Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pick Your Hard

"Being healthy is hard. Being unhealthy is hard. Pick your hard." —Marilu Henner

Marilu is just jollying you along, folks. You wouldn't believe it, but being healthy isn't so hard. What is hard, I'll admit, is the initial step. That step . . . that's hard. But after? It snowballs into ease.
Here's what you can look forward to:
A study of more than 12,000 Australians revealed that the benefits of a produce-rich diet extend beyond physical health. With every added daily portion of fruits or vegetables (up to eight), the subjects' happiness levels rose slightly. The researchers calculated that if someone were to switch from a diet free of fruits and vegetables to eight servings per day, he or she would theoretically gain as much life satisfaction as someone who transitioned from unemployment to a job. The exact reason is unclear, but it may be related to the effect of carotenoid levels in the blood.—Samantha Rideout, Reader's Digest 
I was going about it wrong. I thought I had become a happy(er) person because I was making a point to be cheerful. I'm sure that helped, but burrowing daily through the vegetable crisper could have pushed it over the top.
Doctors, who were usually brought in to treat the aftermath, are now getting educated in healthy meals so they can, in turn, educate their patients.

Eight months ago, Mr. Adams learned during a health checkup for abdominal pain that he had Type 2 diabetes. He said his average blood sugar level was so high that the doctor was surprised he had not already lapsed into a coma. His hemoglobin A1C level — a lab test that shows the average level of blood glucose over the previous three months — was 17 percent, about three times normal. He wasted no time in tackling his disease with fervor. Spurning the American tendency to treat every ailment with medication, he instead explored the body’s ability to heal itself.
Mr. Adams, a 56-year-old former police captain, now needs a new publicity photo. He no longer resembles the roly-poly image on official posters. By adopting a vegan diet, preparing his own meals and working exercise into his everyday routines, he’s shed 30 pounds and completely reversed his diabetes, a pancreatic disorder that can lead to heart attacks, stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease, visual loss and cognitive impairment. Within three months, his A1C level was down to a normal 5.7.
(Exercise is 20% of a healthy lifestyle. Become friends with your local fruit store first before investing in a walking desk. Going vegan isn't required, either.) 
“I loved salt and sugar and often used candy to revive me when I felt lethargic,” Mr. Adams confessed. “But I discovered the human palate is amazingly adaptable, and after two weeks without salt or sugar, I no longer craved them.” With his new lifestyle, he said he has so much energy he no longer needs an edible midday pick-me-up.
It's schnorring time on PBS, so I was blasted with Dr. Joel Fuhrman reruns this past weekend. But hey, you already know about this annoying side of me by now.
And it really isn't hard for so long. Really


Anonymous said...

What I find hard about healthy eating is that food prep takes so much time.

Princess Lea said...

Why is it I never hear people say, "Going to the gym takes so much time?"

Plus, all that hauling groceries, chopping, stirring, etc. counts as exercise.

Anonymous said...

Going to the gym takes so much time :) And effort. Which is why I don't do it.

I didn't realize we were comparing healthy eating to exercise. I was comparing healthy eating to unhealthy eating. I try to achieve the former, but it definitely takes a lot more time than the latter, and a lot more effort.

Princess Lea said...

I have learned in my advanced age that the things in life worth having—relationships, skills, a well-stocked sock drawer—involve time and effort. You get what you pay for, a cheap person pays twice, you don't get something for nothing, etc.

If something is important enough to you, then the time and effort feels like time and effort well spent—not resented.

One more line: Whatever you do, you do for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree (although at different periods in life it is more doable than others; the
"busy" article you linked was very interesting :) ), but I was just objecting to your "it really isn't hard for long". It is. It always takes a nice amount of extra time and effort. If you don't have a firm and committed system in place and dedicate time to it, it slides. (And will sometimes slide even if you do.) I agree that it's worth it and important, but don't belittle the time and effort and make it sound so breezy.

Princess Lea said...

Oh, I seeeee. You apparently object to the fact that I'm not more of a Debbie Downer about pursuing a healthier lifestyle. That sure will get others interested: "It sucks, and it does not get better."

I am speaking from personal experience here—the operative word being "personal." It is no longer difficult, and hasn't been for years. Additionally, the other converts that I speak to share my perspective that their new habits aren't burdensome. As I wrote, initially the change was hard (for many) but swiftly becomes second nature (for many).

That is my experience. You cannot expect me to write a blog about your experiences, can you?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I give up. You seem determined to misread what I was trying to say. You wrote a blog post where you stated in very strong terms that only the initial step of starting to eat healthy is hard, and after that, it's a breeze. I disagreed. That was it.

Princess Lea said...

And I disagreed with your disagreement. That's it.