I heard an advertisement on the radio this morning. It was for a local (and very esteemed) hospital. They began with a missive to all listeners who are currently battling obesity. The ad claimed that this hospital had a program that would finally help these listeners combat their obesity problems once and for all. This hospital claimed to really care about these listeners and to want to help them become the healthiest versions of themselves. Their solution? Weight loss surgery. Surgery?! Not nutrition, not exercise, not lifestyle modifications, but surgery. According to this widely respected edifice of health and healing, the best course of action for people who are excessively overweight is to cut open their bodies, remove sections of vital organs, sew them back up, and send them back out into the world to continue with the very same lifestyle practices that lead to their weight gain in the first place. And I have a sneaking suspicion that these patients will be going home with a lovely cocktail of assorted pharmaceuticals to help their fractured, mutilated bodies cope with the trauma of trying to return to some semblance of homeostasis.
I just do not understand how such highly educated people – people who are sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, no less – can seriously believe that it is appropriate to recommend surgery as a viable method of weight loss, but think it’s ridiculous to have their patients try eating a more Natural diet such as low-fat raw vegan, or even a low-fat, cooked plant-based diet.
The World Health Organization publicly announced that processed meats are, officially, Group 1 carcinogens. That means that they are cancer-causing. This is the same group that contains other cancer-causing agents such as asbestos and tobacco smoking. They simultaneously announced that red meats are a Group 2A carcinogen, which means that they probably cause cancer. What do our doctors do with this information? They tell us to eat these foods in moderation. They don’t tell us to smoke cigarettes in moderation, or to line our homes or clothes with asbestos in moderation, but processed meats? Yeah, sure, go for it. What?!
Aside from the common sense factor, there is plenty of scientific evidence to warrant these dietary choices over surgery. (Check out The 80/10/10 Diet (Graham), The China Study (Campbell), The MacDougall Program (MacDougall) and others for more information.)
Humans have not always been fat. We’ve not always been riddled with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Getting all Frankensteinian with our bodies should not, in my very strong opinion, be the option that is encouraged by our healthcare providers. Gobbling chemical concoctions that cause more symptoms than they alleviate, should not be the go-to solution for healing our sick and misused bodies. Come on, people. Just think about it. I mean, really think about it.
Of course, it is difficult for so many of us to really think about anything. Our brain function is so muddled from our bodies trying to process all the chemicals in the so-called foods we eat, and the cleaners we use, and the artificial smells we spray to cover up how rancid our bodies smell, and the booze and drugs we take to make ourselves feel better about the fact that we can’t think and smell like shit and can’t walk to the mailbox without getting winded.
We block our skin from sunshine because we’re told it causes cancer. But our ancestors were presumably in the sun more than we are and they didn’t get cancer. They didn’t block it out. The body requires sunshine to perform necessary physiological functions. It’s not sunshine that causes cancer; it’s the weakened and compromised states of our bodies that creates cancer from sun exposure. So, we are not only not addressing the actual factors that make us vulnerable to developing this nasty disease, but we are, instead, creating additional deficiencies in the name of protection and health. How ludicrous is that??
We applaud women who have their breasts cut off because they think they might get cancer. Wouldn’t it be easier (and cheaper) to change your diet and lifestyle than to cut off your ta-tas? What is that bullshit?
We blindly put our faith in doctors – many of whom are fatter and less healthy than we are. I do, actually, believe that most of them mean well. They are just victim to the same pervasive way of thinking about things that rules the current cultural paradigm. They are victim to the same dietary choices that dim mental clarity. They are victim to the educators who teach them that this is the way things are supposed to be done to help their patients. The educators are victim to the researchers and scientists who are producing ‘evidence’ of any- and everything hoping to help us find some way to heal and simplify and enjoy our lives. And the researchers and scientists are under the influence of those who provide funding for them – namely pharmaceutical companies, the meat and dairy industries, and the latest high-tech surgical equipment slingers. It’s no wonder we are all sick when our healthcare system is being run by the very folks who benefit most from us being unhealthy.
We have become so addicted to our current regime that we would rather be fat, mutilated, dim-witted, diseased and depressed than make the few simple changes that would allow us to be healthy, fit, happy and whole. We then ridicule anyone who actually is healthy, fit, happy and whole, because they couldn’t possibly understand the difficulties in our lives that make it impossible for us to eat fruits and vegetables and to get off the couch or away from the desk or out of the car for 20 minutes a day. How could these people not understand that binge-watching Game of Thrones while chowing on some bacon or doughnuts or chicken wings and washing them down with a frothy beer or a bottle of wine is so worth having our bodies cut open and our organs edited when our hearts fail or we become obese or enduring the long suffering wasting away of cancer or diabetes?
This is not how life is meant to be lived, people. Why do so few people see it? Why do so few question a healthcare system that pushes pharmaceuticals and surgeries over diet and lifestyle education? And, for those few who actually do advocate diet and lifestyle, why do so few promote foods that our bodies are more naturally designed to eat? I appreciate the artistry of a gourmet plate, but most of what can be found on them are not foods that humans are designed to eat. If we want to be truly healthy, we should look to the natural world. The foods that are digestible and appealing to us in their natural state, that require no processing, save peeling off the outer layer, are the foods most likely to fuel our bodies efficiently, safely and completely. Why does that seem like such a crazy notion? Most of us would think it aberrant to see a lion bounding for a bundt cake to share with its pride. Likewise it would seem strange to see a walrus eating a baked potato. Yet, we consider it perfectly normal to eat things like Twinkies and deep-fried pig fat, and call people who eat primarily ripe fruits and vegetables weird, unhealthy and misguided. What about this makes any kind of sense??
I imagine some of you thinking, ‘but humans are adaptable!’ ‘we’ve adapted to eating these foods!’ And to that I would posit that we may have adapted enough to tolerate these foods for periods, but over the course of a lifetime we develop things like food sensitivities, allergies, mood disorders, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other destructive dis-eases. These are relatively new diseases. Obesity is at an all-time high. Looking through history, the folks who ate the richest, most processed foods were always the ones who were fatter and more diseased and had shorter life spans. Those that ate closer to Nature were leaner and less diseased and lived longer. We are highly adaptable beings, but adaptation is not without consequence.
I recognize that this has become a full-on rant. And I’m okay with that. I clearly needed to get it off my chest. And, unlike many rants, I stand by every thought expressed here. I appreciate those of you who actually made it to the end, and am interested in any [constructive] comments you might care to share. This being my personal blog, I don’t feel the need to edit so rigidly what I share here, but I would ask you to be respectful in your replies since this is, again, my forum and not yours. Thank you, in advance.
Much love and light to you all! Thank you for allowing me the space to share this word vomit. (And thank you to HB for the thought-provoking conversation today that stirred all this up and allowed me to let it out.)
Shine your light!