This is Off The Running Path

A couple days ago I was considering posting some thoughts on my online journal (not a blog, sorry no links) but decided not to because any time I write or comment about this particular topic invariably somebody gets hurt/ offended/ angry/ defensive.  I was asked/encouraged by a number of people to go ahead and say what I wanted to say, and so I decided to go ahead and post what had been on my mind not just Wednesday morning but for several weeks now. But I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around how to start.
Until.
Until yesterday when I happened to see (but didn’t click on because I was in a hurry) a headline on CNN’s website something to the effect of “Half of Adults Obese by 2030 Study Reports”. Today I had more time, but for some reason couldn’t find that particular article. However I did find one on the Washington Post’s Website saying essentially the same thing.

Please, take the maybe two minutes required to read the article. It’s pretty short and to the point. I’ll wait right here until you return.

Below, with a couple edits and additions, is what I posted on my Facebook when I shared the article there:What bothers me more than this article is the number of people who will read it, laugh about it, and continue to follow the unhealthy eating and complete lack of exercise habits they always have all the while saying “How fat I am is nobody’s business but mine!” Or the people who will focus on the issue of “Government interference” while ignoring what this article is really telling us about ourselves.The fact is: Diseases linked to obesity are on the rise and they are HUGE (no pun intended) contributors to increased health care costs and rising insurance premiums. A tremendous percentage of people who are obese (and I’m talking beyond morbidly obese) are receiving some sort of subsidized health care (Medicare, etc.) and that statistic is only going to increase. So really, the government is already involved in this by providing medical care for health issues that, simply put, are self-induced and need not even exist in the first place. Funny how people don’t want the government to “interfere” unless or until that “interference” takes the form of something they want or need.

It is NOT “more expensive to eat healthy”! That is pure crap! Oh sure it requires a little more forethought and planning, and you might have to break out a pot or a pan instead of buzzing through a drive-thru; but people we are killing ourselves and more importantly: WE ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN one freakin’ happy meal at a time!

We are members of one of the most educated generations ever with information about healthy eating and nutrition literally at our fingertips! There are ZERO excuses for this. None. Not one! Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. Get off the couch and walk to the end of the block and back. Tomorrow do it twice. The next day go all the way around the block. Before you know it you’ll have made it up to a mile, you will feel better, heck you might even find yourself in a better mood!

What do you have to lose by opting for healthier choices?

Your stubborn commitment to “By God it’s my body and I’ll eat what I want!”? Really? Is that worth dying for? Because you are you know. At the very least you are living a life severely limited at the very least mobility wise.

For those who mount the argument “Well my grandparents ate like this and lived to be 102 years old!” there is a HUGE difference between the quality of the food your grandparents ate and the over-processed, genetically-modified, chemistry experiments that pass for food on most tables these days. They ate real food grown in real soil and real meat that came from animals who also ate real food – food they were intended to eat. Not cud-chewing cattle all but force fed processed, hormone laced, grain-esque mash. Tell me, have you ever in your life seen a cow in a rural setting mosey up to an ear of corn? No. No you have not. Cows eat grass and green plants. Not processed, hormone laced, ground up corn – cobs and all!  (I have since been corrected on this misapprehension and informed that cows in natural habitats do in fact like corn.  Today’s New Thing To Learn!)
And I seriously doubt your grandparents ate that Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast then sat on their butts eight hours a day at work chugging down carbonated beverages like water (instead of water), then came home and plopped down in front of a television and did nothing until rolling into bed. Nope! I’m willing to bet that Grandma and Grandpa were up before the chickens and had already engaged in more physical activity in the first hour of their day than most of us do in a week. THEN they had that big ol’ country breakfast before going back out and busting their butts – and burning off those eggs and bacon and toast – on their feet all day long!

Yes. I feel beyod passionately about this.
We are, as a nation, committing geno-suicide one bite of crap food at a time!
One grain of bleached – yes I said bleached as in what you use in your washing machine with your socks and jock straps – grain at a time.
One genetically modified, infused with squid dna and god-knows-what-else piece of “fruit” at a time. (If fruit is even makes the menu.)
One high fat, high sugar, high sodium, processed to near unrecognizability box-o-What-Is-That at a time.
One Full-Day’s-Supply-of-Fat/Sugar/Sodium laden “convenient” drive-thru meal at a time. The drive-thru because God forbid we should actually get out of our vehicles and walk a few steps before sucking down a few thousand calories.

