25 million over three years will do whatever it takes to be in top shape, right?
I see it differently. Rather than judge Shaun Smith, I realize he’s human like the rest of us. Some people struggle to quit smoking. Some have difficulties with anger management. Shaun Smith and plenty of others have trouble pushing away from the dinner table. I’m not suggesting Smith is a disordered eater (that’s a self diagnosis) but I am, so I can imagine how awful it would feel to show up at practice, knowing the coaches are noticing the weight gain. What do “foodies” who when under pressure? Untreated, we turn to our vice, which only exacerbates the problem.
Just this morning I saw a clip on the Today Show. The topic was about whether a future presidential run by New Jersey Gov Chris Christie would be hampered by his obesity. The talking heads felt that his weight would be an issue. One said something to the effect of “If he can’t control his eating how can he run a country?”
And let’s not forget the world’s most famous yo-yo dieter, Oprah Winfrey. Her TV show earned her ginormous wealth and yet she famously struggled with her weight in front of millions of viewers. I can’t imagine that kind of pressure.
Again, I’m not labeling Smith, Christie, or Winfrey as being people with eating disorders. I’m sure they can figure out their personal issues without any help from me. But I’m suggesting that many people struggle with something be it weight, alcohol, finances, smoking, etc.
Being athletically blessed or politically connected doesn’t give one a pass from being human. But they are not excuses for ignoring an issue.
In a post next week I’m going to introduce you to my friend, Will McKenzie. He faced his issues head-on and has made an incredible health transformation. He works hard for a living, he’s a student, and he’s engaged. As busy as he is, he chucked the excuses and got his awesome self in great shape. I think you’ll be inspired. I am.