Is not having enough time or money worth postponing a healthier lifestyle?
By: Matt Struve
I wanted to write a note to address what a Facebook member recently posted in reply to a link about Jamie Oliver’s TED award speech video: http://youtu.be/jIwrV5e6fMY
The comment listed these concerns (paraphrased):
- People who need to learn this are too busy working.
- or are too busy raising their kids.
- They have no time to think about it.
- They have extra money to pay for the healthy food.
- Most people who practice healthy lifestyles can afford to.
- They already have time to exercise, and extra money to pay for the club.
- Through history, health and fitness was always a privilege of the wealthy
- Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed.
This is such a important perspective to consider! I’ve heard it from so many people over the years. First I wanted to post Katya’s reply to this, because she so eloquently stated what took me page after page to elaborate.
“We are as happy and we are as healthy as we wish to be. A person has to have a will to be well. Having money has a front and a back, and that’s why we see both rich and poor who are out of touch with themselves. With money or not, we become what we think. The body shouldn’t be driven to sickness/death prematurely; it doesn’t take a fortune to nourish it. Depression is a different problem. I think so many people are depressed, half drugged with sugar, chemicals and legal drugs that it takes a lot of pain and suffering to bring one’s awareness back. But everyone has all the power to change that, they just don’t believe they do. We fear responsibility and we make excuses that we don’t have what it takes, either its time or money.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I don’t see “not having time” as a fatal problem at all. I used to work 80+ hour weeks. That’s two “full time” jobs. I know what’s up. I pushed myself to do high intensity exercises right before jumping in shower before work. I remember the effort it took to do it, instead of sitting on the edge of the waiting to wake up before work. So what made my situation any different than anyone else? More energy. I believe my mind wasn’t polluted with junk. When it used to be, I would’ve laid on the bed instead. I’m no different than anyone else. If I can do it, someone else can, if they simply believe it’s possible and start replacing junk food with nutrient filled foods.
An even BIGGER problem to me than no time or money, are the obesity levels, high cholesterol, the diabetes epidemic now affecting children, heart disease killing people off at 40 years old, increased ignorance [fatally] ravaging the culture, threatening future generations, etc. (I’ll address the rich/skinny vs poor/fat issue down below btw) When a person tells me that it takes an unreasonable amount of time & money to become healthier or prevent illness, it tells me they don’t have a real grasp on the perils their body will face later if they continue eating that way.
Let’s look at time.
If you study time management, they found the main reason why people “think they have no time” to introduce something outside their comfort zone, is due to lethargy, neural fatigue, depression which leads to feeling instantly overwhelmed when asked to fit even the smallest change into their routine… It’s a problem of diminished vitality. Which is curable! There are plenty of case studies to support it. It begins with exposure to information, then increasing nutrients. It creates a healthy domino effect.
And what about the time saved later in life? Time (and pain) spent in the hospital getting treatment for a problem that was avoidable earlier.
Here’s another side to the coin. What about the healthy people who work long hours (same as having 3 jobs), who also raise a dozen kids [admit exaggeration], and do it all while maintaining vitality (optimal health and high productivity levels). How do they do it? They certainly don’t have more minutes than anyone else. We all have the same number of minutes in a day to work with. A huge reason is because their bodies are fed with quality. Their vitality is nurished by nutrient rich foods, not nutrient deficient processed sludge that resembles food.
Nature demonstrates that one thing always leads to another. Let’s look at a domino effect created by eating healthier foods (as far as mental health goes):
- more minerals that the nervous system can use
- creation of new neuro-pathways
- less brain fog
- leads to clearer judgment
- better memory
- leads to increased learning
- leads to better performance at work
- access to new skill sets
- less stress and overwhelm
- reduced sickness
… and in turn, will generate even more energy to branch into other things, while raising AND cherishing their children, and their future health. AND yes, excess mental energy for finding ways to cook healthy foods without needing extra time to do it. *grin*
How can I say this? Because I lived in Hollywood for a time, and to this day, I have never met anyone who worked harder than a few amazing people I knew there. The only difference really, was they *knew* what would result if they didn’t make healthy choices. They kept their priorities adjusted accordingly.
