It’s closer than you think

Pandemic map of red dots on a globe
Photo by Giacomo Carra on Unsplash

When did the word “epidemic” lose it’s meaning?

To me, the word epidemic means a “really bad thing” that should be solved right away. Now it is something that politicians argue about on CNN or Fox News and then do very little to solve.

There are drugs to fight the AIDS epidemic, but I think that was caused more by profits than politics. Is there any progress on treating epidemics that are not profitable?

There doesn’t seem to be any progress on global warming. How about the homeless epidemic?

There is a more pressing epidemic, and it’s a lot closer than you think.

I’m going to totally abandon what is “politically correct” or “polite” here. We need to take this seriously. We need to take action.

Our future depends on it.

I am talking about the obesity epidemic. At this point, I think we can safely call it a pandemic.

First, a country gets a taste of the Standard American Diet (aka SAD). Then their average weight starts to go up.

Why is obesity a pandemic?

Across the globe, people are getting more wealthy. When that happens, they eat more “western” food. When they eat more western food, they get fat.

Modern doctors have gotten really good at keeping fat people alive. There are pills and surgeries and interventions. The average lifespan was 50 – 60 and now it is 80.

How much longer can you live if you are healthy? You might get an extra 30 – 40 years. Plus, if you are healthy, those final years will be active and vibrant. An overweight person has limitations because of the extra weight.

He or she is not living life to the fullest.

If you are overweight (and you know who you are), there are two choices.

  • Work on losing weight. This requires a plan and some action. Without action, a plan is useless. Are you actively losing weight?

  • Plan to die early. You should get your affairs in order. Make sure you have really good insurance. You should know that the final years of your life will be miserable and expensive.

Do you know how expensive heart surgery is? Heart attack hospitalizations cost an average of $53,384. The average for strokes is $31,218. That’s just for the hospitalizations. The cost of a heart by-pass is $85,891 to $177,546. Add them both together and you get a staggering $58,891 (on the low end) to $230,930 (on the high end).

Will your current health insurance cover it? About 8% of Americans do not have health insurance. Those of them (me included) should really plan ahead.

I don’t know about you, but a $230,000 bill would crush me.

40% of Americans have less than $400 in the bank to cover emergencies. I’m included in that one.

I can’t afford to be fat.

What are you doing to lose weight?

You have a couple options when it comes to losing weight:

  • Change the way you’re eating. Highly-processed, super yummy food is bad for you. At the very least, you should learn how to cut this from your diet. Your body can’t filter out the poison. Stop eating poison.

    I’m not talking about a fad diet, here. Do not plan to go back to the old way of eating at any point. The old way of eating made you fat. You need to make a permanent life change.

  • You can start exercising. I’m just talking about a little thing, here. Start walking. Do some pushups.

Is your current weight-loss method working?

If you are making changes to your diet and working out a bit, is it helping? Are you losing weight? Do your clothes fit better?

If so, good job!

If not, you need to make some more changes.

For any change, you can do one of four things.

  • Do more. Exercise is an example. How can you do more exercise?
  • Do less. How are you changing your diet to eat less bad food?
  • Start. Are you starting an exercise program? What are you doing?
  • Stop. What permanent change have you made to your diet?

What am I doing?

Here’s what I have done. I skip breakfast. That’s a form of intermittent fasting. I walk for 30 minutes each day. I am eating only gluten-free items if I eat wheat at all. I have started to make simple foods at home. I no longer eat the cheesy, processed food you find at most restaurants.

I am finally, finally, finally starting to see changes on my body. I have tried all kinds of diets and exercise plans. Nothing stuck.

In the end, I tried the Carnivore Diet. While I did not lose much weight, it narrowed down what I should and should not eat. I realized that my body has a problem with gluten (if not wheat, altogether).

I have been trying to lose weight for 25 years. If I can do it, you can do it.

Unfortunately, this problem has reached the pandemic level, and must be dealt with.

Make a plan and do it!

As a writer, Matt observes how people behave, how they should behave, and how they shouldn’t behave. Our current world is no exception.

You should be taking care of yourself, and part of that is exercise! Use it or lose it. You don’t want to lose it, trust me.

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