Eating for an Early Death

Has the term “healthy eating” lost its meaning for you?  It seems we talk a lot about eating healthy as a goal or as something we do occasionally, when everything works out just right.  Like exercising, it’s something we know we should do but it’s on our list next to “vacation in Venice” and “donate to charity” as something we will get to eventually.

We talk about “junk food” casually is if it were also the occasional indulgence knowing full well that we indulge in something we shouldn’t daily.  Whether it is soda or chips or a burger in the drive through.

And when we do eat “healthy” it is still far from what we need to be eating.  So, I ask you to consider if you are eating healthy only when you make a point of it?  Maybe once every couple of days? or once a week? Is it possible you are eating healthy even less than that? And if healthy isn’t eating isn’t what you are doing 9 out of 10 meals then do you know what you are eating the rest of the time?

Unhealthy.

And if you are eating “unhealthy” do you know what that means?  You are eating to be sick. You are eating for illness.  You are eating for an early death.

Don’t get mad at me. I am just the messenger.  And I know you don’t have time for this. And I know you are tired of hearing about this.  But I am tired of hearing about the skyrocketing obesity rates. And I am tired of hearing about the kids who are sick and the shortening lifespan. And I am tired of going through the grocery store and finding nothing edible.  And the only way any of it will change is if we all work together to change it.  If we all see the value in life.

We need to to feel we are spoiling ourselves when we eat foods that give us energy, not when we gorge ourselves into a food coma.  How about an indulgent organic berry picked fresh off a vine as a food fantasy instead of a slab of meat drenched in a cream sauce?

Isn’t it strange to you that we indulge ourselves, celebrate our achievements and praise each other with food and “treats” that will eventually take everything we care about away from us?

We rationalize our junk food culture in so many ways. We feel we deserve it. Or we just didn’t have time for anything else.  We can’t all be perfect, you know. That’s totally unrealistic.  I call BS.

What’s unrealistic is thinking that we can keep going at this pace, eating crap every day and not pay the price down the road. What’s unrealistic is to think those choices we make when everyone is watching are the only choices that matter.  What’s unrealistic is thinking that when you eat to be unhealthy you will somehow still end up healthy anyway because you’re pretty healthy today and your parents lived a long time.

Come on now. You’re smarter than that.

And right about now I bet you are going to stop reading. Because you don’t want to hear it. You’ve heard it before and the last thing you need is another lecture.  You are busy and you don’t have the energy and I just don’t understand what your life is like.  And because you know what I am going to say next. Stop feeding yourself a bunch of lies and a bunch of crap food. Just stop.  Stop making excuses. Stop blaming someone else.  Stop making me repeat myself.  Stop putting it off. Just stop stop stop.

And then I realized something even more alarming than our skyrocketing obesity rates, asthma, autism, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and chronic illness rates.  I realized, people aren’t stupid and they’re not ignorant.  People have just flat out given up. And they don’t even know it! I started to wonder, Is our culture passively suicidal?

A year ago, I believed ignorance was the problem. People just didn’t know how bad the foods they were eating and products they were using and choices they were making were for them.  There was a time when I didn’t know and when I found out, I was shocked. I was shocked and I was overwhelmed but I was motivated to turn it around for me.

And it is true there is a lot of misinformation and confusion out there. We don’t even know what eating healthy is anymore.  There is so much confusion.  Is it low calorie? Low fat? Smaller portions? Vegetarian?   We are learning more about healthy eating and finding it isn’t necessarily any of these things.  Healthy eating is eating clean.

How did it come to be that when we eat we need to worry that we do not eat poison, pesticides, cleaning solutions, chemicals and carcinogens?

Whether we want to admit it or not, this is the state of our food system today.  If you are eating from a box or a fast food bag, you may as well be eating Styrofoam peanuts drizzled with antifreeze because that stuff is not going to nourish you, it is going to kill you.  Not today, but eventually.

So the goal became to spread the word!  Help others to understand how that fast food was empty food and their soda was filled with chemicals and the fluoride in their water was eroding their health and the plastics their babies were teething on was leaching into their blood and the trash they were creating was not going away. And so, it seemed so simple.  Spread the word!  Tra la la. It may not seem like good news but if we all worked together for the greater good, things would get better. And what an accomplishment THAT would be!

Fat chance.

No one wants to hear it. No one wants to know what they are doing is harmful when they want it to be a party…  but I know the messages are getting in and we are simply tuning out.  Maybe it is too painful to hear. Maybe it seems too alarmist to be true.  But maybe, just maybe everyone is already feeling sick and hopeless and tired and stressed and anxious.  Maybe the problem is just that culturally, we’ve had enough and we’d just like it if maybe, just maybe, it was all over.

I just learned of the term “passively suicidal” yesterday watching Hoarders. I know. I know.  I started then I couldn’t stop.  Of all things I was cleaning out boxes for a garage sale and thought it might inspire me as I multi-tasked. But, it was horrifying to me.  On the show, this woman had diabetes and she would purposely put herself into insulin shock through “carelessness” because she just didn’t want to live anymore.  Point blank she would say she wasn’t suicidal, but her actions showed that she was. She didn’t care enough to choose life and to choose health, so passively, she was choosing death.

So, why has everyone given up?  Why?!

Here’s why.  Because they blame themselves.  They feel responsible for their fat, for their cholesterol, for their illness.  They are constantly searching for a break but they never give themselves one. And most times they do eat “healthy” they walk away hungry, broke, confused and unsatisfied.  They believe that in order to be healthy, their food needs to be bland, their portions small, their wallets empty. When they go on a diet, it is punishment.  Would indulging in something decadent really be so exciting if it weren’t for the fact that a “healthy” lunch often has the texture of playdough but half the flavor? Would the holiday food coma be so enjoyable if it weren’t for all the meals we’ve walked away from hungry in our attempts to lose weight? And doggoneit we hardly ever lose weight on a diet anyway, so what’s the point?

The point is that it’s not your fault.  That diet soda is making you hungry. That low-calorie breakfast is shrinking your metabolism, not your waist-line.  And that “healthy, all natural” snack you just paid double for?  That was made with genetically modified soybean.  Oh, and that wrinkle cream you are using because age is not on your side either? The chemicals in that are making you fat too.  Pretty much everything you do, every turn you take is making you fat and sick.  And everything you are told to do will make it worse.

But there is one solution.  Eat Clean Foods and Limit Toxins.  It’s not as scary as it sounds.  It’s less scary, for instance, than an early death preceded by years of illness. But you have to want to live enough to change your habits.

Do you want to live?  Actively live?  Do you want to do something every single day that will improve your health and lengthen your life and the quality of it?

Think about it. And if your answer is YES, then Start Now!

 

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