Being Healthy

So, this weekend I went out to Montana for my grandmother’s funeral. Even though it was sad, it was somewhat of a relief to know that she is finally resting and at peace. And it was great to see my family that’s spread out all over the world.

And it’s kinda gorgeous out there this time of year…

I’m going to go on a bit of a ramble about health and nutrition, and just want to start off by saying that these are just my opinions, and I am NOT a registered dietician or a doctor or anything legit. Besides a fitness and food fanatic that is. Which makes me somewhat qualified to speak my mind. On my blog. So here we go.

For years, my grandparents have been in poor health. My grandfather has had multiple rounds of cancer, kidney issues, back pain, hip replacements, you name it, while my grandmother suffered from diabetes and towards the end of her life developed dementia. Much like Erica mentioned last week, I always assumed that these things ran in my family and I was more susceptible to diabetes and other health issues. But since I’ve become more educated about physical activity and nutrition, I’m sort of realizing that a lot of their health problems (and many of our nations’ health problems) could have been avoided just by exercising and eating well. I know that this isn’t rocket science, and I shouldn’t be credited for making such an earth shattering discovery (…you can credit me if you want), but it really opens up your eyes when it hits so close to home.

When my grandparents’ generation was growing up and raising kids in the 1950’s and 60’s, there wasn’t much research and education about nutrition and physical activity. As a result, much of that generation developed poor eating habits that stuck with them for life. And look at all of the health problems that most of our grandparents are faced with! Look in your grandparents’ (or parents’) kitchens, and count how many pill bottles are in there. For everything- blood pressure, heart rate, diabetes, arthritis, constipation (ew), you name it. I just can’t help but think that maybe if doctors prescribed eating well and going for a walk a few times a week, the number of pill bottles would go way down. I’ve been studying for my personal training test and there’s tons of evidence (by people way smarter than me) about the direct link between preventing chronic disease and nutrition. So WTF?? I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but why isn’t this a bigger issue? Why isn’t everyone waking the f*ck up?!

Also- do you know that only 31% of adult Americans engage in physical activity 3x a week? THIRTY ONE PERCENT is SO pathetic! And that’s for only 20-30 minutes at a time. Is it really any wonder that we have the largest rate of obesity and the biggest slew of health problems in the world? I don’t think so.

When people ask me why I work out so much, or why I eat Paleo, I always have the same response: “it makes me feel good”. And it does. But another reason I’ve been thinking of is that “because I can”. Because I’m still young, and am naturally the fittest and strongest I’ll ever be. Because I want to invest in my future and my health. Because I don’t want to end up like my grandparents (as much as I love them, SO so so much). I want to live for a long time, and I want my kitchen to be full of delicious, amazing food- not pill bottles.

What do you guys think about this? Am I being a b*tch? I feel like I got a little harsh at the end for criticizing my grandparents’ lifestyle, but I’m just trying to be honest and keep it real. Much like J-Lo, I’m all about keepin’ it real.

I’ll stop talking now and leave you with some eye candy from Montana.

Anyone else want to move?

-Emily

 

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17 thoughts on “Being Healthy

  1. See it’s funny, I see my grandparents as an example. Growing up in France, they had (still have) their own garden full of fruits and veggies and eat healthy real foods. They also maintained an active lifestyle by gardening, working on the house, going for walks etc
    I found that in Europe, and a lot of other non North American countries, our grand-parents had it right, before we were invaded by McDonalds haha So I found your perspective interesting.
    And I agree with you, e should commit to a healthy lifestyle now, while we are young. No point in waiting until you hit 40 or 50 and realize it’s time for damage control 🙂

  2. Great pics! I couldn’t agree more about committing to a healthy lifestyle. I think that is important and it will continue to grow in importance as our nation figures out how to stop this obesity epidemic. People need to be responsible for their own health and get out and move around! My grandparents are in good health but they certainly didn’t know as much as we did about the benefits of exercised and balanced diets, so I feel that we have an opportunity to live healthier and live longer if we step up to the plate.

  3. I totally agree with you! I don’t see how people don’t see eating terribly/not exercising as a bigger issue. It can solve SO many problems. But most people are lazy and would rather pop a pill. Or a lot of people are uneducated on the topic, or think that “Oh I’m eating lean cuisine and whole wheat chips, I’m healthy!” So frustrating.