If I imagined them doing all the work they did, while eating the junk big industry chains have convinced “uneducated” people is convenient and healthy “enough” for them, and expected them to have enough vitality to believe they could incorporate healthier habits… forget it, throw in the towel. I agree wholehearted that the problem is insufficient food education. But this is changing! Thanks to advocates like Jamie.
Now let’s look at money. The truth is you can actually SAVE money by eating healthier. (Katya and I have videos planned for demonstrating this, walking through supermarkets, price & ingredient comparing haha, it’s gonna be fun)
Consider the money that overworked, underpaid people spend on the convenience of junk food. Now compare it to what they would spend on whole foods (and I don’t mean artesian breads and organic specialty items from upper class food chains). I mean “whole” foods, like real vegetables. “Whole foods” meaning foods in their natural unprocessed “original shape”. Doesn’t have to be expensive organic stuff either (yes, pesticides are bad, but not as bad as inorganic junk food).
Whole foods are less expensive (in most cases). A bag of brown rice (which some say is one of the most balanced whole foods in the world) can last a whole week and you only have to cook/store it twice. It costs as much or less than 2 supersized fast food meals (which, remember, isn’t real food). If you took the amount spent on fast food & coffee, and purchased whole foods with it. You’d end up with more food at less cost, lasting longer, and nourishing you with better building blocks and more energy.
And of course, what about the money saved later in life? Woudl you rather spend HUGE costs for treatment and medication or spend that money enjoying retirement travelling and enjoying your family? Fully living out the golden years…
Somehow, saving pennies is still not appealing enough. Time also = money. You have to consider the time it takes to prepare food. That takes effort to overcome. To learn, to set time aside, to multitask, etc. To take a Sunday afternoon to prepare and package food for the next 3 days. The problem is, no one who eats junk food has any extra energy to spare. They still rely on coffee and sugar to get a mere 2 hour kick at work. By the time they’re off, their malnourished imbalanced adrenals are so exhausted from being pushed, all you want to do is sleep.
Tangent aside, the way I see it… the real resistance comes from imagining the new effort needed to transition into a healthier lifestyle, and imagining the energy it would take to incorporate it. They are already fatigued, already at their emotional threshold… on the verge of a breakdown. Too tired. And no matter how much more energy you promise someone, it’s not enough when you’re already exhausted. This is why Jamie talks about children. It’s flipping genius.
Danger motivates someone far more than pleasure. Eben Pagan (a well known business educator) presented a classic choice to his audience in one of his lectures regarding motivation.
First scenario – you are offered a reward if you completed a hard task.
Second scenario – your fingers will be cut off if you don’t complete a hard task.
Which one will motivate more people? Exactly.
I don’t care how tired a mother or father is… if something is threatening their child, they will fight hell and high water to do something about it. This is why that mother was crying about slowly killing her kids with junk food. And THIS is where the real solution comes into clear focus.
A better education campaign about food.
But, it’s not that simple. We already recognize the reality at hand, we see the downward spiral. But going toe-to-toe against fast food or big pharma is essentially impossible. They basically bought the legal system. But you can’t control “free speech.” What Jamie Oliver suggests is to leverage and support (fund) the ‘educators’ out there (the advocates!). Those with the time and passion, who have already informed themselves (he called them “angels”). They will campaign to educate others, if supported to do so, on a wide scale.
They will in time persuade business owners to re-consider, and look at the bigger picture, the “long term bottom line” they will end up facing sooner or later anyway. The more people who advocate vitality and display their results with glowing skin with no makeup on, sharing their transformation and success stories with others they know… it will rapidly start a domino effect. We need more ‘angels’, to become voices across the internet.
He said, all it took was 2 hours of teaching a room of kids about vegetables and how tasty they are. It opens their eyes to prefer those foods (even later on in life) instead of never knowing any better, and eating the nasty junk food. His approach is working. He shocks people to inspire them.
Even if one doesn’t have time to educate themself (who does?), what Jamie is proposing; is more about dispatching existing food educators out there. Letting them sharing tips on the radio, on TV, with a cell phone app, in grocery stores… so we wouldn’t have to spend additional time to learn stuff. It would be brought TO us. It starts with education. Then new thoughts and different choices are made.
