I was recently disturbed by something I saw on Facebook. (I know I shouldn’t take things so seriously, but, honestly, some things are just disturbing.)
One of the people in my timeline had posted a status update about some fitness program he is doing, how he loves it, is losing weight, his cholesterol is going down, you know, the kind of weird post that only fitness fanatics can love.
In the comments section, the conversation went something like this:
- Commenter: Wow, that sounds great, Original Poster. I have been looking for something like that myself.
- Original Poster: It is great, Commenter. You should give it a try!
- Commenter: Maybe I’ll do that. Is it easy? It has to be easy, or I won’t do it.
- Original Poster: It’s not easy, but anything worth doing isn’t easy.
And the Commenter was not heard from again.
Getting fit is definitely not easy. It takes hard work to build muscle, because the only way to build it is to tear it down first by lifting heavy objects.
But wait a minute.
Getting fit is one thing. Fitness involves building muscle and aerobic stamina. There is almost no way to make that easy. It takes time and effort, like one of the fitness programs in the ads on this page.
However, getting healthy is a different matter.
I mean, sure, they tend to go hand in hand, but, honestly, you can get healthy — e.g. get your blood pressure and cholesterol down, avoid heart disease, severely lower your risk of cancer — relatively easily. All you have to do is change the way you eat.
You are going to eat anyway, right? 75% to 80% of your body composition is determined by what you eat, right? So … why not just eat the right things? Assuming you don’t have access to some kind of magic wand, what can be easier than that?
Well, maybe it’s not so easy. After all, there are some things that make it difficult for people to change the way they eat.
- Ingrained beliefs – We learn what is good and bad for us as children, and what we learned way back then tends to stick. We have a hard time overcoming those beliefs that were hammered into us all those years ago.
- Disbelief – How can being healthy be as simple as changing what I put into my digestive tract?
- Not wanting to stand out – As humans living in society, we tend to be continually influenced by peer, family, and other social pressures, and many of us simply want to fit in. Why stand out from the crowd because we “eat weird”?
- Playing the odds – That [insert ailment or disease here] won’t happen to me, right?
The funny thing is that most of those barriers to healthy eating go away once we suffer some kind of medical trauma, like a heart attack or stroke. Once that happens, oh, yeah, then we are ready to make a change.
That is kind of like installing the alarm after the burglary. Sure, you may help prevent future problems, but you are lucky that first incident didn’t put you under.
I prefer to take preventive measures to avoid the issue altogether, and the current route I am taking toward staying healthy is a plant-based diet. When I use the term “diet”, by the way, I am referring to a way of eating, not a short-term plan.
Why plant-based? Check out this short written interview with T. Colin Campbell for a quick rundown.
Plant-based is my choice, but yours might be different.
Whatever you choose, please know that you can be much more healthy if you simply change the way you eat! Be conscious of what you put into your mouth. Stay away from all that refined and processed food. Try to eat whole foods. If you include meat, try to get the good stuff without all the drugs and other gunk in it. Keep dietary fats low.
Eat to satisfy your hunger, not your emotions, and, while you won’t see the changes overnight, you may be surprised how quickly your health improves.