Sloth and Gluttony are My Homeboys

Oct 1st, 2015 | By | Category: Columns

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, the human lifespan has increased significantly. People checking out after their 25th birthday isn’t the norm. Diseases that once wiped out entire towns have been relegated to a few petri dishes in heavily secured laboratories around the world. Of course, no matter how amazing science is, none of it does any damn good if we don’t do our own part. We’ve all been inundated with reports and suggestions that we should lead healthier and more active lifestyles and that doing so increases our life span and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer. All good stuff, but regardless of the longevity it adds to one’s life, is it worth it over eating deep fried butter wrapped in bacon while marathoning Simpsons’ episodes for a solid week?

Naturally, when people decide to become healthier, their first inclination is to partake in a more active lifestyle. Becoming more physically active is great, there’s no denying that, it increases stamina, strength, reduces joint pain, and staves off physical ailments like arthritis (probably, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor). But there comes a point when it’s just too much. They decide to start talking walks around the neighborhood, improving their stamina little by little with each step they take. This eventually grants them the strength to jog, at a fairly increased speed, weaving in and out of other health seekers on the various trails and sidewalks they use. Others spend their time in the gym, lifting weights and using fitness machines that look as if they were derived from torture devices from the Inquisition. Experts state that at minimum, participating in some form of physical activity for 30 minutes a day is more than enough to help with your health. That’s nice and all, but it’s not just 30 minutes of your time, there’s travel, dressing, and waiting on any number of things, from traffic lights on your jog, to some tool who’s using the treadmill wearing jeans and talking loudly on his cell. So with all of that, let’s just round that out to an even hour.  You willingly spend an hour a day for no real purpose outside of making yourself exhausted and sweaty. You know what you could do in an hour? Anything!

Now, if simply moving around a little more than usual was enough, obesity rates wouldn’t be as high as they are, but we all know it’s not just a matter of exercise but proper diet as well. Now, for some people, eating healthy comes naturally as habits have been ingrained in them from an early age. Minimizing their intake of grains, sugars and fats while maxing their vegetable and fruit. For the rest of us who are on a first name basis with the staff of our local Dominoes, it’s a bit more difficult than that. Keep in mind, our shitty eating habits aren’t the result of our parents just instilling in us poor and unhealthy eating habits, but more of a, “Shit, I’m an adult, I can do what I want” state of mind. We’ll be the first to admit that our diet is horrendous, we’ll try to eat an apple here or there, but for the most part it’s nothing but carbs. Glorious, glorious carbs.

Self-control is at the center of eating a well-balanced diet, being able to silence the temptation of wolfing down a bacon double cheeseburger in lieu of, well, anything else. It requires putting in much more thought and effort into it than should be required. It’s not a simple matter of, “Oh, I’m hungry, let me eat something,” now it’s a matter of reading serving sizes, calorie counting and being aware of the daily percentage allowed of various vitamins and minerals. I’ve failed math courses more than I’d care to admit, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t feel like breaking out a graphing calculator and algebraic equations before I cook my dinner.

Sure there’s no doubt that being healthy is good for you, I’m not even going to attempt to argue against the mountains of scientific evidence out there that states as such, but is it really worth it? Let’s be honest with ourselves, life is really only worth living between the ages of six and sixty, after that we’re in bonus levels. Who wants to prolong their life long enough to see themselves become a drooling, wrinkly mess that shits themselves? “Damn, I’m so glad I spent all that time in the gym and eating vegan lasagna in my younger days!” you say, as the nurse empties your bed pan after feeding you your treat of tapioca pudding for correctly remembering what year it is.


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