It’s already happening. Just not at the level needed for the public to demand policy change.
Back to feeling defeated. If people think it’s an impossible situation to fix, or sit around waiting for someone else to do it, then we’ll never get the snowball of change and inspiration moving. How easy is it for someone to watch youtube or hulu on their phone while taking the bus to work? We’re already doing it. But we’re not watching informative content. The problem is most don’t know the VALUE of food education, because it’s not out there. Big business controls food information. That’s Jamie’s point. What if… you can listen to [paid for] tips on the radio about how “choosing” healthier foods will benefit you in this way and this way, and the reasons why. It’s doesn’t take much money, just takes committed and planned effort, especially in the beginning. Create broad change is possible. We just need food educators to get out there more.
Okay, regarding health between the rich and the poor. If you look through history (up til the 18th century or so) the rich aristocrats or royalty (thinking types) have consistently been fatter, while the poor (laborer types) have consistently been skinnier. Why? It’s is due to the richness of foods (meats, heavy creams and sugars) available to the affluent (usually those that owned land and livestock), who thought too much physical activity was unnecessary — while the more simpler, less elaborate (vegetable based) foods were cheaper and available to those that couldn’t afford rich heavier meats. Now, flash forward to modern times.
I’m not one to buy into conspiracy theories. But those with the power, probably recognized that food is a “must have” daily consumable product. Any smart businessman would seek control over a product that high in demand, and industrialize production. Next comes cut costs, which thins quality, while marketing it to people that want “immediate gratification” (the majority). Because time is money! Well, everything shortcut has a cost somewhere else. And because of our laziness for the quick fix… we’ve allowed these giant corps time to sneak in to our state and federal agencies…and influence policies about foods served in schools, by manipulating nutrition information.
A perfect example of industry controlled information was (back in the 70′s i believe?) how margarine was marketed “to help (even reverse cases of) heart disease”. Well, once the research came back, it resulted in a HUGE class action lawsuit by those consumed more, thinking their condition would be reversed. (I can look this up if someone wants)
And if you think it’s just a problem from the past? Think again.
“McDonald’s replaced beef tallow with partially hydrogenated soybean oil in 1990. In September 2002, the company vowed it would use healthier oil in its 13,000 stores in the United States by February 2003. Two years later, it is still serving up six grams of trans fat in a large order of fries and has given no indication of when that will change. Last week, the company agreed to a $8.5 million settlement of a lawsuit accusing it of misleading the public about its efforts to remove trans fat.”
Followed by lawsuits against KFC in 2006.
The list of food corruption goes on and on and still exists to this day (eg: Monsanto)… in the form of fast nutrition deficient modified food. All marketed to the poor and ignorant who believe that saving a few seconds of time by microwaving junk will increase their net value and productivity in their lives… It’s the perfect scam.
I’m sure anyone who would read this would say, “Okay, then what do you propose?”
Many, many things. Too many to list here. Above all, i would say spreading “information”. Talking about the benefits healthier eating can offer, and the problems that unhealthier eating can produce. That’s what making these videos is all about. We don’t have the resources Jamie does, to go up against the bigger institutions. But we can leverage the internet and use direct video communication to reach individuals throughout the world, and become more and more intriguing with our efforts … while planting seeds of inspiration! Only now, can you (without financial backing) still share your ideas and passion over a mass scale. Whether it’s about fast and safe fitness plans, solutions for healthier nutritious eating, or translating complicated health information, into easy, comprehensive, down to earth, doable action steps for anyone to try.
Here’s an example: “Want to drop 30 pounds? Want six pack abs? Want to have the most intense sex in your life? Want to play with your grandkids without pain? Want more energy without relying on coffee?” Here’s how. [insert nutrition and exercise education] … and if they follow, they will get those results, and more.
Okay, I’ve been writing forever, I need to move on haha. All I have to say is, we are seriously fired up about this very issue, the psychology of it. And watching Jamie’s TED talk only added fuel to the fire.
Til next time,