    And those pictures are AWESOME. Sign me up for that move! 🙂

  4. So sorry to hear about your grandmother.

    I agree with your thoughts about why aren’t people doing more for their own health. I’m in medicine and it drives me crazy that most people’s medical problems are of the preventable kind and instead of changing their eating habits, exercising more, or quitting smoking, they keep coming back for more and more medications as they get sicker and sicker.

  5. It may be harsh, but it’s true. Unfortunately there is no money in telling people to work out and eat healthy, so the majority of doctors won’t prescribe such a simple remedy. I’ve seen people beat cancer, rid themselves of arthritis, diabetes, insomnia, depression, simply from changing what they eat and incorporating exercise into their daily lives. It doesn’t look the same for everyone, paleo, vegan, raw food, organic, gluten free, but if it makes you feel good that’s all that matters.

  6. I couldn’t agree MORE! Trust me. The majority of my family is overweight/obese and suffer from a wealth of health problems. I have to say there are just a spare few of us who have made eating well and fitness part of our daily regime. It should be obvious that we’re the healthiest of the bunch. It’s unnerving that their lack of knowledge (and willingness to learn) is going affecting their overall health and well being. Even more sad, considering they are my family members and despite what I say or do, they will stick to their old habits.

  7. I’m like a broken record with my parents about this. I do realize it takes years to break habits of 50+ years. I tell them things and send articles and they are slowly adapting. I have to remember that while exercise is routine for me (like brushing my teeth) it is a struggle for some people. Not all people release endorphins like we do…it’s tested that that ‘amazing’ effect exercise has on us is not common…hence why only 30% of people exercise. My husband is a great example….he exercises like 4 times a week but only because he knows he should. He doesn’t get that amazing after feeling like I do! We are lucky!

  8. Eating unhealthy is easy and tastes better. Plus there’s always the chance that you’ll get away scott free without any real health issues. Wishful thinking I guess. I was the same way when I was younger. I accepted the fact that there would be a good chance of getting some disease but I didn’t really care cause eating healthy disgusted me.

    I’m not like that no more but I don’t really care about my health, it just feels good. I eat and sleep well and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. The rest of my friends all have protruding guts but I understand. Unhealthy food is like a drug.

    I don’t believe exercising is as vital as eating well as long as your not totally sedentary. The healthiest people in the world eat healthy and only do moderate exercise like gardening.

  9. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother; I’m glad you had a nice visit out in Montana with your family though. I really agree what you are saying here. I hate it when people are drinking diet pop (which is NOT good for you!) and eating fast food still and think they are being “strict” about their diets because they know they have issues in their families. Its so sad to think thats how they view healthy eating/living. I try to not preach to people though (not that you are! I mean to my friends), now that I have been living a much healthier lifestyle now, so I find myself biting my tongue a lot.

  10. So you KNOW I had to respond to this one! There are a lot of things I could say to this post, but I am going to take the road less traveled. With a MS in Nutrition and as an RD-to-be I live to tell people to eat well, exercise, and live longer. But the truth is, telling people is one thing – living by example is another. (Most) Doctors and health care professionals do tell their patients to eat well and exercise, but when they themselves are overweight they are not leading by example. In addition, our healthcare system has absolutely no provisions for preventive care – so while the government will pay for some to take diabetes medication, they will not pay for that person to meet with me (or another nutrition professional) for weight loss counseling to avoid a diabetes diagnosis. Finally, and this is a point that even I have to remind myself of, it isn’t as easy as we make it look. I sat in a room of RDs-to-be, like myself, on Monday, and when a speaker asked which of us followed the national guidelines for physical activity, less than 1/4 of the room raised their hands. Now, imagine me telling an overweight individual with a new health diagnosis to exercise that much when a room full of 20 and 30 somethings who study nutrition can’t do it! Tough sell. It’s hard to get in 60 mins a day. It’s hard for someone who drinks 64 oz of Coca cola to switch to water. It’s hard for a parent who can hardly afford kids clothes to start rolling around in Greek yogurt. But we can teach people to try. And I applaud you for being one of those individuals who dedicates herself to making other people healthier.

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