Monday, August 8, 2016

Volunteering For Disability

I live on a lovely street where 80% of the people are over age 50 and more than half of them are ill with what they like to call "age related" conditions. Some have been very eager to tell me about it. In truth these conditions aren't age-related. They are diet-related, obesity-related, smoking-related, sedentary lifestyle-related, alcohol-pain medication-drug-related conditions willingly adopted and relentlessly pursued.

When we get older most of us find we may have to work harder to make ends meet financially, just as we also may have to work harder to stay in shape physically. Nobody much questions the first part of that sentence, but they rail ferociously against the second.

Old people dredge up every excuse in the book to keep from losing weight and getting fit. Everyone sees right through the bitching and nobody wants to hear it. I have an easier solution: Just Shut Up. 

Eat all you want. Sit on the couch all day. Nobody cares as long as you take responsibility for the outcome. That means, shut up. Stop complaining about the illnesses you suffer due to your lifestyle choices. You fought long and hard to do exactly what you wanted whenever you wanted, and railed against those who advised you otherwise. Congratulations. You won. But part of your prize package is a self-inflicted physical disability. Stop pretending that this "just happened" to you, that you are the victim of bad luck. Unless you were in an accident not your fault or suffer from a debilitating malady medically recognized as a disease, you are a volunteer as pertains to your overall poor health. Obesity is not a disease. Substance addiction, alcohol, gambling — NOT a disease. Sorry, Oprah. You're a lovely person but full of shit on that one.

You can either start today to try your damnedest to turn things around as much as is still possible, or you can continue to deteriorate. When it comes to health and fitness there is no status quo. We're either making things better or we're making things worse. The choice is up to us.

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