Obesity and lifestyle related disease is not only a threat to the individual, but the related health care costs threaten to cripple the economies of developed nations as the baby boomer generation grows older and sicker.
Fortunately, during the last 20 years there has occurred a timely awareness of the major contributing factors to good health and wellbeing.
To a large extent it was begun with the published works of respected scholars and qualified therapists, who had spent their lives in study, observation, and scientific analysis in their respective fields of health research.
Health and lifestyle has now become a fertile money harvesting field for the unqualified and unscrupulous. Ex movie stars, having been preened and pampered for much of their lives, feel they have the credibility to advise the worlds hard working Moms how to look 10 years younger and be healthier.
An old battered boxing champion is now able to sell us cooking equipment guaranteeing a healthier lifestyle.
A walk through the book store reveals shelves full of books written by sports people, media personalities, and lots of people we have never heard of, all purporting to know better than us how to conduct our lives. It is tempting to suggest that improving our welfare was of a lesser concern to these people than milking money from us. But some of us are, by nature, just not that cynical. Are we?
Numerical imperitives seem to be a common factor in a lot of best selling lifestyle books.
Apparently certain numbers are more catching to the human eye.
There only ever seem to be 5,10,12, 20, 21, 50, 100 or 101 steps to perfect whatever. Peace of mind, healthy liver, cellulite removal, perfect skin, becoming a millionaire, or ways of sacrificing your own intelligence for the numbered opinions of someone elses. The selected number on the book cover has absolutely nothing to do with the real truth or complexity of the subject matter involved. It is an economic consideration. Marketing. And its origins go back a very long way. We had 12 disciples, and 10 commandments, and biblical parables involving 100 sheep, 10 pieces of silver, and 12 gates to the city, etc, etc. Some other numbers are just not popular. They are numerical pariahs.
I wish to make a stand for the equality of all numbers. The following is old GOF's 13 point guide to health and wellbeing. I sought a favorable review for my work from esteemed philosopher Dr. O. F. Larpoone, who replied using a lot of very big words including the suggestion that it was "pontificatingly and nauseatingly self righteous preaching". It is however a summary of hundreds of books out there by equally unknown authors which could cost you $999.95 (plus tax). Mine is free. No charge. Gratis. As with any other information you receive in life, if it does not fit harmoniously with your intellectual understandings and common sense……throw it away.
GOFS PATRONISINGLY SIMPLISTIC 13 POINT HEALTH and WELLBEING GUIDE
1. Select your parents carefully for genetic soundness and emotional stability.
2. Don't smoke ever, or indulge in other pleasures to excess.
3. Love yourself. You are your greatest asset.
4. Reduce your daily fat, animal protein (except fish) and salt intake. Avoid food with "numbers" on the packaging. Drink water.
5. Stretch, exercise, work, play, keep everything moving. Lift weights.
6. Eat all the fruit and vegetables you can every day. Raw if possible.
7. Avoid caffein except for that really nice cappucino with friends.
8. Find some quiet time to be alone. Meditate.
9. Count your blessings. Every day. Without fail.
10. Keep your mind active with hobbies, intellectual challenges and stimulating conversation.
11. Give random acts of kindness to friends and strangers.
12. Treasure true friends. They are rare as hens teeth.
13. Have dreams, even unachievable ones. Smile….at least inwardly, for those of us grumpy old farts who have a moral and spiritual objection to the external variety.
Life is way too complex to be addressed by any numbered guide or collective volumes of written word. There is only one way to understand it.
Occasionally listen to those who have already travelled a similar road. It may help prevent you from wasting time unnecessarily repeating errors from the past, tripping over your own feet, catching a communicable disease, or dying prematurely…… little things like that.
But mostly you are travelling your own unique track. Walk, don't run unless your life depends upon it.
Climb the mountains. Enjoy the scenery. Take care of yourself.