Over the last month I have been challenged to rise above the current standard I have set for myself, and to go beyond the complacency that can so easily encompass me. There are times in my life where I sit in a place of comfort and become complacent to stay where I am knowing that true success and breakthrough in any area comes when we get out of our comfort, or complacency, zone.
As I'm challenged to rise above my current standards in the areas of work, relationships, education, or whatever area I feel isn't progressing as it should, I am reminded of our society's health and how we have fallen asleep and become complacent with being unhealthy and overweight. As we become sicker and bigger, we don't just suffer from the repercussions from being obese, we suffer from the repercussions from complacency we have towards our health and well-being. Obesity is therefore not only a pandemic of unwanted health problems, but a pandemic of complacency.
Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults with at least 300 million of them being classified as obese. Global obesity rates have tripled since 1980 and continue to climb as time goes on.
The generation of children today have been expected to be the first generation that will not surpass their parents in age because of lifestyle related health conditions. The leading cause of death in North America is heart disease and we are seeing children as young as 8-10 years old developing plaque in their arteries leading to the development of type 2 diabetes. Children are developing diseases that only people used to get in their late 50's at a time when type 2 diabetes wasn't common at all, which was less than 50 years ago.
It is predicted that in the next 5-10 years, 1 in 3 people living in the United States will have Type 2 diabetes with the rate of obesity that has taken over since 1980. The US has the highest obesity rates in the world with nearly 2/3 of the population over the age of 20 being classified as overweight, and half of those people being classified as obese.
America will spend more money on guns and military than they will on education and the health of their future generations. They would rather spend money on creating weapons of mass destruction that kill thousands of innocent people before they take a step back and look at the number one killer of their very own population, heart disease.
I'm not picking on the US alone. Canada has been reported to have over 8 million overweight or obese adult males over the age of 18, and over 6 million overweight or obese females of the same age category. Over 450,000 Canadian youth have been classified as overweight or obese with 60-90% of them staying this way into adulthood.
I look around at the way people live, and their health, and am overwhelmingly saddened over the complacency people have with the health of their bodies and the health of their children. I won't pretend that I'm not appalled when I see a child no older than 10 years old who is overweight or even obese, not out of judgment, but out of a sadness of the complete disregard for the precious life they've been given, and the life that will be wasted because their parents didn't want to rise above the standard that the world, that the government, that the food industry has set for us. I am disgusted that we have been allowed, and even encouraged, to eat utter garbage over the past 50 years from people that knew the repercussions but decided to turn a blind eye to make a profit.
If we all don't make a conscious effort to rise above our current system's standards, we will all become statistics of our modern day diseases. If you don't take control over your health right now, your health will take control over you.
Don't become another statistic because you couldn't rise above your complacency to health. Have you no passion for life, have you no desire to see your children flourish, have you no passion to live a full life free from disease? Why have we become so complacent to live short, unhealthy and miserable lives? It's time to wake up out of your sleep and start to become aware of what you're doing, and what you refuse to do in order to be healthy.
It's not groundbreaking news that we have an obesity pandemic throughout our nation, and as we get bigger and more unhealthy, we get to witness complacency first hand from our very own lack of efforts to take better care of the lives we've been given. I have to be brutally honest when I'm talking about the need we have as a society to fight for our health and the quality of our lives. We are robbing ourselves and our families of a life without disease and without substance, and we are robbing ourselves of an abundant and fruitful life that could be easily obtained if we chose not conform to what marketing tells us to eat and do, and if we didn't cram junk into our mouths just because someone said it was "healthy" for us.
Being healthy comes down to three things: the health of our physical body, the health of our mental state and the health of our spirit. If one lacks, they all lack.
If you are careful about what you eat and exercise daily, but harbour resentment or bitterness against someone, the health of your body will deteriorate. You may not get type 2 diabetes, but your quality of life will not be at it's highest potential. Bitterness and resentment cause a stress response, and if that bitterness or resentment is harboured for long periods of time, we create chronic low level stress that doesn't go away. The longer we have stress hormones elevated in the body, the more damage we do on a physiological basis. The more stress we allow in our lives that is self-perpetuated, the more we foster an environment for disease.
If you are a loving person with a beautiful spirit, who puts other people's needs before your own but you don't take care of your physical body by either eating foods that are damaging or by not taking time to exercise or focus on your own health, every area suffers even though you are a kind and loving person. Every time you put someone else's needs before your very own health, you create the environment for disease in the body. I'm not suggesting that we all become narcissistic and only look out for ourselves, but if you can't even keep your own body healthy, how do you expect to help other people? How can you take care of someone else's needs if you can't even take care of yourself?
We have to find harmony between spirit, soul and body if we want better quality of life. We have to find a balance between all three levels if we want our health to flourish.
We all want to be healthy, yet we are unwilling to do the work to get there because we have become conformed to the way society thinks. We opt for a path of least resistance relying on the indoctrination we receive from the food industry, and the government to tell us what we should or shouldn't eat.
Here's a helpful tip: the government and the food industry don't care about your health, they only care about dollars. You are another number, not a person. You are not significant to anyone in the government, food industry or health care system if you aren't making them money. We make the government and the food industry exceedingly wealthy when we conform to eating the foods they tell us to, the very same foods that are damaging to our health, and we make them even more money when we are chronically sick and need to spend millions of dollars on lifestyle related prescription medication. You are only an asset when you are sick because sick people need medication, not healthy people, and more medication means more money spent by guess who? YOU!
Every time you pick up processed foods with health claims on them, you buy into an industry that doesn't want to keep you healthy at all. Michael Pollen notes something very interesting in his documentary In Defence of Food when he says "the more health claims a food has, generally the worse that food is for you". Notice how broccoli or apples don't have health claims on their packages? That's because they don't come in packages. The food speaks for itself. The next time you go to grab for that "low fat" yogurt, or "cholesterol reducing" cereal, remember that the more health claims a food has on it's package, generally the worse it is for you.
If you want to rise above your current standard of health, you've got to stop buying food that doesn't lend itself to building up the integrity of your body. If you just cut out processed foods and refined sugar all together, it would nearly be impossible for you to be unhealthy or overweight.
You choose how healthy you will be by the food you put in your mouth. If you want to know how to eat healthy, eat real food. Stop buying processed, packaged, low fat, health claiming junk food. Stop buying convenient foods that are meant to be thrown in the microwave when you're in a hurry and start taking the time and energy eating deserves. Choose whole, natural foods that take time and effort to prepare. You have the time to eat healthy, you just need to make the time to properly prepare food.
It's time to purpose in yourself to rise above complacency and start to walk in the health and fruitfulness of life that we were intended to have.
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