The biggest problem we face in America is our darned abundance. I don’t mean we as a people, but we as a bunch of individuals. Each one of us has to deal with the fact that there is enough pre-packaged, tasty food here in America to choke a horse. But we’re choking ourselves. The supermarkets sell you food that makes them money, but doesn’t necessarily make you healthy. Dunkin Donuts will give you a deal with a bagel with the coffee, but Dunkin Donuts doesn’t necessarily know what all you’ve eaten that day.
The diet and fitness industries mean well, but they take the same approach to marketing products that the food industry takes. They are all competing for your attention. Your attention is the most important thing you have in this American economy. Sometimes, it seems companies will sacrifice everything for your attention, including your good health.
The moral of the story is that you must be responsible for your own health. You’ve heard that many times before, and you’ve probably tried it over and over, but our abundance, ironically, acts to defeat those best efforts. “Diet” food is sold to you because it claims it is healthy, but that one food does not know what else you’ve eaten. You know, so you have to make that decision.
Exercise gadgets look like great ideas on TV, or on the end-cap at Target, and that one exercise gadget might be very useful, but it doesn’t know what else you like to do, or how busy you are. You know how busy you are, so you are responsible for taking care of yourself. I know we all know that, but the
America provides an amazingly easy lifestyle for the vast majority of us. There are forms of transportation to convey us from one place to another. Many of us sit at a desk, and factory work is not as physically demanding as it once was. We don’t pump water out of the earth by hand, and we don’t chop wood very often. Hell, I hardly have to type anymore.
The easier life is, the more difficult it is to stay active and physically fit. The more abundant convenient food is, the greater the challenge to eating a nutritious diet.
In spite of our culture encouraging healthy living, and the marketplace’s attempts to sell us a better lifestyle, it often works against us. We show up to fight the good fight, but it turns out we brought a knife to a gun fight. The companies selling us convenient health food and fitness contraptions are selling us the idea that our health can be bought in a store.
But it can’t be bought in a store. We have to earn our health and well-being every day. We have to plan our meals, and plan some activity, to care for ourselves.
It bears repeating: we have to care for ourselves, because we can’t buy our health in a store.
Yes, we have to earn our health and well-being every day; the good news is that it’s simple to achieve, once you embrace the idea that you are responsible for it. You don’t have to do it alone, and you can seek help. The solution can be as elaborate as you want, or as simple as you want.
We’ll talk about that over the next few weeks. It will likely take a while to earn your good health back. The longest journeys begin with the first step. You’ve taken that step by showing up here.