But it’s been a while, so I guess you could say I was long overdue.
This issue has been simmering for quite a while now; I haven’t been sure how or when or even if it should be addressed, but today I am throwing caution to the wind and I’ve decided to just start writing/whining.
(I’ve made worse decisions in my life. You’ve probably even read about some of them.)
So at the risk of offending some of you, here it goes.
According to the CDC, “chronic diseases —including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.”
Did you catch the “most preventable” part? (Kinda hard not to with the italics and all.)
So…preventable. As in, we can do something about them.
(Now because I truly am afraid of offending you, I feel it’s important to note that I do realize that some people can do everything right, but still have health problems. Sometimes your genetic makeup just sucks.)
Back to the preventable part. That’s pretty encouraging, right?
The part that gets me a tad bit hot and bothered is the “how”.
A while ago, an acquaintance commented that the only way to combat disease was through exercise.
And this has been bugging the living daylights out of me ever since.
Because personally, I think that’s why we are a little messed up. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that exercise isn’t important, because it is.
there are other components to health.
Like, say…nutrition, for example.
The thing is, you can’t exercise away a nutrient deficient diet. You can’t exercise away the impact of highly processed foods.
The second food enters our mouths, it impacts the body. So while you may be able to exercise off the calories of a Big Mac, you can’t change what happens to your insides while eating one.
And likewise, your body can’t thrive on a diet composed of nutritional shakes, broiled chicken breasts and chunks of iceberg lettuce with low fat dressing. (Besides, I doubt this is maintainable.)
The food we choose to eat greatly impacts our health, and I believe we all know this, yet the decisions we make don’t benefit our health. We reach for prepackaged low calories snacks. We buy low fat versions of real food. We drink apple cider vinegar because it “melts off fat”.
We avoid carbs. We restrict fats. We OD on protein.
So why is this mindset so prevalent?
Outward appearances. Having a beach body for vacation. Fitting into that wedding dress. Seeing former classmates at a reunion.
Why are we more concerned about outward appearances than true health?
Every so often (actually far too often) I see a picture on social media that ruffles my feathers. And then blankets me in sadness.
Pictures of unattainable bodies. Pictures comparing the old you to the much skinnier/muscular you. Pictures recording one small moment in time. Pictures of people promoting health who are obviously not healthy.
Pictures that do not reveal what’s happening on the inside…neither physically nor mentally.
But what if we could see inside?
Would that be enough to alter our quest for society’s warped sense of the ideal body? Would that be enough to shift our attention to eating nutrient dense foods? Would that be enough to understand that the bigger picture is health, not outward appearance?
I choose to focus on size healthy. How about you?