Over the last three years or so, I have dedicated a portion of my reading and research to health and wellness. I work in a public library, so I have wide and easy access to a variety of published materials and reference databases.
I have made my own comparisons and conclusions, trying to weed out fads and authors trying to create a market niche for themselves, digging and probing for the truth about health and diet in today’s world. And while more and more of our collective understanding is coming around to the fact that Americans and people around the world are suffering increasingly from obesity, the truth about the origins of obesity are not quite yet mainstream. The information is out there – available in books, online…free for the taking.
The truth is that there are multiple reasons why our modern lifestyle makes us collect cottage cheese on our posteriors, cellulite on our thighs, and tires around our middles. Some have attributed the excess weight to our SAD (standard American diet), to consumption of too much sugar, too much wheat, GMOs, lack of sufficient exercise, stress. All of these factors are real and true. But it is also true that we cannot lose weight because of the overload of toxins, both internal and external, which plague our minds, our homes, our cities, our farms, our workplaces.
The body works very hard to remove toxins from beauty and hygiene products, chemicals used for cleaning, radiation, particles from the air and water, chemicals, hormones, and preservatives in our foods, as well as the stress hormones we produce from living our daily lives. When our liver can no longer handle the amount of toxic load we have introduced into our bodies, it produces fat cells to enrobe the toxic substances to prevent them from entering our bloodstream, where they would potentially be more harmful to us.
With that knowledge, we can move forward to speak up and raise awareness about how the very framework of contemporary life and our economy is destroying our health and that of our children. While industrial farms and feedlots continue to grow and the model is being adopted abroad as well, we as citizens and parents need to stand up and refuse to buy these products. Animals and the environment suffer, and so do we. Our lifespans will be shortened, and our economy will be increasingly strained by preventable health issues.
The pervasive use of plastic packing materials causes leaching into our food and water supply and causes air pollution as well. There are so many contaminants and so much excess, as we constantly produce more clothing, shoes, goods that have a short useful life. And so our obesity issues are linked to just about everything that brings about the “conveniences” of the American lifestyle that so many other cultures seem so eager to imitate.
Sometimes I feel sad when I see that France, whose traditional cultures and cuisines of the terroir, which respect an artful form of living in harmony with nature, has adopted American farming practices with huge infrastructures and heavy use of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. It is shortsightedness and greed which run the American economy much of the time, and while innovation and creativity are wonderful aspects of the human mind, we also need to feed the heart and soul and preserve our traditions, which help us stay in sync with nature. Compassion and happiness do go hand in hand, and when we care for ourselves, our communities, our animals and our planet, we can also build a healthy economy. Doing so is necessary for our collective and personal health.
Remember that no matter how much time you spend on the treadmill, you cannot possibly lose much weight. Eating healthy, sustainably grown and raised organic foods and abstaining from buying commercial pesticides, household cleaning products, air fresheners, laundry detergents, and beauty products will definitely help your health. Detoxing, drinking a lot of water, and avoiding sugars in all forms, refined and processed foods, and eating healthy fats and lots of green vegetables as well as seaweed and herbs will also help prevent many modern diseases, such as cancers, strokes, diabetes, heart disease. Spending time with friends, slowing down, making the time to live creatively and lovingly will all go a long way to reduce stress in day to day life.
And yes, your deodorant can contribute to making you fatter. It’s not too late to make changes in your lifestyle. And it’s not too late to teach your kids healthy lifestyle habits which will help change our world to a healthier, more peaceful, and more loving place.