Your Body is Remarkable – Treat it with Respect!
While I was hiding under a rock and avoiding pretty much all media on vacation last week, some pretty big news came down from the American Medical Association:
Obesity is now a disease.
I’m no doctor, nor qualified in any manner to make any kind of determination, so far be it from me to pass any kind of judgment on this issue. In fact, I have really been struggling on whether or not to publish this post, since it is such an emotionally-charged issue. I decided to share my thoughts, and hope you will as well in the comments.
While I don’t know what should or shouldn’t make obesity a disease, here’s what I do know and can state with absolute confidence: We are given one life with one body. What we put into that body on a regular basis determines how we feel, look, and even influences our mental clarity and emotional well-being. Food and drink is a powerful drug, and one that is misused, abused, withheld, and/or manipulated by most people on most days.
We are judged by the way we look, yet most of us look more like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man than the models that try to sell us on the hottest clothes and newest perfumes. Neither of those two extremes is what I would call healthy!
The thing is, though, disease or no disease, six pack abs or five gallon jug of a gut, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that each of us has the power to feel good and be good simply by what we choose to consume each and every day.
The human body is remarkably remarkable. It adapts. It finds ways to survive. It takes what we give it and makes sure we can still function at the most basic level. Our health is our most valuable asset, but one many of us take for granted as a right instead of something that is earned.
Instead of letting our bodies do the heavy lifting, what if we gave them a helping hand? What if we ate more fruits and vegetables, fewer processed foods, and cut out the sugary drinks? What if we did a little exercise on a regular basis? This is the kind of respect our bodies deserve, but we overlook that daily decisions can impact whether we thrive or wilt.
Our obesity problem was not born overnight and it will not be solved overnight. Sadly, on paper, it is really not a hardproblem to solve, but in reality, it could be the biggest war modern civilization has waged. Salt, sugar, and fat are highly addictive – this is no secret. It is easy to say, “just eat healthy” or “eat in moderation,” but these catchphrases don’t really do much because at the end of the day, people have to want to change in order to change.
Health is so much more than weight, but weight plays an important role in our vitality. And, with two thirds of the American population classified as obese or overweight, we’re all impacted to some degree. Whether or not you personally are overweight, the odds say that someone you love is. No matter your BMI or scale reading, this is a problem we are all facing, in at least two ways that I can see:
1) Though we don’t have “socialized medicine” in this country, we all pay into the medical system via our insurance premiums. As a self employed family, 2Chili and I pay a pretty penny for basic, low-level catastrophe medical insurance that we have thankfully never really had to use, but, our premium goes into the pool that pays for other people to use it.
2) As humans, we owe it to our “herd” to look out for one another. If an armed robber was sneaking into a neighbor’s house, we would take action in some way. Obesity is not really that much different from the armed robber, it just acts more slowly and instead of material possessions, it’s out to steal vitality. We need to take action to help ourselves and our neighbors.
I don’t have the solution, but I do think if we made a more conscious effort to see the daily requirement of “eating” as “choosing nourishment,” we’d be in a better place. If we threw out the fad diets – the trends du jour – and focused on eating real food, we’d be in a better place. If we set an example for our children and lead with our actions, we’d be in a better place. And, if we stepped away from the technology moved our bodies more often, we’d be in a better place.
What do you think?