It only matters what works for you.

Longer, or better?

Does it ever seem to you that medical marketing has us so focused on living longer that we forget to live better?

One of my best friends ever is watching her elderly father die, slowly. He can no longer remember a list of things longer than 2. His entertainment is a stack of books that is rotated but never changed. He’s perfectly content to watch the same tv shows over and over. He doesn’t have Alzheimers, he’s just not really in there any more. Old happens.

This has caused my friend to reevaluate her priorities, and has given me a lot to think about. Living *longer* does not appeal to my friend, and I have to say, I think I agree. Because I’m not sure her dad is still living, he just hasn’t stopped breathing yet.

We can get so caught up in all the things that are cancer risk factors and heart disease risk factors and on and on and on, there are so many scary things that can happen to us we can spend all our time avoiding risk factors but forgetting to live life. Do things that are fun. Get dirty. Eat the pie now and then.

If you’ve read this blog I think you can see I’m certainly an advocate for the pursuit of health. But I will say that the things I’ve been working so hard on aren’t about necessarily living longer. For me, I want to live better.

I don’t eat food that makes me feel bad. On the other hand, I’ve eaten a lot of food that I don’t like in the name of ‘health’ and I think maybe I’m going to stop that. I’ve gone back to the gym because I like to be stronger and move more easily. I don’t walk around my neighborhood in the muggy heat just because it’s good for me, I hate it. I’m actively seeking out movement I enjoy.

Our culture here in the US seems to be pretty polarized. Everything is about extremes. One extreme I see very clearly is the people who do whatever they want and eat whatever they want and damn the consequences. And on the other side I see people who are *only* about the consequences, but never about today.

I want to live my life more focused on enjoying every minute. Eat for health, but choose food I love. Move lots, but make it fun. Save for the future, but don’t skimp.

Who’s with me?

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Comments on: "Longer, or better?" (2)

  1. Yeah, you make a good point, I think. It’s one thing not to eat food that makes you miserable, but it’s another to not focus on really enjoying what you DO eat — and not having it be the center of the universe, which has a lot of other things going on (if we let it!).

    • It is so easy in our country to have a truly messed up relationship with food. I’ve spent a lot of years trying to eat ‘right’ and otherwise hating everything I put in my mouth. I can’t do that any more. I just can’t. I didn’t even get thin doing it! Now I’m trying to focus on food that makes me feel well and doesn’t require that I spend my whole life messing with it. Chia pudding today I think. Easy, nutritious, and tasty.

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