In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins; not through strength, but through persistence. ~Buddha
Persistence can be either good or bad, depending on how it’s used. Obviously, if you stick to a decent diet and get a little physical exertion every so often, you’ll be better off than most people. That takes persistence. What about people who don’t?
What about those who don’t care?
How does junk food add up?
I want you to imagine a large building. Something like this:
Now imagine a guy. He’s fairly strong and has a mean streak. His name is “Cornelius.”
So let’s say Cornelius has nothing but time on his hands and unlimited energy. He doesn’t have to sleep or eat. He has only one mission and nothing can stop him. He wants to bring the building down. Why? He’s angry (and he’s got nothing better to do).
He is of limited intelligence and owns nothing but a simple hammer. Let’s say Cornelius decides, in his never-ending blind rage, that he wants to destroy this building with merely a hammer. “Futility” is not in his vocabulary.
He begins to pound on the outside of the building over and over. And over… And over, and over, and over, and over.
Let’s say he has been wailing on this building for a day. At the end of the day, not much has happened. He’s taken some small chunks out of the concrete and that’s about it. Fast forward to a week of non-stop hammering. Cornelius has managed to take a large chunk out of the concrete. He’s quite proud of himself!
Small damages add up over time.
Now think about a month into this theoretical vandalism. Cornelius has managed to actually make a door-sized hole in the building! Over time, Cornelius has done quite a bit of damage.
Now, we blast into the future, one year from the day he decided to dedicate his life to the eradication of the building. He’s taken a very large section out of the side. Seems impossible for a guy with a hammer, eh?
Now I want you to think of this going on for 20 years. Twenty YEARS.
Eventually, after all that damage, there’s very little holding the building up anymore. There’s only one inevitable outcome: Cornelius lands a blow that finally hits the sweet spot and gravity takes care of the rest. The building collapses and crumbles. Cornelius now decides to do something more worthwhile. Perhaps he’ll set his sights on a skyscraper? (Cornelius laughs wickedly….)
You have probably guessed what I’m going to compare this to… This was an allegorical story of the body and the various forms of destruction it encounters during its time on the earth. Cornelius is junk food.
What does this have to do with me?
The early damage in the concrete could be representative of the rapid absorption of a sugary processed junk food and the subsequent insulin spike. The door-sized hole could be the constant daily severe hunger pangs and cravings. The large section missing could be type 2 diabetes from chronically elevated insulin levels due to a crappy diet.
Needless to say, the building’s collapse is none other than DEATH.
A common thread I have noticed when dealing with health issues is that people have a very black and white way of looking at things. (As in X is good for you and Z is bad. Avoid Z completely and eat lots of X.) Sensationalist advertising, preying on your primal fears, wants to scare you into buying something because it might save you from death. A lot of mainstream articles make things sound like they could lead to sickness and death if you don’t do (blah blah blah) to your body or buy “Product X” to prevent it. This is rarely the case.
A lot of people live a terrible lifestyle because they ignore the seemingly imperceptible damages. Trauma slowly builds, combines, and reaches critical mass (ie: a heart attack) and suddenly they realize just how fragile the body really is. Junk food is a big part of the problem.
Problem is that most people don’t care.
Most people just don’t give a schyt until it’s too late.
There’s a lot of people in the hospital right now who suddenly give a schyt…
Sure, their building is still standing, but there’s irreparable damage… Eventually it will fall. It will fall sooner than it should have. The damage was easily prevented.
For all mortal creatures, there’s always the straw that breaks the camel’s back…
“I’m FINE~!” You might say…
Perhaps I will use an example of someone I’ve encountered in my travels and my thoughts regarding them. We’ll call her “Maria.” The topic of weight loss and health comes up in conversation. After making a few suggestions for improvement, Maria disagrees with me and says she’s “fine.” My thoughts were:
“Fine? You’re 100 lbs overweight, you’re diabetic, you’re unable to go more than a few hours without getting hungry, you’re on 10 different medications, your doctors keep telling you to eat healthier, but you just keep eating crap like you usually do. Eventually you’re going to end up in a hospital bed for something that a simple dietary change could have prevented. If I were a betting man, I’d say your death will likely be early, slow, and painful…“
I’m not trying to be mean to Maria. This is reality, I’ve seen it before. There’s a lot of people on deathbeds who lament the fact that they didn’t make simple easy changes to prevent their deteriorating health! It’s really not hard! Junk food is easily avoided.
Sure we all gotta die someday. But do you want to go earlier than everyone else? Do you want your final years to be in sheer agonizing pain? Do you want to be completely bedridden and have to have others take care of you until you finally shuffle off this mortal coil, much to the relief of your family? I sincerely believe that most people can be saved from such a fate through simple dietary changes! Avoiding junk food is easier than you think.
I like to read stuff about young people asking older people what they should do while they’re still young. Guess what one of the top things is? Health. Get this figured out while you’re young and it will last you a lifetime. Strive to be like Okinawans!
“SOME PEOPLE HAVE ALL THE LUCK…” You might think.
Some people, represented as buildings, are skyscrapers with giant foundations and steel reinforced girders. They can take some major damage before falling. (Very advanced genetic engineering.)
Some people are represented by a wooden 2 story house with a termite infestation. Doesn’t take much to topple these guys. (They drew the genetic short stick.)
“Cornelius” can be represented by varying degrees of threat and danger. To better visualize:
- Drinking a flask of HCl is little more than a Godzilla-sized Cornelius knocking over any sized building effortlessly.
- Crack cocaine can be a steroid-filled team of Arhnold-like Cornelius’ with sledgehammers.
- Cancer is a Cornelius with a Jackhammer.
- Drinking a beer daily can be a Cornelius with a sledgehammer.
- A doughnut every morning can be another Cornelius.
See what I mean? (Godzilla via zillaspawn)
The more junk food you eat, the more it will stack up and the more you will SUFFER. In many cases, the number of Corneliuses (Corneliusi?) you face and how strong they are is up to you. For instance, did you know that they’re seriously considering calling Alzheimers “Type 3 diabetes?”
Sure, eating a sugary pastry is not going to kill you. Obviously.
However, eating one almost every single day for 50 years… well… Umm… I’m not a doctor, but…
You get the idea.
I could emphasize this further by saying the building has a team of repairmen at work trying to fix the damage done by the various Corneliusi. Perhaps you could say that the building has a security team patrolling the perimeter, watching for vandals like Cornelius… that’s getting too much into it.
All I will say is good nutrition is brick and mortar to fix the damage, and your immune system is the security team. Try to optimize them if you want to keep your building/body going strong. The body does have a natural adaption mechanism (aka hormesis), but that’s for another time…
As far as you’re concerned, you’ve only got one building. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak it is, nor does it matter how much damage has been done in the past.
Your building is still standing.
How long is stays up? Well that’s a decision for you, the landlord, and sheer probability of fate. Avoiding junk food and eating real food will help keep it standing.
PS: Don’t smoke. Just don’t. It’s like giving Cornelius steroids…
Update: Here’s perfect example of what I was talking about. Lady drinks 2 gallons of Coke a day and smokes all the time, dies from a heart attack at 31. I think she had a Cornelius with a battering ram!Img credits: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/chexed/1546923312/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greist_Building.JPG http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbrons/5972954646 http://zillaspawn.deviantart.com/art/GODZILLA-3-12-2011-200920785 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/US_Navy_060520-N-9712C-002_Builder_3rd_Class_Darin_Errington_breaks_apart_the_asphalt_with_a_jackhammer_on_a_road_repair_project.jpg