OK, I know this isn’t food. I have a brand-spanking-new recipe coming out tomorrow, though! Can we pretend like that makes up for me being so lazy this year? In my defense, the high from today all the way through the weekend isn’t supposed to crack 20 degrees. I’m hibernating.
Fist of all, thank you for all of the feedback I got from my rant the other day. I love a good debate…even though this blog is just supposed to be about food. No one is safe from politics anymore…I even get the occasional testy comment or email from a Vegan and want to be like, “Hey, dude(ette), I have Vegan recipes, too…” My favorites are the ones who still insist that I’m not going to Hell for killing animals (which is a view I disagree with but still respect), but that I’m going to Hell for advocating the consumption of too much fat and not enough whole grains. Hmm…I really need to get to church more often if this is some new Commandment I missed.
Look, as much as I want to just crawl into my little kitchen-hole and stay mum on the bigger issues, it’s getting harder and harder to do so. I eat this way not because it’s trendy, but because it made me and my family and my friends healthier. When I get hate mail telling me I’m a horrible person for advocating Paleo (even though, until now, I think I’ve been a jelluva lot less preachy than some) it grinds on me…and has gotten me thinking lately. Why is everyone so obsessed with “fixing” themselves while, at the same time, so effing bad at it? The point I would have liked to make the other day that I didn’t (got a little carried away with the I-hate-whiners-dealio…oops) was that if you’re going to be trying to better yourself, take a look at what is really important. Put down the Slim Fast Shake and pull up your credit report. Get a full-range check-up and actually have the doc explain your bloodwork to you. Sit down and talk to that strange dude that lives in your house (you may refer to him as your “hus-band“)…plan a date night, make time for board games, disconnect and *gasp* eat at the table. Together.
With regards to health, I won’t pretend to be an expert. While I do work in the health care field (I run the CLVIII supply chain for a Special Forces Group), I’m an English major (ouch) with a concentration in Philosophy (double ouch). But I do hold individual health near and dear to my heart–specifically personal responsibility for one’s own health. I won’t pretend to know what the answer is (I’d like to believe Paleo is the magic bullet because it has been such a life-altering change for me, but I do understand that everyone is different and that science is extremely dynamic and we are learning new things about ourselves every day). Whether you buy into the Paleo schtick or not, though, I’m schocked at how many of my peers have forsaken health insurance like Aviva and take little to no interest in their personal health (spoiler…this is NOT OK). I don’t care if you buy into the same methods as me or not…but don’t you dare try to tell me that you can be “healthy” (cue my Pinterest rant) and eat pizza and drink beer. Oh, “it’s only in moderation,” you say? Um, BS. If you truly don’t get why this way of thinking is just asinine, then…I give up. I resent having to pay for your pill box, but there’s only so far you can get eith some people. My own family was my test case–I got my pasta-chowing, beer-guzzling father on the wagon after a year of gentle nudging…turns out all he needed was a spring free of allergies to convince him that we had something good going here. On the other had, I’ve got friends and relative alike who will, to the day they die, throw the “I want to enjoy my life!” argument…um, are you REALLY “enjoying your life” 80 pounds heavier than you were less than a decade ago? Are you really “enjoying your life” when you’re too heavy to make it up a flight of stairs without wheezing like someone with TB? Is all that pizza and pasta worth the arthritis, hormonal roller coasters, acne, or the hours on the treadmill it takes you to keep the extra weight off? Granted, we have some legislation to get people on the insurance wagon, but what’s disconcerting is that even if you force people to be insured, you can’t make them give a sh*t. (If this is you…I suggest you get your head out of you-know-where and fix it.)
A reader sent me an infographic yesterday about a research project that had been done over the course of several years, following a large group of people who had made resolutions and set goals. Not many of them managed to keep their promises to themselves (shocker) but those who did (and the nature of the goals aside) were happier, healthier, and richer than those who didn’t. If you’re one of these folks who makes the same goddamn “resolution” every goddamn year…you should probably getting your priorities straight. Either you’re doing it wrong or what you’re striving for isn’t what you really want. With regards to health, well, you know how I feel about that–weight is not an effective measure of health. For the overweight and obese, it’s a great place to start, but the only way you’ll make sustainable change is to focus on your health and performance. For me, I try to get stronger every day. That was my “resolution” last year and since then I’m put 150 pounds (!) on my Crossfit Total. This year, I want to get even better. Boom.
No matter what you want to change this year, commit to it. Be realistic. Ask yourself the tough questions and be honest with yourself. Make a plan, and if it doesn’t work, try something else. Take a good, hard look at your priorities and stop kidding yourself. No problem has an instant fix. Stop pointing fingers at everyone and everything else besides you.
This year, take a little responsibility.