There are always more than two options. The belief that there are only two is generally working against most of our self-interests or collective interests for that matter. We see it in debates, politics, food choices, you name it. Just because there appear to be two options presented to us, or presented to the simpler portions of our minds, that has no bearing whatsoever on the actual number of options or possibilities.
Your life is simple and easy, right? I laugh out loud too when someone implies that about me or my life.
We humans like simple. However, I think we can all agree (if we aren’t currently in the act of trying to be inimical and debate one another) that few systems in life are actually simple. Most are very complicated. Everything affects everything else. And every time we drill down to some fundamental truth, we find it sits atop a variable system underneath.
Once upon a time, the smartest among us thought of a biological cell as an amorphous blob that sort of magically made all this “life” stuff happen. Now, we know there is a universe of carefully designed landscapes and sophisticated machines within the cell. Within those machines are also complex systems of protein signaling, architecture, computing.
The ancient Greeks theorized an “atom” (literally meaning non-divisible) from just the thought experiment that as you divide any structure, you’ll eventually reach pay-dirt: something which cannot be further broken down - a sort of base building block. As chemists and physicists have dug deeper, we found subatomic particles. But this wasn’t the end. Their architecture sits atop quarks, bosons, fermions. And so it may go forever.
Thus it is with health and fitness. It’s not so much that any one single behavior is always and forever “good” or “bad.” To be fair and honest, we must acknowledge that it is much more variegated than that. Some things are productive for one person at one time based on one perspective. The same thing may be unproductive for the same person at another time from another perspective.
The false dichotomy is a societal cancer. I see it eat away at people’s mental and physical health. If someone disagrees with me today, they are not forever and always an enemy. If one person takes a specific viewpoint, it doesn’t mean there is only the opposite viewpoint. There are more political and philosophical positions than TWO. Life has more than just villains and heroes.
And in health and fitness, there is much more gray area than all-in versus all-out. Don’t succumb to the simple mind which believes you must either be a fit-fanatic or a lazy-layabout. There is a universe of complexity between and beneath them. Research repeatedly shows that tiny investments in personal health add up. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by thinking in terms of “on” or “off” with regard to healthiness. There are people with six packs who are as broken as a human can be in all other measurements. And there are strong, active folks who carry some extra body fat. Get over the weigh ins. Get over the “good” vs “bad.”
Watch your false dichotomies.