I was setting by the pool yesterday with my com padre Jose, and we were enjoying the mild night and a really great cigar. We talked about how great we feel. He is 59 and I am 53, and we both are eating a new way, conscious of the sweets we eat these days. Jose has lost a lot of weight, and looks very slender for a six foot tall man. I have lost quite a few inches from my waist, too.
Looking around at the other men my age and even younger, I notice the weight that they carry. Faces are inflamed and bloated, gait is uneven and heavy. When I climb the stairs at work now, I am no longer winded by the top of the second flight. I still sweat easily, but then I would sweat in the summer when I was a healthy seventh grader, too.
Just last summer things were different for both of us. Eating like everyone else, lots of potatoes, sugar, rice, pasta, and bread we had the normal complaints of our peers. I would tire easily with a little bit of exertion. I would wake at night sweating and have to kick of the covers. My pants and belts would get tighter every year. Jose says he would get stomach gas after every meal and belch for hours, causing distress, both physical and mental. Getting up and down from the floor when exercising was a chore.
An older female family member, at 73 looks pretty good. She carries some weight at her abdomen, and she has had some robotic joints installed, but overall her health would have to be considered above average. Still, though, she is taking medicine for blood pressure. She is taking it because doctors can’t make her quit eating sugar. It is a proven fact that cutting the sweeteners from her life would take that weight from her midsection, it would cut the liver fat growing invisibly within her, it would make her life easier. Why doesn’t the doctor tell her that? Why give her a pill that will encourage her to go on living and eating in a way that is guaranteed to cause her distress, more and more as the years go by?
In Europe they don’t have nearly the problem with weight and weight related diseases as we do in the US. As an amateur sociologist, I would like to point out that they also have social health care systems over there. When people get sick in great numbers the costs are borne by the government and passed on to everyone. Here in the US, when great numbers of people get sick, the costs are borne by the individual, and the doctors and pharmacists get rich. There is an incentive to keep you healthy and cure you in Europe, but here the incentive is to keep you sick and on medication. Perhaps my conclusions are hasty. Perhaps.
In the US, we can’t count on the government to do the right thing for the society. Despite our being a democracy, there are those in government that believe in it and it’s power do to good, and there are those that hate it and anything that is working well. They try to take it apart. In the case of health care and health it is the same. Someone wants to test and verify the products sold as dietary health supplements. They want you to be sure when you buy a bottle of Ginseng it contains what it says, and is not contaminated with heavy metals. Someone else wants the government to stay out of the way. No need for the government to get in between the buyer and seller, they say, “Let us have our supplements.” I could go through case after case of this to prove that we can’t rely on our government to protect us from the market.
There is only one person who can help my relative, and that is her. I have to help her find the best way to get back to top shape, and that is to quit eating sugar first, then to change more things as she goes on. I will do my part. It is up to her to make the habit changes. In her lifetime there will be no government restrictions on sugar use in food. There will be no testing food additives for safety or side effects. There will be no guidance for how to get good Omega fats and limit the improper. There will be no prohibition on feeding cattle grain instead of grass to limit disease and promote health. No good idea that might make the government look good, or cost a penny of profit to a producer, processor or seller will be adopted.
It is up to us to help each other, if you want to be social. We can change the country and the future, if we just change one thing today. It can be a small thing. No sugar in your tea, for instance. We have to make one small change at a time to make a difference.