05 February 2010

For the sake of the children, please!

On a daily basis, I speak with people who seem to have given up on the state of their health, and even the state of their entire family's health,  and it's so sad to hear these stories but I try to share as much as I can in an effort to change a few people's mind.  So many believe that just because they are in their 40s or 50s that there is no hope for their health to improve or that they don't have the ability to raise healthy children. 

There is always hope for anyone who decides that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  A woman my age, with children my age, told me that osteoporosis runs in her family and she admitted that she does not do anything for herself to combat this fact.  Why?  Well, could it be that her life is so hectic and she barely finds time to exercise and learn about nutrition?   Could it be that she has children with a demanding schedule, and she has decided to put them first?  Could it be that she also is married and is the dutiful wife?

Where will her choices for today lead her and her family tomorrow?  The bones of the body are alive, and that is why children MUST start out life eating healthy foods and getting proper nutrition in the process.  The bones grow and need to be strengthened.   Bone density is greatest when we are in our 20s, and then as we age, if we are not doing things to keep our bones strong, they start to thin out.  As we approach our senior years, we are more susceptible to fractures, breaks, etc. 

Beyond eating right and exercising, we also need to understand what ELSE causes our bones to lose density.  It can be certain foods, medications, illnesses, and more, and this is why it's important to especially be proactive with learning about prevention and health maintenance when you have certain conditions in your family.  No offense to doctors, but people need to manage their health beyond what they learn in the examining room. 

Why sit and wait for something to happen?  Why not prevent it from happening in the first place?  As I stated earlier, the bones are alive.  If something is alive, you have the ability to keep it strong and healthy...if you try.  During the same conversation with this mom, I also asked her about her children's nutrition and whether or not they were getting certain things in their diet, and she again answered, "well, no, they just don't like to eat certain things, you know how kids are."

As a mother of two, I certainly do know how kids can be, but I also know that it is my responsibility as an adult, a parent, an educated person, to make sure that my children get what they need nutritionally to lay the foundation for at least a healthy start in life.   Just like how adults can be afflicted with certain illnesses if they neglect their health, so too can children.  Children can develop high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc., just like adults can if they lack proper nutrition.    

The wonderful thing about the human body is that it is repairable and renewable.  Never give up on yourself and think that there is no hope for better health.  Prevention is the best thing to alter those possible genetic conditions that run in your family.  

At the very least, as parents, we MUST give our children a fighting chance.   I used to hear my parents say these words, "when I was a child, we really did not have much of a choice..."  In a way, their choices were pretty darn good as they both grew up with fresh farm animals and fresh produce in their backyards, and so there were no harmful toxins, no additives, no processing.  I also reflect back to when I was a child, and I think about some of the things we ate that we don't eat now.  Again, however, times have changed, and the production of the foods we eat today has changed drastically (not for the better) in the past 30-40 years. 

Why is my grandmother of 92 years old still alive, walking around, cooking, going to church, doing most everything for herself with no issues?  I would like to think it was the healthy start in life she had, and the fact that she lived the first 50 years or so of her life eating very healthy foods straight from her backyard, and because she is just a really good, sweet, loving person too!   

WE can't use that excuse anymore about not having a choice, because today we most certainly DO have a choice.  You can not hide behind money as an excuse, or even lack of time.   You know what, it behooves you to have a healthy diet if money is an issue because you can't afford to get sick!  If you don't have the time to stop and get educated about WHY it's important to address your health now, will you have to time to invest tomorrow when you end up sick?  

For the sake of the children, find the time!

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