By Julia Griggs Havey
I am a little heated as I write this, so bear with me. I read an article online about a man who was misdiagnosed eight years ago as having AIDS. According to MSNBC.com, "Jim Malone spent years battling depression and losing weight, expecting to die at any time. He attended support group meetings and accepted free meals from an AIDS charity." Upon learning of the doctor’s mistake, Malone said, "You mean to tell me that all you have to say is you are sorry? Sorry that I lived for all this time believing I was going to die?"
This is certainly a terrible situation and my intention is not to discount the seriousness of it, but rather to bring light to the issue as it relates to our weight loss journey and that of living with being overweight, and for many people, being obese.
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that obesity and the damage caused from being overweight is now the leading cause of PREVENTABLE death in our nation. Yet I don’t see big celebrity-filled fund raisers raising money to fight this disease, or powerful political action committees fighting for funding and laws to help those suffering from this disease. No, we are left out of the loop of public sympathy and outrage, yet more people die from our disease than any other cause of preventable death.
On just about every celebrity arm these days you see a
"LiveStrong" bracelet supporting cancer research. Red ribbons to bring
attention to the AIDS crisis are very prevalent. It is high time WE
start to bring more awareness to the disease of ignorance… obesity!
OK, that is only part of what has me steaming mad right now -- here is the "rest of the story!" I really hope this comes as no surprise to anyone, but we ALL die! When I read Mr. Malone’s comment that "I lived for all of this time believing I was going to die," THAT is what has me so upset.
Everyone is going to die at some time, that is the natural course of events in our human lives and there is just no getting around that fact. Regardless of what obstacles we face and what challenges we must try to overcome, we must continue to LIVE!
Everyone could take a defeatist attitude and live for many years "as though they were going to die" but aren’t we supposed to live, for whatever amount of time we supposedly have left, as though we are in fact, still alive?
I know a woman, Randee, who was diagnosed with an apparently deadly form of brain cancer five years ago and was given three months to live. I assure you that in the past five years, this lovely woman has truly lived!
I know of so many people whose bodies had been overtaken with morbid obesity, who said "NO MORE!" and found the power within themselves to change their eating habits, increase their physical activity and go on to lose hundreds of pounds. I include myself in this list.
We can lay down and wait to die, or we can get into the game of life and really, truly live. If you haven’t had the chance to hear Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying song… please make a point to do so today. The lyrics are amazing!
The point is, folks, that you either get busy living or get busy dying. (My favorite line from my favorite movie, Shawshank Redemption).
The saddest truth of my job is that I KNOW how much life we all waste "dieting." The average response from my readers when they were asked the question: "How many years have you spent dieting", is 20 years! Imagine that! I know the years I dieted and lived in a body I hated, and with an attitude that was negative, those were NOT the best years of my life!
Don’t waste any more time. Change your life today, for the rest of and BEST of your life!