Thursday, March 21, 2013

Covering the Basics, Part 3: Weight of the Nation

I watched the HBO documentary Weight of the Nation, Part 1: Consequences the other night with lurid interest.  It was so compelling, I've posted the entire series here.  I hope it's as much of a learning moment for you as it was for me.

My remarkably healthy Low Country childhood coupled with lots of quality time as an undergrad in the happy health-obsessed hippie enclave of Austin Texas made me more aware of good nutrition and healthy heart choices than most people I knew.  And I was always too body conscious to let myself go completely. But so what. What difference does any of that make if I am forever at the mercy of a bag of baked Cheetos.

I struggled through The Clean Program three times before things began to click.  This last go round has really solidified quite a few things. Thankfully, I've decided to drop some bad habits permanently. At this point, I'm beginning to get my body back -- but I have to fight for it, every day.  And that's really where the rubber hits the road.  It takes hard work and discipline to get healthy and stay that way, and most people aren't willing to make that sacrifice.  On the other hand, I shouldn't have to fight this hard to eat clean food.

It was easier when the food you ate wasn't genetically modified to compel you to keep eating it. It was easier when a snack meant an apple and not a bag of Doritos.  It was easier when everything wasn't loaded with salt and fat and sugar.  It was easier when so much of what you consumed wasn't an allergen.  It was easier when we weren't so sedentary, when work meant that you physically exhausted yourself everyday (like a cowboy or a logger or a steel mill worker or a fieldhand).

Here's my rule, plain and simple: real food doesn't need a nutrition label. From now on, I want to eat real food.

Part 1: Consequences

Part 2: Choices

Part 3: Children in Crisis

Part 4: Challenges

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