There is an old expression that describes contentment as “sitting fat and happy.” Our modern lifestyle seems geared toward having both, often at the expense of your health and longevity. While the United States has one of the most sophisticated healthcare delivery systems in the world, we rank 37th in overall health according to the World Health Organization. Why is that?
Look around you. We live in an age that is designed to sabotage our health. Cheap, poor quality food is readily available at every turn. Our jobs are slowly moving away from physical labor toward a computer driven economy that inhibits exercise. We even have moving sidewalks. So, the question becomes is “sitting fat and happy” the picture you had for your life?
Let’s look at the results of a sedentary lifestyle. There are endless known effects of lack of exercise and poor diet, including:
1. Increased risk of heart disease
2. Increased risk of diabetes
3. Increased risk of cancer
4. Increased risk of stroke
5. Decreases immune system
6. Sleep difficulty
8. Digestive problems
9. Decreased life expectancy
10. General decline in health
The “fat and happy” lifestyle is a recipe for disaster. While you may enjoy temporary satisfaction, you are setting yourself up for long-term failure.
Unfortunately, many people are led to believe that being healthy is out of their reach. They’ve been told that illness is just inevitable and they are destined to suffer the rest of their life with some form of chronic infirmity. Worse, many of the people telling them this are the very people they trust with their health decisions.
The truth is exactly the opposite and you have more power than you know. Being healthy is a choice as much as being sick is your decision. Your body is a self healing machine and functions optimally with adequate fuel and proper maintenance. Further, where you are in your health right now is more likely a reflection of the decisions you have made up to that point rather than an accident of genetics or fate. The biggest detriment to being healthy may be you. Lack of exercise, poor diet, high amounts of stress, and poor nervous system health all contribute to a decline in your overall well being.
If we’re told that as we age getting sick is normal, does that make the 90 year old healthy individual on no medications abnormal? When did sick become the new normal? Where you are in your health is a product of the choices you make, a cause and effect. If you choose to exercise or not, there will be an effect. If you choose to eat junk food or vegetables, there will be an effect. If you are able to manage your stress or not, there will be an effect…and so on.
Disease does not occur in a vacuum. It’s the deliberate result of years of poor decisions and neglect…years of “sitting fat and happy.” You need to understand that the decisions you make now about your health may determine whether you spend the later years of your life sick and tired or fit and healthy. The decisions you make now may even shorten or prolong your life.
Even if you are sick, there are ways to restore your health. No, taking ibuprofen for pain, an acid reducer for acid reflux, or an antibiotic for a sinus infection does not make you healthy. You can’t get health from chemicals in a bottle. Medications are only designed to alter body functions in order to manage a disease process…cause and effect. They are not vital nutrients. In other words, you’re still “fat” (or, more appropriately, sick) but at least you’re happy. Health can only come from one place…from inside you. The decision you have to make is whether you are willing to make the good decisions to take care of yourself as an insurance policy for your future.
The ironic thing about health is that most people know what they need to do to be healthy. They know they need to stop eating the junk. They know they need to eat more fruits and vegetables. They know they need to get more exercise. They know they should take care of their spines. Many of the patients I talk to even know that the medications they take are not the solution they are looking for. Still, they choose not to do anything about being well and prefer to live “fat and happy.”
Each day is a new cross-road in your life. Each day, you have the option to take care of yourself or not. Keep in mind that every day you choose not to act builds upon the next. Ultimately, you need to decide for yourself whether you are going to live each day “fat and happy” or fit and healthy.