It starts now! This is my story.
When I was very young, my parents would take me to my grandparents to spend a few days, maybe even weeks, during the summer months. I enjoyed this very much and being with my grandparents gave me an understanding of who I am and where I hope to go. I found that I did not need much to be entertained. I enjoyed following the milk cows and playing with the calves, riding the ponies around the pastures, making whistles out of grass between our thumbs, and taking long walks throughout the farm.
The cows were milked early in the morning and in the evening, giving us fresh, unpasteurized milk for our meals. We had a cistern that was located on the mud porch for water and we would turn the crank to raise water from the well for drinking and cooking. We prepared meals from the vegetables in large garden and fruit in the orchard accompanied that with eggs we gathered from our chickens and pork from a butchered hog.
We did not have indoor plumbing at this time; we used an outhouse. We did not have TV, but we did have a radio that was turned on for the commodities report. You may ask, why the walk down memory lane? The point of this is to explain a way of life, that is more enjoyable because you are living at a simpler, less hectic pace.
This site is about change, a change that I think we should all think about and hopefully follow through. That change is reconnecting with natural, healthy foods and activities that keep us in shape. The change is reduction of foods that are processed, colored, genetically modified, heavily salted, and altered for over-consumption.
Please follow me with the challenge of trying to help our youth out of obesity, out of chronic mindless entertainment that only promotes eye and finger movement. Let’s start this year “2015” with a challenge of sustainable, healthy, independent lifestyle. We can do this in small steps, baby steps if you will, by replacing one unhealthy activity, food or drink with a healthy activity, a healthy food, a cleaner healthier drink. We will live longer and enjoy the living.
I was blessed with a marriage to a wonderful woman that I greatly loved and cherished for over thirty-three years. One day my wife was in the basement of our house, I went to see how she was doing, and it was not good. She could not make it up the stairs. After some time and me helping her, we were able to make it up a flight of stairs to the main level of the house. She was completely winded. I sat her down to rest, I was very concerned.
After she had rested I asked her to try walking around, she could not walk more that fifteen feet without becoming winded. I sat her down so she could rest and recoup. I have been in the practice of taking my blood pressure because I have seen it rise over the years. It is a simple, battery powered machine that will give you your vitals. I put that on my wife’s arm to check her blood pressure and all I got was an error message. I tried it on myself and was able to get a reading. I told her I don’t know what is wrong with the machine, probably me not using it correctly, but I still wanted her to go to the emergency room.
She did not want to, said she was fine, but I insisted. She was not happy but we started to make our way out the door and to the car that was parked about thirty feet away. I thought we would never make it; it was all she could do to make it to the car. At the emergency room, I told them what we had experienced; they took her blood pressure and immediately took her back to a room. Her blood pressure was 216 over 148.
They treated her with diuretics and blood pressure stabilizers. She became stabilized but spent the next twenty-four hours in ICU. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. We were able to leave the hospital the next day. She was very weak and was on oxygen. She was put on a low salt diet to help stop water retention.
That is when I had to really start looking at everything I purchased at the store for sodium levels. Much to my surprise the things that we normally ate like bread and other processed foods are really high in sodium. When we started watching the salt intake, we both started to lose weight. We tried to take more walks together to help her recovery but she still would get winded but not as bad. A year later she had a bone that was broken in her foot that required surgery.
Even though I was preparing most the meals, I was slipping on the regime of eating healthy foods, for foods that may have seemed to have tasted better. She started gaining weight again and that was probably the reason for the foot problems. In our entire marriage, I never asked her what she weighed, it didn’t matter because I loved her, but I made a mistake, I should have said something and tried harder to help her with her weight gain. On April 16th 2013, she died at home getting ready for the podiatrist appointment. We found her dead on the bathroom floor.
I was blessed with a wonderful woman to have as a wife, a best friend, mother to my children. This is why we must change. I planned on being married to her hopefully another thirty-three plus years. We have to stop and ask what can be done different for our loved ones that will help them live a long and healthy life.
Before my youngest daughter could drive, I would take and pick her up from school. I was amazed at how many youth are obese. My daughter said they could pick foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, fries and other foods that young people would enjoy to eat and drink.
I am not about taking on social systems for change, I am about what can I do in my life to make myself and my family healthier, physically fit and have a greater quality of life. I propose small steps that when put together overtime will accumulate into a lifestyle change that reconnects our spirit, our mind and our body to a natural, sustainable, healthier lifestyle.
You do not have to be on the farm, you do not have to be rural, you do have to decide that you want and need the change; no one will make you change your lifestyle but yourself. Baby steps, overtime are big steps.