Monday, June 10, 2013

Healthy to Crappy in a Few Short Generations

Have you ever stopped to think what an amazing miracle our bodies are? Well, not our bodies now but our bodies back when Adam was first formed? The "first family" (and generations that followed) didn't have a doctor on every corner to get a fast fix from sickness. There was no CVS to pop into to pick up advil or tums. Early man had only God's great design and whatever he could grow to keep him healthy and vital.

Fast forward to the present day. More than half of the US population is overweight or obese. Disease strikes people younger and younger with each generation. Despite the medical advances, we are still a very sick people. We have yet to cure one thing without triggering something else.

What has happened? What changed?

The answer is easy yet complicated. Early man grew and/or raised everything that he consumed. He worked from sun up to sun down just to make sure the race survived. Everything that was eaten was done so in the manner that God gave it, meaning no additives, preservatives, etc. The air was clean. A deep breath back then filled your lungs with fresh, clean air. A deep breath in today's world fills your lungs with chemical residues, off gassing, carcinogens and pathogens.

In "the old days" man ate butter, salt and red meat. AND he had no heart disease. How did that happen??? It happened because God designed our bodies to thrive on those things and many others. Then along comes a doctor that says all that is bad and convinced us to trade in our good wholesome food for margarine, salt substitute and tofu. And heart disease skyrocketed. Say what???? We eat like the good doctor says and we get more unhealthy?
Did anyone ever stop to think that the "good doctor" was an idiot?

He wasn't the only problem. After WWII, the American people were looking for convenience. They had just come through a difficult time and they wanted "easy". Can't blame them though. Food shortages and rationing had taken their toll. Along comes the grocery store. Now, there have been general stores, country stores, what have you for many, many years but they carried staples; flour, sugar, coffee, fabric for clothes. No frozen pizza or ice cream. Mama was at home, making all the food for her family from scratch. When she ran out of bread, she didn't run to the store. She ran to her pantry and made some. She kept her family fed by gardening and farming animals.

Fast forward to today. The number one killer of our people isn't heart disease. Heart disease is a symptom of a bigger problem. Our number one killer today is processed and commercial food. And I use the term "food" very lightly. Kids today are raised on frozen chicken nuggets, nuclear orange macaroni and cheese and soda instead of eggs from the family chicken, meat from the family pig and milk from the family cow. There are children from families that are able to provide food that rarely eat fruits or vegetables. They drink soda and sports drinks instead of good old milk and water. They sit in the house and play video games instead of playing outside and doing chores. They are getting fatter and more unhealthy ALL THE TIME! Is it their fault. Nope.

The blame falls squarely on the parents. From their bad examples to their bad choices. Now, before anyone thinks that I am perfect and therefore I am speaking about everyone else, let me assure you that I am just as guilty as the next mama. I have taken my kids through a drive-thru more times than I can count. I have bought soda for my family and unfortunately still do at times. I have fed my family enough processed food to sustain a third world country  (as if processed food could sustain anything but you get what I am saying). I am guilty, my friends, of taking the easy way out way too many times. My family has paid the price for my laziness. I have set such a bad example for my kids by eating too much sugar and not being very active. I have sinned. But just as God forgives me, I have to forgive myself and learn from the really dumb things I do. Most importantly, I have to not repeat those really dumb things!

I have learned that my kids pay much more attention to what I do than to what I say. That is probably true of most children. I can say "eat your veggies" but if I am not doing it, how can I expect them to? I can tell them to drink water but if I do it with a soda in my hand, what does that tell them? If I tell them to go play outside but I am sitting in the living room glued to the tv, how can I expect them to make the right choice?

Parenting is hard work. Not only are you molding tiny humans into big humans but you are (hopefully)making yourself a better human in the process. I know that I have to take my health and that of my family very seriously. I have to make the right (and difficult) choices concerning the food I feed them and where it comes from. I cannot be lazy and feed them processed food because it is easier on me. They are too important to me and are way more important than my own ease and comfort.

Over the next few weeks or so, I will be sharing posts on what our family is doing to improve our health and decrease any residual laziness...yes that one is hard!

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