Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

I recently watched 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a film detailing the 60 day juice fast of Joe Cross. It is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe's personal mission to regain his health. Going on a juice fast for any amount of time is pretty radical for most people but the message in this film is important.

I was so appalled when Joe was talking to strangers he met along his journey. These strangers said many of the same things I'd heard come out of the mouths of people I know and love. I'm so stunned by how people have no regard for their own health and how they can look at the truth and facts in front of them and still make bad choices when it comes to food.

One particular exchange has really stuck with me. One man mentions that he's had heart surgery and Joe wonders if it's changed his eating habits and he says it hasn't. He thinks life is about eating what you enjoy and to hell with health and longevity. Joe wonders if he'd change his diet if he could get an extra 10 years of life and he pretty much says no. He then asks Joe what Joe do with those extra 10 years. Joe asks if the man has kids. The man has 6 kids.

Joe says if he were him, he'd want to be there to watch his kids grow up, get married, find careers. Be a grandpa.

So.. here is my point... if you can't make the change to better nutrition for yourself then maybe your motivation lies with the people you love. Wouldn't you rather not eat that donut so you could walk your daughter down the aisle? How about increasing your vegetable intake rather than be bedridden with cancer in 15 years?

You need to do what is necessary to be there for the people you love. You need to be there as inspiration and wisdom. Not a burden. Living into your 90's isn't going to be fun for anyone if you are popping pills, huffing oxygen and are overweight enough that walking to the car is a chore for you.

My grandmother is 82 years old and she exercises more than I do. She watches what she eats and stays away from sugar as much as possible. I'd like to think that she's here today because she loves her family and she wants to be around as long as she can. She is my last living grandparent and I cannot tell you how much it has meant to me to have had her in my life as an adult, to be able to know her in my forties. I can't imagine my life without her.

As another example, I am sad when I see a motorcycle rider that isn't wearing a helmet. That person may think, 'well, it's a personal choice. It isn't hurting anyone else if I don't wear one'. However, if that rider has a family then it's his repsonsibility to wear a helmet for them. When you have a family or other people depend on you then those people must be considered in any choice you make and that includes whether or not you wear a helmet, how fast you drive your car, how much alcohol you drink, whether or not you do drugs, and what you put in your mouth.

At what point in our lives did the lesson of consequences fall by the way side?

As humans, we make sacrifices daily for our kids but it's time to make choices for ourselves. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of other people or you'll be the one that has to be taken care of. My main goal as I enter into my second half of life is to not be that person that has multiple prescriptions to take and pay for, to not be that person that needs a caretaker, to not be that person that faces a decision about chemotherapy, radiation or heart surgery, to not be that person that can't fit in an airplane seat. I don't want to have to inject myself with insulin.

I want to do what I can NOW in order to be the best I can be LATER. Don't wait for a heart attack or a diagnosis of diabetes or cancer be your wake up call. Wake up early and do whatever is necessary to not ever get that wake up call in the first place. Stop being so stubborn. Start being smart.

People that live for today very often aren't around for tomorrow.

Do you have the freedom to stuff your face with overly processed, sugar-laden, unhealthy food? Of course you do... but should you? No. You also have the freedom to make better choices every second of the day.

Look into the faces of the people you love and tell them you don't care enough about them to take care of yourself. Don't you want to live to see your grandchildren or great grandchildren? Wouldn't you rather not have to spend $500 a month on medicine because your insurance doesn't cover it? Wouldn't you like to have energy and not be overweight? 

Is that donut or that steak important enough to make you say 'who gives a fuck?'

Stop being selfish.

1 comment:

  1. Aaaah.. If it were only that easy. The future is..well..the future.

    Seldom do we think about what might happen a year or ten years from now unless there is an immediate consequence.

    I have thought some of the same thoughts and have gone vegan for a couple of years, then have gone raw for up to six months at a time before sliding back into less healthy choices for food.

    When I get kidney stones I really think about cutting back on my meat consumption..until I am over them and the pain is just a memory.

    Doing something for others is a great thing but when it comes to weight, diet, and health I think it is like the oxygen mask on an airplane, put your own on first.. Do it for yourself first and then it might be easier to do it for future generations.

    Just a thought.