We are Facebooking, YouTubing, and Must-See-Tv-ing our bodies into padded, barely mobile caricatures of what the miracle of the human body is supposed to resemble.
I’m not saying hop up and run a full-blown marathon right now.
Just stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and take a walk. Go to the corner and back today. Go to the next corner and back tomorrow. Maybe get crazy and go around the block on Sunday. Just move! Do one more movement every day and I promise you in six months you won’t recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror.

Not sure how to eat healthy or exercise? Here, let me provide you with a few (absolutely free) resources.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Rozien provide the basics of their YOU On A Diet book at RealAge.com absolutely free.

Two words: Prevention Magazine. You will find everything there. Fitness, Weight Loss, Nutrition. Absolutely free of charge!

Eat Better America From what I can see it is completely free.

Fave Diets does a great job making traditional recipes healthier and has a free newsletter that generally has at least twenty recipes daily.

Check out this article from Fit Watch’s Website about 10 ways you can exercise at home without equipment. (Imagine my shock when “Walking” was at the top of the list!)

Are you going to see an immediate difference over night? Nope. Sorry. Doesn’t work like that. I’ve been busting my tail running three times a week for the past six weeks and I’ve barely lost five pounds on the scale.
But!
My body moves better.
My clothes are starting to fit looser.
I sleep better.
I just feel better.

And who doesn’t want to feel better?
To be able to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for air.
To be able to stand up without your lower back, knees, and ankles letting you know about it.
To eat a meal and not have to unbutton your pants or feel like you have a brick in your stomach.

And yes, it really is Just. That. Simple!

P.S. If your blood is boiling and you’re ready to throttle me ask yourself a couple questions before you utterly blast me (not that I really expect people reading my Running Blog to do that…):
WHY am I angry?
When that happens to me and I take that little minute to step back and ask that question I almost always find the answer to be that I am angry because there is some truth I don’t want to face in what I have read.Maybe that’s just me…

3 thoughts on “This is Off The Running Path

  1. Regardless of what anyone else says to you, or anyone who blasts you for what you’ve posted … I applaud you for getting the word out there.

    I had a heart attack at 32 years old because of uncontrolled diabetes I didn’t even realize I had. I was 300 pounds and so miserable, I HATED myself. But then my partner got sick and I realized I had to do something to save MY life so that I could be around to share HERS.

    I cheated, I admit it … I had gastric sleeve surgery in March of 2011 but PRIOR to that, I lost 20 pounds on my own and I’m down almost 80 pounds SINCE. However, the single most important thing that I do for myself EVERY DAY is get up and get to the gym … move … even if I can’t get to the gym that day, I walk as much as I can … thankfully I live in an area where I can afford to take my car off the road and use public transportation to get places, but I still have to walk to GET to the bus or the train.

    In the 6 months since my surgery, I’m down from a snug size 24 to a snug 12 … I’m down from 289 to 203 … I eat healthier, I feel better and now I’m planning a wedding for next year. NONE of this would be possible without having realized I was slowly committing suicide by fast food.

    So, now that I’ve babbled incessantly … allow me to be the first to say Congratulations for being disturbed enough by what you read to actually share it … hopefully, someone else will feel the same and share this story with THEIR friends … and then maybe someone’s life will be saved.

  2. Well, you KNOW my feelings on this. I’m doing what I can to eat healthier, encouraged by my now-running wife, and I’m getting MUCH better at it, and choosing the more healthy options when I can.

  3. I agree with 98% of what you said… right up to the point where you said it’s not more expensive to eat healthy. In sad fact, it is. ‘Organic’, meaning not genetically-modified or mixed with something-or-other, food is more expensive than the ‘standard’ food on our shelves. And people who are at or below the poverty line will purchase whatever gets them the most ‘food’ for their dollar. Real, non-reconstituted orange juice is between $5 and $7 a gallon, whereas you can get a 3-liter of generic cola for $1. Even comparing apples to apples (not oranges), organic, grain-fed beef runs $15 to $20 a pound for New York Strip, whereas the ‘lesser’ beef is about $7 to $11. This is not an excuse for not eating healthy, but you can see the allure for someone making minimum wage and feeding four kids.
    But they still need to exercise, not sit on their fat asses playing HALO and watching ‘reality’ TV.

Thanks for your encouragement!

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