OUR HEALTH: HANGING IN THE BALANCE
Category: Kim's Corner
Remember all that rain we got back in May? I think it’s fair to say that spring 2016 was something of a letdown. But you’ve got to admit—your lawn looked pretty darn good!
Between those days of downpour, I attempted to keep our acre of yard subdued. I’m the official Mower of the Grass in my family, so it did not escape me that we had some very tall, green, soggy grass thanks to the record-breaking rainfall.
Just as everyone started to wonder if the deluge would ever cease, the last raincloud moved on, temperatures soared and the sun scorched. Four days later, I was mowing brown grass. Brown! Grass that had been nearly drowning just days before was now dying from thirst!
It struck me then how fragile the balance of life is. Without the correct amounts of nutrients, water and sunlight, living organisms suffer or even perish. Though nature is resilient, its equilibrium can be disturbed so easily. The poor grass, I thought. Good thing humans are around to help set things right again. Then I hopped onto another train of thought.
What compels us to preserve and protect things? What sets us apart from trees, grass and the like?
Our big, beautiful brains.
Brains have launched us to the top of the food chain. Brains are behind all of our analyzing, inventing, and problem solving. Our brains instruct us to care for our families and our possessions.
So then, ah… Why don’t we use our brains to take care of ourselves?
According to a study published this year, over 97.3% of Americans do not meet all of the standards of a healthy life. Here are the four standards that were measured in a pool of 4,700 test subjects:
Get moderate exercise
Keep body fat under control
Yep. That’s it. It’s the same advice you’d get from a doctor. Or your mother. And almost no one is doing all of these things at once to keep their bodies in balance. This is not an opinion: As a society, we disregard the state of our health.
It’s easier for us to take responsibility and care for what is outside of our bodies—maybe because it’s easier to see them for what they are. Somehow, we don’t have the same clarity when it comes to ourselves. We can’t look at ourselves the same way we look at an acre of dying grass, or a wilting flower in a garden bed. Though it’s hard to see (and even harder to admit), our own state of imbalance, which is infinitely more significant than an imbalanced lawn, affects us long-term. Adversely.
We get sick. We have cancer and other chronic issues. And for the most part, we treat the symptoms but not the cause. As a collective whole, we have perfected the art of ignoring what is at the root of our most threatening problems. We can’t see that we’re wilting inside, that our systems need care!
So here’s a thought. Perhaps the “transformation” fad that is synonymous with what we think of as “good” health has it totally wrong. Maybe our brains feel defeated by the task (more like chore) of transforming ourselves, or have us believe it’s something we can put off until tomorrow. But health statistics scream that we cannot put it off until tomorrow!
Instead of making an abstract goal that someday you’ll have the body you want, make it a goal to find the proper balance for your body. Then make it a lifelong goal to maintain that balance.
The sooner we can make things about our long-term health and wellness, the body that we want will come to us naturally. If we can strike a balance, we’ll get the good body, the energy, the youthfulness and the happiness.
I don’t care how weird this sounds: Think of yourself like you think of your lawn. Your goal is to stay green. Give yourself water, but not too much water. Give yourself sunlight, but not too much sunlight. Balance is health. Balance is happiness. You can do it now, and you can do it all the days of your life.