We all have the ability to take control of our lives. Be that as it may, there’s a time limit. In our younger years we are saved a countless number of times by our resilience. Yet as we get older the better, safer, healthier choices become life changing ones. I hear daily either from friends, family, or business associates that making the choice to live a healthier lifestyle is “too difficult”. For many making the choice to live a healthier lifestyle would be life changing, but because it’s too difficult they won’t make the choice. This sadly reminds me of my Uncle Jeff who passed away a few years back. We have all had a loved one that suffered from obesity or chronic illness, but because they were unwilling to live a healthier life eventually passed on.
Uncle Jeff was a loveable man. Amicable, yet set in his ways, one knew what to expect of him. Jeff had lived in Tampa, FL since he left Michigan in the early 1980’s. He liked steak and potatoes on his dinner plate, tailgating before Tampa Bay Buccaneers games, and enjoyed a few beers after work each night.
When Jeff was diagnosed with cancer he had time. The illness, in my opinion, was not progressive in the beginning. Nevertheless, Jeff believed that medicine alone might save him. He and I had numerous conversations about life changes: less beer, a more colorful palette of food, less meat & potatoes, less work, more happiness, and more love. He was open to more happiness and more love. A matter of fact he was convinced that his happiness relied heavily on his ability to choose freely what he ate; regardless of whether the food got him to where he was health wise or not. Almost a year after Jeff was diagnosed with caner he passed on.
During the final year of his life he worked just as hard as the previous year, if not harder. He believed that the more “useful” he was, the less “ill” he appeared. This was absolutely tragic for many of us to watch, because he unquestionably became weaker day-after-day. He never ate a green vegetable before he was diagnosed with cancer and he never did after. He wouldn’t put anything green in his mouth; regardless of whether it was blended, juiced, or in a vegetarian pill form. We occasionally talked about the changes my ex-husband made to his nutrition that undoubtedly changed his life. But it didn’t matter. The immediate gratification and the pure convenience of being unhealthy appealed to him and nothing else did. It appealed to his family as well. At the time they were unwilling to make the necessary changes to assist in the savior of their loved one’s life. It was a tragedy that I witnessed first hand.
I speak with people daily about their food choices. People trying to loose weight for different reasons. Most people say the same thing, “I can’t eat that, because I don’t like it”. It’s startling to me that someone could want so desperately to change their life, but would still be unwilling to make food choices to benefit their health. I can educated a person about the countless health benefits of eating healthy, yet due to the difficulty to make the right food choices day-in-and-day-out, many simply abandon the effort in a short period of time.
The choice must begin with you.
- Dawn Molina