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On the Epic Price of Bad Food

images-26I’m running through tiny towns near pastoral Nidda, Germany, early in the morning in mid-November through a frost-bitten field of collard greens. Past a stream full of tiny, white-as-snow ducklings, cowbells clanking in the distance.

Or I’m winning a doubles match in an 11-9 third-set tiebreaker. Or losing it. Doesn’t matter, for the purpose of this little essay.

Or I’m bending myself in half, with the tops of my feet on the floor over my head, a yoga pose called the Plow.

I often want to put the scenes from my life, just a few from the last couple of months, in my back pocket, for later recall.

My LIFE! I only get ONE! I want to live it OUT LOUD doing new things, doing outrageous service that helps others! Meeting new amazing people all the time! Putting stuff on the bucket list and checking it off.

In these moments, like the frosty morning with the amazing white ducklings, I often think about the majority of people around me immobilized by their appetites. Salt, sugar, refined fats, MSG and aspartame have sidelined millions of people from the most rewarding parts of life. They don’t know what they’re missing! Or they do—but they think this cool stuff is for OTHER people.

images-28When you fuel your body right, do you know you make more money? Dream bigger? Experience more JOY? Actualize more goals? Live more authentically in your relationships? Act true to yourself more? Attract more good people in your life?

When I was fat and ate the S.A.D., my life was a flat line. Sure, it’s AGONY to lose a third-set tiebreaker after a 2.5-hour match, which I didn’t have when I couldn’t run a city block at age 26.

But ecstasy and agony are what gives life rich complexity.

I wouldn’t trade the highs and lows of the life I have now, for the flat-liner life I had then. Eating ice cream and watching TV and not much else. Wouldn’t trade for a million bucks.

I say this not to judge. I say it to encourage, to help you dream of finding that health, peace, spine-bendy, giddy, loving-to-be-in-my-skin quality you once had and CAN BE HAD AGAIN.

images-30I taught a wellness class recently. A lady raised her hand, after I made a passionate plea for a shift in lifestyle and diet. “I’m in my 50’s. Is it too late for me?” she asked.

“That’s the exciting thing!” I said. “A year from now, you will have replaced virtually every cell in your body! You will, in a very literal sense, be a completely different person! So, you can and should start RIGHT NOW and expect to see RADICAL CHANGES, and soon!”

In just 90 days, you’ll have a completely new liver. A GSG reader named Jeremy, in Dallas, recently found out he has Fatty Liver Disease, NAFLD. He tells me it’s a silent epidemic, and kids as young as 10 have it. He’s undertaken a 45-day juice feast, and a 45-day raw vegan diet after that. He intends to have a brand-new, clean, lean liver, so he can be playing basketball when he’s 65.

I said, why stop at 65? I know 80-yo basketball players who go to the Senior Games. You can be the most competitive you’ve EVER been, at that age! Because 99% of the competition is in a La-Z Boy or dead!

images-32In Europe, far fewer people are overweight. In Switzerland especially. I said this to the Swiss, and they laughed at me and said, “One in four of our schoolchildren are overweight!” Well, there’s a bakery on every corner.

I think they seem so thin to me partly out of relative comparison (70 percent in the U.S. are now overweight or obese), and partly because they ALL SMOKE. Seriously, I’ve never been around so much smoking.

And they drink coffee. So those two things make you sick (and they are sick, just like we are), but not fat. I choke on the exhaust in European cities, where there are no emission controls—Prague and Budapest, in Eastern Europe, are the worst.

When I see an obese fellow planet-dweller, American or Euro, I don’t feel condescending; I feel sad. I simply have this thought:

images-29“You are missing all the good stuff, my brother.”

Besides momentary pleasure on the tongue, sick foods rob us of nearly all the other pleasures of life. You know that “flow” of doing meaningful work you get lost in? It’s one of my favorite things in life.

Getting deep in a project. Pure PRODUCTIVITY, utilizing your talents. Challenging your brain, grabbing references off the shelf and looking them up, absolutely lost to the world. Getting thoughts on paper. Those are MY favorite projects, research and writing.

When your head hurts and you have no energy, FLOW is lost. Sleep apnea and fatigue mean that sitting through a play, or a movie, isn’t pleasurable like it should be.

Even sex isn’t the sweaty, athletic, joyous thing it’s meant to be.

images-33You see all the losses? The Standard American Diet adds up to nothing more than a pathetic mountain of loss.

I think sometimes that Americans are mice trapped in a labyrinthine maze. Nobody protests. We just eat the pellets we’re fed and walk around in the maze as directed. Asking no questions, following all the other mice.

Hop the wall of the maze with me, friend. Let me help pull you up. Hang around the GSG blog, come to our classes, do my 12 Steps course, never stop learning and practicing.

 

 

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