I read a news headline from CNN today that said:
"Nearly 1 in 5 Four year-old's are Obese."
Deep sigh. Heavy gloom in the pit of my stomach.
Another depressing statistic about health, bull-horned via the media. For a second I am saddened. But never shocked. Then, hope resurfaces.
Sad. Mad. Then hopeful. A while back, I decided that I wasn't going to waste my precious energy on negative facts, people or situations. I step back, think big picture and look beyond any gloom smogging up my view. While I'm no fan of obliviousness or ignorance, (everyone needs to be informed) I'm a much bigger fan of hope. Hope in life and in health.
"If it Bleeds, it Leads." The media regularly report (and love) negative statistics and stunningly sad stories because 1) it's their job. 2) it gets people to pay attention to them. 3) It Sells. Big time. But, no one, not even the media folks, like bad news, it's simply a part of life. When I hear a discouraging headline (i.e. the four-year-old's obesity stat.) I first get sad. Then get mad. (How are we letting this happen?!) Then, if I'm lucky, I end with hope.
A glimpse of my hope...
... it's kinda my version of The Sound of Music's "My Favorite Things"...:
"...farmers markets, sunny days outside, sweet potato biscuits you baked yourself, brown-bag lunches with "I Love You" notes tucked behind apple slices, whole grain bread warm from the toaster, waking up full of energy because you've been taking care of yourself, mint, lemon zest, basil, olive oil, garlic, gardening when the spring air hits the breeze, chai green tea on a rainy day, grocery shopping with your family on a lazy Sunday, a hot home-cooked meal after a very long day, discovering your favorite bright purple, green or crimson colored smoothie at the best juice bar in town...."
Where do you find hope?
Click ahead to read more hope thoughts and a photo of me at age four...
Me at age four, enjoying sunshine, a post-preschool nap and an apple:
Changing our Minds. Health is all about outlook. We need to focus on the positive and send the negative to the back of our minds. We do this in other areas of our lives, so why not health.
For example, If a child gets an "F" on a spelling test his parents immediately say: "Study More!" And studying hopefully ensues. And in the end, hopefully good results will come. Problem solved. If a four year-old is obese, we all get very upset and the media reports it with a hopeless attitude. But I say, fix this problem the way you would a spelling test. Focus on the positive. Healthy eating is not rocket science. If a four year-old is obese, there has to be some sever dietary problems in play. Parents need to take a serious look at how they can "Study More!"
Here's why I have hope for health in America: I think positive. Call me unrealistic, call me silly, but I do indeed have hope for health. I have seen people transformed from sick and unhealthy to vibrant, happy and healthy well people. Those who have experienced health would never go back to not taking care of themselves, a practice that is different for each of us.
Positive. Positive. Think Positive! The road to healthy living is actually a nice road. There's no glamour or beauty or happiness in being unhealthy. Doughnuts, cigarettes, super sizing-it and buttercream frosting is not the Rx for happiness (no matter what product marketing may communicate to you.)
Myprescription health and happiness?
The simple and slow road to living healthy and well everyday:
Fresh fruits and veggies, long walks to clear your mind and loosen your muscles, morning green tea after a long restful slumber, whole grain bread warm from the toaster, fresh squeezed juices and smells of herbs and fresh-picked produce, farmers markets, sunny days, brown-bag lunches with "I Love You" notes tucked behind an apple, waking up full of energy because you've been taking care of yourself, hot soup full of rosemary, potatoes and fresh carrots, mint, lemon zest, basil, olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, steamed tofu glazed in a ginger sauce, reading a book on a rainy day, gardening when the spring air hits the breeze, grocery shopping with your family, reading Lunchbox Bunch books and laughing at the Paparazzi Peas, sweet potato rolls that you baked yourself, eating ripe red strawberries on a lazy afternoon just because they looked delicious, blended smoothies and taking deep breaths as you walk right past the long-lined fast-food joint.
"Healthy living is nice." And those four-year old's mentioned in the study probably don't know that yet. But I really hope someone will be there to teach them to focus on health and focus on the positive. And come to know healthy life experiences that enrich their lives.
If we can teach each other to focus on the positives of healthy living, I really think it's all going to turn out OK.
What do you think? Where do you find hope when you read these discouraging headines?
I read a news headline from CNN today that said: