I am all for organic, non-GMO foods without the preservatives, dyes, and unnecessary additives. (I recently found it so strange to be taking medicine for a cold and see that it had blue dye in it. Why? It wasn’t required to make the medicine work and I’m an adult, my medicine doesn’t need to be pretty. It needs to contribute to my health in a positive way and it felt so contradictory!) I believe that we benefit when we make our food from scratch, grow our own when we can (without pesticides and things that can seep into our food) and when we watch our portions. I also am big into fitness. All these things together won’t guarantee I won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow or that I won’t still die of a heart attack, but they do make me feel better in the meantime. The energy and the ability to fit into my clothes is so worth it.
So, all that in mind, the headline of an article shared on Facebook caught my eye. To paraphrase, we can blame soft drink manufacturers for our weight problems.
I am not a big soft drink fan, and we rarely have it in the house, but seriously, even when I was a huge Diet Coke fan, it wasn’t ever the reason I put on weight. The reason was because I ate too much, had too much of the wrong foods and didn’t get off my butt.
A soda here and there isn’t a problem. A soda with every meal might be a problem, but whose problem is it? Ours. The person who drinks it. It’s not the fault of the creator if you don’t control how much you consume or you don’t practice moderation or you don’t get active to burn calories and keep your muscles in shape.
Your health is your responsibility.
All the bad food in the world doesn’t mean I am going to be obese. I want to eat a fatty large fries now and then. There, I said it. I confess, I eat a bad thing now and then. But then I am done and I don’t have it again for a while. I also throw on my sneakers and go for a run or do some Zumba or go lift weights. If I’m not feeling well and I can’t be active, I eat less fries or just resign myself that I’m making an unhealthy choice. I don’t try to blame the fry maker for my weight problem or insist they stop being available.
Seriously. What goes in my kitchen or in my mouth or in my kids’ mouths is MY problem. If I can’t say no or stop when I’m full or have consumed a proper amount, that’s MY fault.
Until we start taking responsibility for our actions, we’re going to continue to have problems. Fruit and vegetables really aren’t that unaffordable. Shop carefully and learn how to use the ingredients properly, and invest a little time to develop a good pantry and for the time to cook it, and problem solved. Yes, that’s oversimplifying it, but it needs to be said. Until we realize that we can be surrounded by fast food restaurants – filled with people who eat it daily OR just people like me who want the option of one bad treat now and then – and still head home, into our kitchen filled with healthy items and make proper choices.
My extra 8 pounds right now is because I enjoyed holiday cookies, a few extra meals out in restaurants where I didn’t count my calories or watch my portions, and I stopped running for a few weeks. It’s not the fault of the restaurants I visited or the weather or anything. Mine, mine, mine. My fault.
If we educate ourselves on how to stay healthy, we have options. It’s within our control. That is THE best thing: the ability to be in control of our health. (And if you’re dealing with a serious health issue, I understand you have exceptions but it’s still not the soda manufacturer’s fault any more than it is the cigarette manufacturer’s fault for people getting lung cancer. They choose to put that cigarette in their mouth.)
Make the right choices. Unsure of how to do that? Seek medical advice or one of a bajillion online resources. It’s time well-spent – if you just use the time spent on hating soda manufacturers to educate yourself a little more or find new healthy recipes, you’re already ahead of the game! I know being responsible for our own health is scary, as we can’t blame people anymore, but the power that comes with it is far more tremendous. And fun. Take the reins back on your health and see how much more fun life is!