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#1 Enemy of our Health: Voluntary Disempowerment

The driving engine behind our emotions, behavior and intelligence is our brain and therefore the fuel we put in this engine is of the utmost importance.  Too often people underestimate to what extent refined carbs and especially sugar affect their moods and behavior.  Sugar is cancer’s favourite food and one of the most forgotten culprits for depression, anxiety, violence and in the most basic terms, brain decay.  I think (I hope) that with the advent of movies like ‘Super Size Me’, ‘Food Inc.’ and the increasing awareness of the prices we are paying for the convenience of quick and convenient foods borne of industrialized agriculture, we are beginning to take greater responsibility for our health.  No one is going to do that for us. Unfortunately, the answers to our health questions are often so glaringly obvious it’s embarrassing for us not to heed them and act.  Instead we spend tons of money on cancer research and pill popping, rather than being responsible for our own health.  We cannot continue to put the responsibility in the hands of doctors, of pharmaceutical companies or the FDA.  The responsibility has to lie with us.  A doctor recently told me that it’s very frustrating for him to present lifestyle changes to patients that could significantly improve their condition, but they refuse to act on advice, opting for the easy pill instead (a pill which in most cases makes their condition worse and at best certainly doesn’t heal it at the root level.)  The irony was that this very doctor has numerous lifestyle choices that could be exacerbating or most probably creating the condition he is medicating for.  He chooses the quick pill as well. 

To think that the onus is on our doctors or the FDA to keep us healthy or arm us with the information we need is a fool’s notion.  Good health requires 3 steps: education, awareness and action.  Tragically, most don’t get to these stages – especially the last stage of action – until the cumulative effects of their lifestyles have caught up with them.  It is so easy to stick our head in the sand and continue eating sugar, fats and salt and drinking alcohol and caffeine and pretending we are “healthy” then suddenly being surprised when we have high-blood pressure medication or struck with cancer or diabetes.  Throwing money at research is only a small part of our chosen delusion.  Almost the entire solution lies in our own responsibility and power.  But a sick patient is a paying customer, so health for health’s sake is often not the highest priority. 

For instance, dumping sugar in our fuel tank which has a tremendous influence on what we say, do and how we feel is akin to dumping nail polish remover in the fuel tank of a car.  That would be poison for the engine and you just would not do it if you were intending for the car to run at its optimum level.  Why are we pouring the equivalent into our bodies? Do we even care or are we just choosing to remain in denial and continue lying to ourselves about the inevitable of such prolonged behavior?

Unfortunately, the addictive qualities of drugs like caffeine and sugar make the chasm from knowing something to actually doing something proactive a little more difficult to traverse.  I made the mistake of having several cookies this afternoon and I feel awful.  And that awful feeling has nothing to do with guilt, it is entirely scientific and phsyiological. Sugar sets off alarm bells in our body as it combats the foreign invader and wreaks havoc on our immune system – which is something we kinda need when staving off diseases that could potentially kill us. Check out some of the phsyiological affects sugar is doing to our brains which affect our very humanity. 

The most empowering state I think a human being can be in (behind creativity) is of high consciousness and being fully awake.  To continue our modes of common eating habits with our daily doses of white flour, sugar, caffeine and alcohol is to be asleep.  Even if we arm ourselves with knowledge and are still not acting on it we are not living in a fully conscious state.  What is the use? you may ask.  Who cares?  I just don’t want to live like a nun or a puritan all my life and I’ll eat what I want to.  To continue in this erroneous way of thinking is to deny that we are here for a very express purpose.  We are spirits in a body.  Superior upkeep of our body’s operating system and engine, the brain, is 100% necessary for everything we do: building, creating, fulfilling our mission on this planet, sharing resources with others and last but not least loving.  The longer we deplete our health by stupid choices and remain in denial, the bigger the price we will pay in the near or distant future.  But make no mistake, that price will be paid.  How tragic when the sum of our foolish choices which opposed health hit us only as life becomes increasingly precious to us (read: as we get older.)  We ask ourselves, if only I had taken better care of myself when I was younger, if only I had taken the information I knew of and acted upon it.  There is only one guarantee – and that is we don’t begin to see what a delicate and precious machine the carriage for our soul is until it is threatened, and often it is too late.

Why not do everything in our power now to reverse bad health before it comes knocking on our door.  That way we don’t have to greet the knock with, “Oh, you’re here already?  I kind of suspected you were coming.  Guess it’s time to wake up and start paying attention now.”  Time waits for no one, so let’s bend it to our will and take the best possible care of our bodies so we have more time to enjoy this miraculous place and more to give.  We might not be thinking of our choices in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s – some not even until their 50’s.  But when illness strikes and we are shaken awake loudly, we will regret not heeding the whispers, myself included. Let’s heed them now.  Patient heal thyself.

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