Monday, July 18, 2011

What Are You Investing In?

We want what we want when we want it.  Always.  Our culture is not very good with the concept of delayed gratification.  Food comes fast through a drive-thru window right into the comfort of our own car.  We can reheat leftovers in seconds thanks to our microwaves.  Preparing food is a snap with pre-packaged foods and easy to assemble mixes.  These shortcuts save us time, but what is it costing us in the long run?

Now, there are diets that promise these types of quick, instantaneous results, but at what expense?  By placing some drops under your tongue or getting an injection, it is touted that one can lose mega amounts of weight.  The only catch:  consuming just 500 calories per day.  While there has been much debate over whether or not these drops are safe, or even whether or not they contain much of anything other than saline, I can tell you that if anyone were to consume just 500 calories per day, weight would be lost… but at what cost?

My sister recently recounted to me the dietary schedule of a friend who was on just such a diet:  an apple for breakfast, a breadstick for mid-morning snack.  Lunch was a 3 oz piece of fish or chicken and some spinach followed with another breadstick for an afternoon snack, and dinner consisted of a meal similar to lunch.

The idea is that rather than rely on new calories coming in for fuel, while on this diet, the body will use reserves of fat, burning them for fuel, resulting in weight loss.  But what’s the quality of that fuel?  Did you know that the bulk of toxins, including antibiotic residue, is stored in the fat (in humans and animals)?  Is that something that will nourish your body?  Where are the nutrients?

Your body needs calories to function.  Equally important:  your body needs nutrients to repair and build for the future.  When you consider the fact that every single thing that goes into your mouth is used as building material for your cells, your blood, your tissue, your muscles (including your heart), your organs, even your brain, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you are using top-quality building materials no matter the cost of time, energy or money?  None of us would dream of attempting to make a permanent repair on our homes using cardboard to repair a wall, foundation or roof, or plastic to replace windows and doors because, while those materials might be able to be made to look like the REAL things they are attempting to replace, at the first sign of distress in the form of bad weather, they simply wouldn’t hold up – most likely even allowing MORE damage to occur, had the imposter not been used in the first place.  This is no different than what we do to our bodies when we attempt to repair them from daily wear and tear with imposter or inadequate nutrients (whether its from imitation food or fat stores in our bodies).

Many of us treat our bodies as an afterthought.  We spend our money on our life’s accessories like extra cars, cell phones, cable and internet – things that we survived without for decades, yet are now necessities, and say we can’t afford to treat our bodies healthier.  We Americans log more hours of work than any other developed country in the world, still manage to spend an average of 29 hours on the internet each month and 4 hours in front of the TV each and every day, yet say we don’t have time to treat our bodies healthier.  Many people spend more time, energy and money researching and maintaining the best car, the coolest new gadget or the highest quality entertainment systems than we do on our own bodies.  Cars and gadgets eventually wear out and are replaced by updated models, but you can’t replace your body.  It’s the only one you’re going to get.  How many people, on their death beds, say,  “I wish I’d taken better care of my car”?

Take time today to examine your stewardship of your body.  Are you using quality building materials to help assure that your liver is properly able to perform its clean-up functions every night?  Are there nutrients in your body throughout the day, every day that contribute to building and replenishing brain cells, allowing for optimal communication between your brain and the rest of your body?  Is your digestive system being fortified every day with enzymes and elements from REAL food, aiding the processes that distribute nourishment to your muscles (including your heart muscle) for optimal movement and peak performance?

Think about your possessions that you really value – the time you spent procuring them, the energy you spend maintaining them, the money you’ve invested in them.  Where will those things be 20, 30, 50 years from now?  Isn’t your body worth the same (if not more) consideration? 

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