Take charge of your diet and live happy and healthy forever!
Did you ever play that silly party game called 'Would You Rather'? It worked like this: You would be offered two completely awful choices - equally ludicrous, usually gross, and often involving sex - and you had to choose which option you would rather take. A very mild example is: Would you rather live the rest of your life with no electricity or with no plumbing?
The choices were not meant to be realistic - that would be no fun. The choices were designed to compel you to define yourself. What kind of grossness would you tolerate over another kind of grossness?
Part of the game was that you HAD to make a choice. You couldn't just say, "Oh, that's too ridiculous - I'm not answering!". You HAD to choose, lest you be labeled a major party-pooper.
If you think about it, we are constantly playing 'Would You Rather', every time we make any choice at all in our lives. No matter how big or small, we still make hundreds of choices every day between things we'd rather have over other things.
Would you rather take a cab to work or walk? Would you rather save this money or renovate the kitchen? Would you rather color your hair or let it go gray?
We're making choices all the time - they create our lives - and, usually, we have no trouble imagining the potential consequences of our actions. Being willing and able to understand the consequences that accompany each choice makes it easier to decide what to do.
When it comes to our diets, though, it seems like we're only willing to let our imaginations go so far. We know - vaguely - that we're supposed to eat 'healthy' and exercise....or else 'bad things' will happen.....but we don't want to dive too deeply into what those 'bad things' might be.
Why is that?
I'm sure a big reason why we don't like to think about the consequences of an unhealthy diet is because it's a total downer! Nobody wants to dwell on the idea that they might wind up hospitalized, on medication, living out the rest of their days in a slow, steady decline. It's scary, scary, scary stuff - I know.
There is another factor at play, as well, in my opinion and it's this: If we really stopped and considered what we're putting in our mouths and what it's doing to our bodies....we might have to make some different choices at our very next meal. And many, many people don't want to 'give up' their favorite foods, no matter what the potential impact. The pleasure of eating sugar, salt, and fat NOW, outweighs the potential horrific impact it's having on your body - and how it might effect the rest of your life.
We like to define 'freedom' as being able to do whatever we want without restriction. When it comes to food, however, I think that's a really narrow definition of freedom. I am free to eat pie and tater tots all day long if that's my choice (it is not) - but I am also currently free from medications, I am free from physical impediments, I am free from any chronic diet-related disease. For me, at least, I would like to enjoy that kind of freedom well into my old age. Tater tots will always exist. I will not.
I think we need to take a lesson from the party version of 'Would You Rather' and kick it up a notch. We owe it to ourselves to be a bit more brazen and bold about defining the consequences of our food choices. The fact is that the choices you make at each snack, at each meal, on each trip to the grocery store are having a real, tangible, undeniable, provable impact on your body. These choices are also determining the trajectory for the rest of your life. You may not want to know too much about it, but whatever food you're choosing - consciously or not - is having an effect on your insides and determining how you will grow old.
But just like in the party version of 'Would You Rather', I'm sorry to say that you cannot be a party-pooper here! Your life is happening. You have to play, and you have to choose!
So here's MY version of 'Would You Rather'. I invite you to play whenever you are about to make a food decision:
- Would you rather be fit, lean, vital, and energetic......or overweight, sluggish, exhausted, and nutrient deficient?
- Would you rather spring out of bed every morning, clear-eyed and bouncy....or wake up needing coffee and sugar before you can function?
- Would you rather eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains....or take prescription drugs every day to control your high blood pressure and cholesterol?
- Would you rather pay for healthy, organic food....or medications and doctor bills?
These 'would you rathers' may seem severe - but when we strip away our resistance and our excuses, I believe that these really are the choices that face us when we eat.
Do you agree? Disagree? What questions do you ask yourself before you eat something or buy something at the grocery store? How do you decide what you will eat or not eat?
I'd love to hear from you!