In honor of Independence Day, I’ve decided to share one way everyone in America can be a true patriot. To do something that will hugely benefit your country. To rise to the occasion and make your country a truly glorious and wonderful place, more so than ever before. A way to increase productivity, happiness, well being, and also balance the budget. This is a call to destiny, to a brighter future. To the next stage of human greatness. To finally realize what we can truly be. Now is the time for all good men (and women, #woke) … to stop being such giant fatties.
A little less than three quarters of Americans are overweight or obese. About seven out of eight are in poor metabolic health. Meaning they don’t get the right amount of nutrition, exercise, and sleep. And this puts a fair amount of strain on literally everyone. And I’m not just talking about the strain on their lumbar vertebraes that’s caused by the overwhelming weight of their protruding guts.
Healthcare costs in the United States are about $3.5 trillion dollars. Which works out to be about $10K per person. Twice the average per person costs of other OECD countries. Of that $3.5 trillion, maybe $1 trillion are paid for with Medicare and Medicaid. And a wildly disproportionate amount of these costs are because of entirely preventable diseases. Like diabetes. Or all of the things that can lead to. Like cancer and heart disease, just to name two. And by “two” I mean the bane of American existence. Our top two killers. The sneaky boogeymen that kill us by the millions and rarely get mentioned in the news, because murders are more interesting.
And it’s not just about that. Being a blimp (something I had experience with until recently) can lead to all sorts of mental health issues. Depression is probably the most common. Staring at rolls of flab in the mirror can be kind of a downer. And depression (amongst other mental illnesses) can lead to imbibing non-nutritional plant-based or science based things that really don’t help. I mean stuff like meth and opioids and whatever.
Of course, even if you’re not a drug addict, there are other problems. It can slow you down at work. Being fat, sick, and depressed can kill your motivation. Next thing you know you’re in a dead end job, you hate going to work and do the bare minimum to survive, and you barely are able to talk to your family. Ten or twenty years later, you discover that your daughter is a stripper.
If we got our diet and exercise regimen under control, it would save billions in healthcare costs, and produce billions in productivity. And make us happier and less likely to engage in self-destructive habits that slowly kill us.
And let’s not forget the viral elephant in the room. Being metabolically healthy prevents the onset of the bat-originated Captain Tripps disease. People with chronic diseases caused by weight, lack of nutrition, and lack of sleep are vulnerable to the Disease Which Shall Not Be Named that has us all sequestered in our houses. And gradually starting to hate our families and anyone else that we’re cooped up with. Not being a bunch of behemoths could produce a certain amount of herd immunity amongst Americans, which might allow us to avoid a disease-induced holocaust.
I’ve mentioned before that my dad yelling at me motivated me to lose weight. Fat shaming actually does work. He yelled at me and I pushed myself to get skinny. So now I’m going to do that to anyone reading this. Y’all need to get your act together.
As I’ve noted before, lack of exercise is probably the primary cause. The problem is, you slackers are only doing about two hours per week. You need two and a half hours of activity (walking, at least) and an hour and a half per week of vigorous exercise (running, bike riding, etc.) per week.
And y’all eat crap, too. Too many French fries, too much beer, too many hamburgers, too much pie, too many things covered in cheese or drowned in dressing. But another thing I’ve pointed out before is we are eating too much, but not way too much. If we laid off just a little, we’d be better off.
The good news is it doesn’t take much work. It takes maybe four to six weeks to get back to good metabolic health. If we’d have started down this path when the End of Days Virus started, most of us, if not all of us, could have already done that by now. And being stuck in your house because Gotterdammerung approaches in the form of Coronavirus is no excuse.
For starters, you should have no difficulty whatsoever getting plenty of sleep if you’re on full lockdown. And the truth is, you should have no difficulty getting sleep on normal days. You can save that next episode on the Netflix playlist for tomorrow. You can put down the phone and read a book until you fall unconscious. It takes only a slight bit of self-control.
And being trapped on your own property is also not an excuse. There are plenty of ways to add a little physicality to your life. You can fix up the house or the yard. You can do various calisthenics. You can pick up and put down heavy objects. Or, if you get a little cabin fever and need to get out, there are plenty of activities that allow you to maintain social distance. Things like hunting, fishing, golfing, or camping are good ways to exercise and stay away from other people.
Not everybody is working right now, but being short on money is no excuse. You don’t need money to go running, or jogging, or any number of other things. Besides, being healthy is cheaper than not being healthy. If you don’t believe me, take a look at your last few medical bills. There’s a pretty easy way to make most of those go away.
Time is no excuse either. Even if the COVID-induced Ragnarok weren’t happening, we’d have time. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can set aside thirty to forty minutes a day. That’s all you need to hit that four hour a week mark. You can do this with an hour four days a week, or maybe forty minutes a day, taking Saturdays or Sundays off.
And you definitely have time to cook healthy meals now. Cooking for yourself might take another thirty to sixty minutes per day. But even if you are a bit pressed for time, there are ways around this. Like the bachelor casserole, which is just throwing random things into a casserole dish and baking it for an hour. These take maybe fifteen minutes of prep, then you pop it in the oven and do other things while it’s cooking. And pray that the results are edible. Although if you have enough hot sauce in the house, you can cover up any culinary catastrophe that may come out of that oven.
The point of all of this is, you have time to be healthy, and in the long run it’s worth it. Not only are you better off, but everyone is better off if the country gets healthy. We just need to focus on it. And stop making excuses.
Remember the words of the wise (albeit somewhat frisky) President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, when he said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”? Well, here’s some good news. You can do something for your country that’s also doing something for you. And it’s far less than has been asked of us before.
Previous generations struggled, starved, fought wars and disease, and did a number of other things that sucked. All you need to sacrifice is that extra piece of pie. And maybe forty minutes to an hour a day to take a run. Small potatoes compared to your forebears. And you’ll actually be the biggest beneficiary, because it will result in you not dying. OK, you’ll eventually die, but it’ll take longer. And you’ll be a lot happier during the time between then and now.
And this doesn’t just apply to America. Obesity isn’t just a problem here. It’s a growing problem all over the world. Literally everyone in the world can make an effort to be less fat. All we need to do is be slightly less gluttonous and slightly more active. It’s not a lot to ask. So whoever you are, get moving and stop eating garbage. Your country, your world, and you will be better for it.
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