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Why Should I Care?

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I'll be the first to admit that I live a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. I don't smoke, do drugs or drink alcohol but after that there isn't a lot to say for healthiness.

My main issues is that I eat poorly (despite many, many attempts in the past to fix this) and I don't exercise. I'm blessed in some ways that I'm "skinny fat"... I'm 5'7 and around 72kg so I think I'm at the top edge of ideal weight and maybe moving into overweight. I know that being like this can be just as dangerous as being very overweight because even though my external body looks small, my internals are still taking the brunt of things.

My biggest problem seems to be finding any kind of motivation that would get me to fix anything. I don't actually want to live better which makes making any appreciable difference to my life really difficult to do.

The biggest issue for me is that I don't believe in a future. There is nothing coming that could make me think anything good is on the way, I'm thirty-years-old and beyond the point where I see any good coming. My wide-eyed optimism of progress has been whittled away and I don't believe there is anything good coming.

Climate change is so rapid and the response so sluggish that its going to cause major issues very soon. I was taught in primary school about the needs to use renewable energy, save rainforests and animals, etc and here we are two decades later with the situation much worse. At this point we aren't going to be able to slow any change down and its going to be increasingly devastating.

The economy and capitalism in general is reaching a point of being unsustainable and yet no one seems all that keen in fixing anything about it they'll just let it crash on the next generations. It seems half the people my age talk about working until death as a given and that may well be the case. Wages are stagnant, few people can make any sort of savings, corporations forever gaining in wealth and power... It would sound like a dystopian future if it wasn't happening. I don't think state pensions will exist when I reach retirement age and I will probably not even qualify for a pension due to the way I work (self-employed ABDL writer, makes a small part-time job salary at the moment). I can top up my funds manually but I'm not even sure I'll live long enough to see the fruits of those labours. There would be a very good chance I pay into that state pension only to see it collapse taking my money with it.

Politically there is nothing but depressing news everywhere. I know the news likes to report on bad stuff because it sells and that is right to a point but there is little good news out there to begin with. Brexit is quickly confirming all the fears I had about it from the start, there has been no thought for the average person in the process and we are just pawns to a game whose main goal is to keep the ruling Conservative party in power. I don't believe there would be any benefits to any kind of Brexit but especially to the one we are heading towards, despite this there isn't enough popular will to change it. I don't think the government works to serve anyone but themselves and whilst that will get "no duh!" comments, I'm beyond just accepting that. Tepid acceptance allows it to continue but no one seems to care enough to do anything.

A huge changing point in the last few years for me was the sudden attempt to censor online pornography here (UK although USA are heading dangerously down that road too). I don't have an issue with the plans on blocking under-18's from adult websites but I do have a problem with trying to ban access to certain legal things altogether, age play was on that chopping block. It was saved by a literal last second amendment that was only accepted because the government were rushing for a sudden election. It was (and is) so precarious... It felt like a large part of my life was just being played with, the fact it was saved was a miracle thanks to the incompetence of our prime minister.

"But that's over so why worry?" I hear being asked... Well, it isn't over. The blocking software to keep kids out and things is still being discussed and I wouldn't put it past the government of just blocking things like ABDL websites anyway. Even if they don't, there's nothing to stop them coming back and pushing it through again. At this point I know I'm in their sights and it feels like I'm just waiting for the trigger to be pulled. Every single day I expect to see it pop up on my news feed "UK Govt Plan To Block "Dangerous Porn"" or something like that.

The rise of the far right everywhere is a depressing echo of history but, yet again, no one seems keen on doing anything about it. It's clear from all these votes that people don't like the established order and yet those with the power to change things don't as more and more extreme people get control of countries. I don't blame people for being frustrated... I'm right there with them, I just know far-right shit will only make things worse.

When i went to a therapy group I was told I could fix my problems. Everything can be helped by your reaction to it, you can take ownership and blah blah blah... My problems are all external. I can't do a thing about the economy, politics or the environment. I'm a spectator to the worst disaster movie ever made.

Basically the point of this long essay is to ask the question... Why should I care about being healthy when I live in a world I dislike that is only getting worse?

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I think you're asking the wrong question here to be honest Elfy. You're externalising your needs to things you can in no way control, "why should I get off the sofa when the heat death of the universe is inevitable" type thing. I'm not trying to trivialise what you're feeling, because your concerns are legitimate ones, the world should be doing more to halt climate change, end corporate greed and generally end world suck, but you aren't responsible for those things. And those things aren't responsible for you.

To get healthier both mentally and physically you need to find internal reasons and damn the world for it. Not to make this about me but I think an example might help. Why should I transition when there's rampant transphobic organisations that want to legislate me out of existence, the alt right wanting me dead, family members who refuse acknowledge what I'm going through? Because I am doing this for myself, and I will spit in G-d's eye and walk backwards into hell before I stop.

So if you want to get healthier, you need to find that reason within you to do better in spite of the world. It's hard and draining, almost a constant battle but the rewards at the end are worth it.

And always remember depression lies.

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Hi Elfy,

It sounds like you need a change of scenery. That isn't always easy- most of us can't afford last minute flights to the Canary Islands. However, you can change the world around you. Start by spending less time online. Especially the news and news commentary sites. (I have lots of UK friends, you have Brexit- we have tRump) Things will get better, but you need to spend time working on those positive changes. So with the extra time you have by not obsessing the news, go out and join the world. Get involved in a local environmental movement. Not only will you feel better about the time spent, but you will hear more of the positive news about changes coming. Then help others- because when you are dealing with their problems, you forget about your own. Work in a food kitchen for the indigent, or volunteer at the local retireds club. Many elderly need help with the simple stuff (like changing light bulbs, raking the garden...) so that they can stay in their own home. 

"Why should I care?" Because there a lot of great people out there 

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You don't have to run 10k every day or anything like that, just get out a little more. If you have a smartphone you could find a cool geolocation game you enjoy playing. We're conditioned to feel good after some good exercise, so you should definitely take advantage of that. Start small and work your way up to bigger and better workouts and you will feel many times better. Another thing to note is that your life doesn't need to center around self-indulgence. Like @WetDad said, if you spend time helping others, you'll feel better about your own life in general.

You're not going to change the world. You can find like-minded individuals and push for change, but that's the extent of what us common folk can do. It's nice to be aware of what's going on, but letting politics be your justification for self neglect will not do you any favors.

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You do it for your own sake and to hell with what anyone else thinks about that. My rotten diet put me under the knife to have tumors removed from my colon. Unlike most folks, I only recovered half my strength after that, and I've had plenty of problems since then. But now I'm facing something far more sinister and of my own doing. 45 years of heavy smoking has caught up with me, and what little strength I have left gets sapped quickly. I won't make the few years to retirement age and in six months I will probably be unable to do any kind of work. Nobody to blame for this but me so I'm not complaining, but it's a misery you can avoid and that avoidance is something I want for you. Whatever I have left isn't going to be any fun. I've had a damn good run at life and I don't do regrets, but I do wish I'd taken better care of my body now. You've got a lot ahead of you so don't destroy your chances the way I have done. Please.


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