How to alienate your readers without really trying!
Good news, everyone! I recently accepted a full-time job at Georgia State University for the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions. I’ll be working in the Dean’s Office as an Admin Specialist, responsible for managing the dean’s calendar, making travel arrangements, processing financial data, and supervising student workers, among other responsibilities. This is a for-real, 40-hour, pay-yo-bills-son position, and I’m super grateful and excited.
Writing my novel has taken a necessary back seat as my schedule’s been filling up. Work on William’s House continues apace, as we’re looking toward National Nonprofit Day in August and Giving Tuesday in November. We’re also looking to start up some programming this fall. It’s taken this long to get set up, and now we’re ready to start the service work.
All this work I’ve been doing for Lewis College has got me thinking. What is healthy living? What is nutrition? People seem obsessed over these concepts, agonizing over a question that really isn’t all that difficult to figure out: What should I have for dinner? We all like to pretend that nutrition is this vast, mysterious enterprise. Should we eat meat? Is dairy ok? Should we just eat vegetables? What about nuts? Eggs are filled with cholesterol but also filled with protein. Are those ok?
Stop overthinking it. Everyone knows the secret to healthy living. We’ve always known. We just don’t like it.
Exercise sucks, but it’s necessary to lose weight, especially if you’re older.
The problem is that our 40-hour work weeks (plus another 10-20, depending on your commute) no longer involve any type of heavy labor. This results in spending 80% of our time sitting. Not good. The more we sit, the more we dread standing back up again. It’s the same reason I can only wake up early if I wake up early. The later I sleep in, the more sleep I want. If I “listened to my body,” I’d never get out of bed.
Do I exercise? Hell no. I’ve got a job. I can’t get up at 4am just to go run. That sounds like the worst kind of hell, even at once a week. Exercise is boring. That’s because it’s unnatural. Hundreds of years ago, people walked because they had to go places. They lifted heavy things to unblock roads. They ran to avoid predators or cops. Exercise had a purpose. Now it’s just moving idly around a stanky gym while trying not to stare at your neighbor’s yoga pants or gym shorts, depending on your preference.
Our bodies HATE exercise. You only crave exercise if you do it regularly. Otherwise, your body wants to conserve energy because it thinks you’re still a hunter/gatherer, and you gotta be ready to run from a saber-toothed tiger. Any activity that gets in the way of that is just asking to get eaten.
Plus, treadmills are the devil. I’m convinced the entirety of hell is powered by treadmills with little screens permanently tuned to HGTV with no headphone jacks.
If that sounds like fun to you, you’re sick and should seek immediate help.
Thankfully, my body still drops off weight so long as I eat less than 2000 calories a day. So there.
So that’s exercise. What about food? Intake is important. How on earth do we figure out what to eat?
Listen to your body~
Ha ha! Just kidding. What a load of bunk. Here’s what happens if you listen to your body: You wind up fat, sick, and atrophied. Why? Because our brains (those lumpy things that control our bodies) are hard-wired to seek sugar, salt, and fat. 10,000 years ago, this served us well because these three ingredients — essential to human life — were hard to come by. Salt was rare in nature, fat was most accessible through hunting, which had mixed results, and sugar could only be obtained through climbing trees, picking apart vines, etc.
Compare that with today: We drive to the store, lazily walk to the produce section, grab an apple, go and pay at the self-checkout line, drive home, leave the apple on the counter, watch TV, go to bed, get up early, go to work, come home, find the now-rotted apple, throw the apple away, and order a pizza.
Our brains need salt and fat to function. Our bodies need sugar to turn into energy so we can move. If you only listened to your body, you’d never be able to pass a vending machine without spending 300 dollars. You’d never get out of bed because you’d want to conserve energy in case of polar bear attack. It’s not a pretty picture.
Don’t listen to your body. It’s stupid.
Listen to your brain. Look, we all know what healthy eating is. We just don’t want to do it. It’s not as yummy as eating unhealthy. Thankfully, it is pretty intuitive so long as you aren’t completely uneducated. Do I really need to spell it out?
Not too much
I didn’t come up with this myself. It’s by Michael Pollan. He's this guy who writes about food. He’s not right about everything, but he’s right about this. Eat food (not junk). Not too much (under 2000 calories or so). Mainly greens (veggies).
It’s easy. It’s not fun. It’s not sexy. And it’s not clickbait, but there you go. Don’t like vegetables? Bull. There are a billion plants on this planet. Find one that doesn’t make you gag and scarf that stuff down. Stop being a baby. Eating healthy is the simplest thing in the world. You don’t even have to shop at Trader Joe’s. Walmart sells broccoli and chicken. You don’t even have to eat the white meat or skip the skin. There you go. You’re welcome.
Don’t wanna eat meat? Fine. Grab your protein somewhere else so you’re muscles don’t fall off, and get yourself some carrots. You’re fine.
Oh, a couple more things: Avoid too much bread. French fries and ketchup don’t count as vegetables.
Now, if you do all this and still can’t lose weight? Call your doctor. You probably have a hormone imbalance or a glandular disorder or some other medical/genetic nonsense that keeps your body from operating at peak efficiency.
Take the meds that requires and get to work.
Eat healthy. Exercise. That's it. That's the secret. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
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