This past week I've spent time on a cardio intensive care unit at the bedside of my elderly father who's been battling pneumonia. The first night, as the early morning dawn was filterhing through a closed blind, I finally fell asleep curled up on a hard chair as I snuggled three pillows that a nurse kindly provided for my comfort.
One has much time to think in ICU as there’s not much else to do except watch the beeping monitors and listen to the quiet scuffles at the nurses’ stations. However, every once in a while a new arrival is wheeled past by an entourage of attendants; fresh from the recovery room.
I was talking with one of the nurses, and she was telling me that most all of the patients in that particular unit were transferred there directly from heart bypass surgery. Looking through their glass doors, each appeared to be about my age; some looked a bit older, but most were "younger" looking. AND I'm sure that many will go right back to consuming chicken breasts, fries, and hot fudge sundaes as soon as they can get their hands on them again. After all, I’m almost certain that they were going to be sent home with a generous supply of Lipitor and Plavix so they could continue to participate in a gluttonous lifestyle.
I'm beginning to think that perhaps it’s unethical to consume foods that promote disease. It's an astronomical burden not only to our health care system, but to the families who care for, and financially support these loved ones.
I don't know, do we have a moral obligation to consider the well-being of others who may be left with the overwhelming responsibility of being a caregiver?
Do we have a moral obligation to not squander the world's food supply and financial resources upon ourselves?
Note the image above. The obese, depressed woman in the middle was me four years ago. Back then I had to consume nearly 3700 calories a day just to maintain 100 lbs of fat. Oops, pardon me, I’ll be politically correct and call it "adipose tissue". That's enough food to feed two or three people. Was that morally right?
Should any of us be devouring the resources of this world while children starve in third world countries; or worse yet, have no clean water to drink?
What is ethical?
Do we turn heads to the cries of the needy to indulge in pleasures that never satisfy?
Recently, I was on the Dr. Oz show. Yes, it was fun. Yes, it was a hoot to be able to inspire the women of America to shed pounds the safe and healthy way. No doubt about it, it was an experience of a lifetime; something that I can tell my future grandkids someday. Yet, I can't help but wonder why we, as a culture, have made eating for health such a negative, foreign thing as if it is to be avoided like the plague.
Eating for health is never a "have to" . . . . oh my, just the opposite. We have an amazing PRIVILEGE given to us!!!
It's a "get to" . . . . to know and apply information that will literally save us kazillions of dollars and millions of minutes of needless suffering and shame!
What a joy.
What a privilege.
What an indescribable blessing to have the gift of health available to us, literally, everyday for the rest of our lives!
For anyone discouraged. For anyone down-in-the-dumps. For anyone feeling like food cravings are just too big of an obstacle to successfully and permanently overcome - don't believe the lie. There are some real down-and-outers out there; be free by running in the opposite direction of their negativity, and tune into the voice of Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional recommendations instead! Don't get ensnared and entangled by their ignorant deceit. They are only satisfied when they have enticed you into their net of captivity.
The truth of the matter is . . . disease is just too big of an obstacle to deal with.
Repeat: Disease is just too big of an obstacle to deal with.
No human should suffer needlessly. Our bodies weren't made to lie in ICU beds on beautiful days in May, hooked up to machines, and caught in a vicious cycle of expensive medications, lab tests, and doctor appointments for the rest of our lives. No way! Our bodies were designed to function in full health. Vibrant health. Unburdened by rolls of fat, aches, pains, and chests cut open & torn apart to temporarily repair the senseless damage within. We are masterpiece works of art - designed for beauty, fresh air, and a fully functioning body!
Kick fat and disease out the door.
Go for it.
Don't hang out with those who think you are crazy for earning health back. Don't listen to those who think you are an odd-ball because you eat only when hungry. Turn a deaf ear to the naysayers. Cultivate new and healthy friendships; AND be willing to be laughed at, scoffed at, and ridiculed for living in health!
Be normal. Be free from addiction. Be vibrant. Be healthy!
Let's all replace the gluttonous hoarding of resources with selfless generosity by living in the best health that’s possible.
Freedom to all!
PS For those unfamiliar with my story, almost four years ago I lost 100 lbs (it took about a year); and most importantly, I got rid of toxic food cravings that controlled my life for over twenty years, high blood pressure, heart disease, and pre-diabetes. I had literally starved myself to obesity by eating the standard American diet.
My success tip is to follow Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional recommendations, no matter what.
No excuse, to not do it, or to give up, is a valid one . . . .for to live in denial of food addiction's power is to remain its prisoner.
image credits: children; flickr by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)