I was recently on the Book of Face and, of course, found something that irritated me; fueling a fire that could only be reduced to smoldering embers by organizing words into horizontal lines with punctuation. So, here we are again. Take a look at the picture below.
You probably already know where I'm going with this based on the picture. Yes, that is a great way to pack snacks for your kids for travel. I have no doubt this person is well organized. But, is this what the kids are eating? This may be how traveling is done, but certainly not how providing the proper nutrients is done. I see sugar, sugar, simple carbs, sugar, simple carbs around fake cheese, sugar, more simple carbs, sugar, aaaaaaand...sugar. "Oh, but at least the fruit is healthy sugar." B.S. The body doesn't care what form it's in, sugar is sugar. If you stay at the minimum recommended amount and consume equal amounts of fiber in grams, that's fine. But that's a discussion for another article. Back to the image of compartmentalized death.
So many adults these days are taking the time to better their eating (which is awesome), but aren't paying proper attention to their kids' nutrition. I completely understand that it's hard enough to manage our own nutrition, let alone the nutrition of our wee sprogs, but the effort needs to be made for their sake. They don't know better or even care at this point in life; they're kids. So it's up to us larger, more experienced folk to control what goes in their smiling faces. They may not like us now for it, but at least they won't hate us later for not doing it. Think of it as an investment in their future. The more that's put into their health now, the less time and money is spent later with doctors and hospital bills.
"Its alright." some say, "They're young and full of energy; they'll burn it off." The truth is, it's not alright. I was watching a clip from a news program a while back where there were two brothers who were about 10 to 12 years old. One was clinically obese and the other looked perfectly healthy even though they ate pretty much the same cruddy diet. They were both given an MRI and it turned out that the one that looked more in shape had a higher total percentage of body fat. The thinner brother was what we call TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside). So, it doesn't matter what they look like on the outside; it's not a good judge of what's going on within.
A more brutal way of thinking about all of this is someone pushing their kid in front of a bus in slow motion. It may take some time, but either way, the kid is going to end up in the hospital (or worse). It's my experience that parents who love their kids don't push them in front of heavy moving objects. Yet, this aspect of their well being goes unchecked or even ignored. Feeding them junk like this (especially in that amount) is the first step off the curb.
I created an image which I'll leave right here. This bus has many stops. Let's see where it's going today as a result of the image above. Ooooooh, yeah no, I think we'll walk, thank you.
Last week marked the 10 year anniversary of me turning my life around, and I couldn't be happier with that choice. After rolling out of bed one morning feeling awful, I made the decision to start exercising and eating better by cutting out a lot of junk (fast food, muffins, donuts, waffles, pancakes, soda, juice, and alcohol), eating more vegetables, and drinking more water.
So far I haven't looked back on any of it, though I do partake in a glass of the grape imbibe with my wife once every week or two. Do I still enjoy chocolate in its many forms? You bet! It's my one real vice, but I can live with that. By giving up all that other junk, I can have a bit of what I crave and not feel bad about it. But, by staying true to my original decisions and motivations, I haven't regressed at all.
All that said, the actual purpose of this post is to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today. This is to say that I didn't do it by myself; not by a long shot. Even though I look back and remember how much effort I put into it on my own, it most definitely was not a journey of one. Rolling out of bed feeling a mess was one thing, but the initial inspiration to exercise came from my friend Ryan and his drive and motivation in lifting. Very soon after came my dojo family who kicked my butt (and still are), helping me to shed some pounds and gain strength and balance. And all along, my wife and kids have supported me in going out a few times a week to train and make lunkhead noises in the basement. So, while I was the one who needed to put forth the effort, the debris ridden path was cleared (not to mention the ravenous tiger some of them put on the trail behind me to keep me going) and kept clear by all of these incredible people. They are the reason I do what I do now.
Thank you all very much!