“I don’t want any vegetables, thank you. I paid for the cow to eat them for me.” – Doug Coupland
There are many mysteries in life, but the ingredients of a healthy lifestyle are not among them. We already know what to do. We just choose not to do it. If you are part of the vast majority of people who fall down in this area, the more interesting question to ask yourself is, “Why do you choose to make bad decisions when it comes to your health?” In this 3-part blog series, we’ll explore four common reasons why we make bad choices when it comes to our health.
Reason #1: Delayed Consequences
Health is one of those areas where it’s easy to make bad decisions for a
long time before you start to notice any negative effects. While the delayed consequences can be severe down the road, in the short term you feel pretty darn good about eating cake for dinner. You may even gobble down a few frosting flowers while you’re at it.
There really isn’t much you can do about delayed consequences. It’s not as if you’ll suddenly gain 10 pounds after eating a cupcake or instantly develop symptoms of cancer after smoking a cigarette. It can take years or even decades for serious issues to develop. The key is to make healthy behaviors a habit—just a normal part of your everyday life.
Reason #2: Time, Cost, and Inconvenience
The second major reason you may fail is the time, inconvenience, and cost of living a healthy lifestyle. With hectic schedules filled to the brim, it’s not easy to carve out time each day for sufficient exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. I have to schedule these things on my calendar each day or else they often don’t happen.
One strategy I use to cut down the time and effort needed for the healthy
eating part of the equation is to use a VitaMix blender. Thanks to my blender, I can gulp down insane quantities of green vegetables in under a minute. My daily VitaMix concoctions are green, bitter, vegetable sludges that would make a billy goat pause and reflect before sampling. For me, this prospect is much more appealing compared to chewing my way through a monstrous pile of vegetables. Still, it takes a significant amount of time each week to prep the vegetables for my culinary travesties.
On top of that, the cost can quickly add up. However, I can either pay now in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, or I can pay later in the form of medical bills, so I consider it money well spent. The cost pales in comparison to what I used to spend on wine and beer back in the day when I drank alcohol (I quit over 6 years ago, for those keeping score), so that serves as a handy reference point as well.
Given that it takes a significant amount of time, money, and effort to create a not-so-tasty product, it’s no wonder that most people avoid choosing the green sludge route. To help keep my mind on track, I like to recall the classic words on the basics of good nutrition from the late fitness and nutrition guru Jack LaLanne:
“If man made it, don’t eat it” and “If it tastes good, spit it out.”
Those words of wisdom often pop in my head while chugging my daily green vegetable concoction.
In my next post, we’ll look at a third common reason that people cite to justify bad choices when it comes to their health.
Until then, let’s honor Jack LaLanne, who died 8 years ago at the age of 96, by toasting his remarkable health and fitness accomplishments with a tall glass of green sludge. Your body will thank you for it.
Thanks for reading!