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Eat to Your Heart's Content!

If together we owned a million dollar race horse, we would probably not feed him/her junk food!

A squirrel in the wild eats to survive. He chooses healthy stuff like nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects (yummy!). Domesticated animals like your husband, wife, children, and other furry house pets eat pretty much what is offered to them or what they find most convenient.

If together we owned a million dollar race horse (we have very little money--hope you do!), we would probably not feed him/her junk food. We would want "Lightning Bolt" to have a winning advantage. By the way, we would also encourage and lead our horse to play and exercise to reach their healthy, swift, graceful, successful potential...but that's .

Skillions of internet articles, and exotic messages found in bottles along beautiful shore lines and beaches tell us today that fitness depends 80% on nutrition and 20% exercise. And along with fitness, for an Active Positive Lifestyle, we also have to include things like work, play, genetics, environment (the amount of volcanic ash in the air), all the people with whom we surround ourselves, and how we deal with stress (Is our horse winning for us?).  

Back to healthy eating: Contemporary marketing is working hard to undermine our healthy resolve. Haven't we been trained to use food as social recreation and reward? Do you think they want us to be tail wagging, food chasing, puppy dogs, excessively salivating and opening our wallets? You can bet your love handles on it! Ever see a TV Ad with people eating? They are all laughing and smiling knowingly, as if the food was not only tasty, but also an aphrodisiac! Ooh Baby, ooh…I want what they're having, don't you! And “Hey! Let's have a party…” is usually followed by “what shall we eat?” or what about “All You Can Eat--$6.99!”

So, what shall we do: Eat drink and be merry? You know we can do that! But if we really care at all, we will be smart about what we feed our winning race horse! For us “people persons” to win, I guess it depends on things like self image, lifestyle plans, and the friends with whom we live and surround ourselves.                  

About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese. And approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese… that's a LOT of food for thought!  Since our eating behavior is guided by how we truly see ourselves, and we want to change our eating habits, why not first try changing our self image?  That way, when our favorite cake is offered we will automatically "check in" with our invigorated self-image:   “I am a healthy bride-to-be, and I must fit gracefully into my wedding dress.”   “I have 3 grandkids who want to play Frisbee with me” Or “I am a Sumo wrestler, and I must eat everything in sight--including you!”

When you "check in" and see yourself as a healthy person that got that way by eating like a healthy animal, you will eat more like a healthy person.  Then, when you hang out with likeminded friends, statistics show you will be even more successful in making this an instead of a “feel good designer Diet du Jour.” 

It's good to "eat like a healthy animal", but first you may want to figure out "which animal you want to be" – that winning race horse? Then take it to heart, eat healthy, hang out with like-minded friends, and eat to your healthy heart's content!

Positively yours, Sheri and Bill

"....so you see, it's all up to you, you can be better than you are--you could be swinging on a star...." (J Burke and B Crosby)   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dave Ballard July 03, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I agree with you: contemporary marketing IS working hard to undermine our health. I think you may have the cart before the "horse," though. If only 17% of our children are obese, why is it (according to a recent CBS news article) 80% of girls have tried at least one diet by age 10? Why is it that 78% of 17yr-old girls have a negative body image? Why do a third of teen boys (and half the girls) try to lose weight by smoking, skipping meals, taking laxatives, fasting, or vomiting? It is precisely because society is fixated on this myth of an ideal shape, weight, or diet. The mass media and many public figures have realized that power and money can be gained from getting people to stress over their diets, when the stress itself is actually a MUCH bigger threat to one's health, both short- and long-term.
Sheri & Bill Eppright July 03, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Hi Dave, Thanks for your comments! We totally agree that contemporary marketing contributes to poor health decisions by suggesting we must "look a certain way" and by encouraging us to eat things that are not healthy for us. Fad diets for adults and kids, as well as boot camps are not long term solutions. We agree there definitely is not any "one" body type/look that we all need to achieve. We believe healthy eating should simply be part of an active positive lifestyle. In our article above, we stated "When you "check in" and see yourself as a healthy person, you will eat more like a healthy person." And of course hanging out with others who have healthy self images too! As more adults become obese, there is a propensity for their minor children to be obese as well, since eating options for the minor children are limited for the most part to what their family provides on a day to day basis. And with obesity comes unnecessary health risks, diseases that could have been avoided with a healthy diet. We desire that people eat healthily, to improve the quality of their lives, as we look at experiencing longer and longer lives. Our selfish interest is that we enjoy the company of our peers: we want them alive and active mentally and physically, so they can still "come out and play" with us 20 years from now! Thanks again for your comments! Positively yours, Sheri and Bill
Dave Ballard July 05, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Thanks for your considered article and response as well. The real issue I have is this myth that obesity, in and of itself, is a health problem (a disease even) that will somehow prevent you from being around in [fill in the blank] amount of time when literally thousands of studies covering hundreds of thousands of subjects over the course of several decades shows it's just not true. Many of them even suggest the the opposite may be true: that as long as you stay physically active, it may even be a health benefit. These studies also show that the obese generally do NOT eat more than other people, on average, and that their "quality" of diet is not substantially different from thin or normal-sized people, either. (Plus, when over half ot the NBA is considered "overweight" or "obese" by current medical standards, the term itself might need some re-defining, can we agree?) Again, eat whatever you think is good for you; everyone's body works and feels best with a different diet or exercise routine. But the basic assumptions -- that obesity = "bad," and "bad" diet/exercise habits directly cause it -- are seriously flawed. Again, I think stressing out OVER one's diet does far more harm, whether one is a child, adult, or otherwise. I would point the casually curious to http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com, where if you scroll down and look on the right side you'll find links to a series of posts dealing with studies showing the "obesity paradox." It's a place to start.

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