A patient saw me this week for his check up, an annual sojourn into my luxurious and tranquil rooms for the ‘once over’, his ‘grease and oil change’. He’s overweight, cultivating a beer gut, and his blood pressure and blood fats are slowly rising.
As my mate Leighton and I used to say: I ‘pulled the handle’ – calmly reciting a familiar diatribe about the risks of being a fatty poombah and Maccas muncher all rolled into one.
I listened to his excuses and his intentions, a carbon copy of the 7452 before him. But, for once, I actually heard what he said.
He said: “I’m going to start getting fit and eating better”.
He’s going to START.
That implies he finished. Or never started.
And that made me realise that nearly everyone is starting their diet, starting bootcamp, starting to go walking, starting to lose weight, starting to get healthy.
Family roasts on a Sunday were always punctuated by Mum saying “I’ve eaten too much”, Dad rubbing his tummy and replying “Crickey, so have I”, quickly followed by the parental motto in unison “It’s ok, my diet starts on Monday” (cue table wide chuckles).
So why are the things we do for our health things that have to be started? Why aren’t they maintained, continued, ingrained, routine, or natural? I refuse to believe that the majority of Australians (or even my UK, Italian or Polish friends* ) don’t understand the simple fact that if you eat more, and don’t exercise you put on weight.
Now, before you all jump up and down and poke stillettos in my eye, I do appreciate that it’s not that easy for everyone. But, I hate to tell you folks, it IS that easy for MOST of you.
So what’s my point?
Why do you STOP exercising, stop eating well, stop prioritising your health. Why is minimising your risk of dying young, less important than your work, a bit more income or a beer on the way home?
Don’t say your going to start being healthy.
Tell me your never going to stop being healthy.
Cheers, Dr Sam.
* – NB: yes, for some reason lots of Polish people look me up – any hints?