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Let’s Talk About Health!
Many Forms, Many Meanings!
If you are overweight, the first thing that health means to you, is physical well being. Being overweight for a long period of time leads to impaired function of your organs leading to sicknesses that in most cases, could have been easily avoided. That’s just common sense and I don’t need any medical evidence to support the statement – right? Because its just common sense… However, health has many forms and many meanings besides the proper functioning of our body (physical health). There’s healthy thoughts and attitudes (mental health), healthy relationships and interactions with others (social health), healthy finances (wealth health :), healthy habits, to name a few, and they’re all important; all have their place in healthy human existence. If you have something to add please don’t hesitate to contribute constructively on our blog.
You don’t need to be overweight to be sick – of course, but being over weight long term will contribute to sickness, guaranteed. There can be a lot of reasons for weight gain and lack of weight control, and most of them are tied in some way to our eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise habits, and also to our social and emotional well being. ‘Chicken or the egg’ : weight gain leading to depression or depression leading to weight gain, catalyzed by unhealthy relationships, unhealthy finances, unhealthy habits and routines.
I’ve been overweight for years. I was diagnosed with late onset diabetes around 10 years ago. I have been through severe depression and anxiety disorder and have medically controlled hypertension and cholesterol. I’m 20 odd kilos overweight at the moment but it has been a lot worse than that. I don’t exercise enough and I don’t eat well enough, and I hate to say it, but its not a nice state of being. I am fortunate to have a beautiful family that, whilst not perfect (myself especially) provide the love and support I need to get through challenges and smile more than I frown. So its not all doom and gloom.
I was raised healthy. My Dad & Mum were mad about health. Dad drummed into all his children “Everything depends upon the right action of the will“. He was right of course. We make our own choices and over time develop default behavior, tendencies, habits that set us up either for health, wealth, wisdom and nobility, or lead us into temptations that may not knock on our door for payment today, but always do in the end. I was raised on a very strict healthy diet and exercise routine during my early years, but when I found myself facing the world, I was unprepared due to such a restricted upbringing. I did not have the necessary restraint, knowledge, life experience, beliefs or wisdom to maintain the excellent health I’d been gifted. I abandoned the shackles of my hitherto restricted diet in exchange for all the things I’d been denied growing up. You can easily guess that my excesses have led to problems.
It is a very slow process. Because that first burger, chips, pizza, steak, sausage, beer and wine exchanged for fresh vegetables, fruit and water, didn’t make me ill, I kept doing it. Because that first television binge session didn’t result in me waking up the next morning with a huge tummy and lethargy, I kept doing it…
Humans don’t think that way and never have – we don’t consider the actions we take on an adhoc but daily basis regarding our health, against their place in the tapestry of our health at some time in the future. We simply are not made that way. Some of us are smart enough to eat right and exercise daily and you see the end result of these healthy choices several months later, but not immediately. Because the biological response to our unhealthy habits is not immediate, the causal effect on our health long term is not anticipated and we are not deterred from our unhealthy choices.
Yes I know, some of you have gotten it right. The smarter ones, or the odd ones, or the gifted ones. You are either special in your self-worth and self-discipline or you are gifted by birth with a fabulous metabolism, but along with our medical practitioners, you are the ones we look to for answers when we must consider our health more seriously.
I smoked for about 15 years. Tried to give it up more times than I could count, and failed every single time, knowing it was bad for me but not truly believing anything bad would ever really come of it because the consequences were not immediate. Then one day out of the blue, and for no reason I can pinpoint, I just stopped needing cigarettes. No gum, no ‘cancer scare’, I just stopped needing them, and found I could go months, years, without one. Then I’d meet up with a friend at the pub, have a few drinks and a smoke, and was fine to be without them again for another year or forever… Zero dependency! I wish I knew how – wish I could tell you – wish I could “bottle it”! I’d be a millionaire! But that time I spent smoking adds to my paranoia even now, years later as I wait for scan or blood test results. I knew it was wrong but did not have the necessary “perspective” or “will” to make a better choice at the time. As we get older we should get wiser, but it is sometimes too late and damage has already been done. I hope there is still time for you, to make a new decision and take better action. It’s why I’m here…
Am I a failure? In some areas of my life, yes, but not all. I can’t do anything about it until I own it. Nobody I know is perfect, but that’s no excuse. I am still around, still striving for better health, still learning, still loving my family and appreciating my friends and still happy enough to say “my life is a good one”. When someone offers me a way to lose weight, that seems legitimate and doesn’t involve a lot of exercises or complicated dieting, I’m interested. So are you!