“I don’t want to live until 90. I don’t want to suffer like my parents,” said a friend.
I wanted to respond by saying, it’s not extending your life, rather it is the quality of life. But the teacher comes when the student is ready. So I should shut up already.
Some addictions afflict the closest of friends: Addiction to diet soda, addiction to cigarettes, addiction to sugar, even drinking alcohol until they forget where or who they are. Why do we allow ourselves to get sucked into these spiraling down processes?
And here I am trying another diet. It is called Ketogenics or the Keto Diet. I have gained some weight and some extra adipose tissue, so I am trying a diet that Winnie Monsod claims has worked for her. Eat no carbs, just protein and fat. Cheat one day a week so your body does not go into starvation mode. Let’s see.
My nephew doctor tells me there should be NO cheat day for it to just keep working, burning all your extra fat. But if I wished to cheat, it will just set me back a few days.
Apparently he went on the Keto Diet for a week then gave up. It truly is for the iron-willed. That is the challenge.
So, why do people get diet-crazy while others just throw all caution to the wind and just eat whatever they want? I think it is about happiness and contentment. Some people are fat and happy. Some are fat and content. And I am the foodie who wants to eat everything but wants to keep my weight and figure back to my teenage years’. Impossible, you may say, but dreams are free right? So going on a diet keeps me thinking, keeps me busy and keeps challenging me to learn new things like ketones and insulin.
It is challenging to question the system. It is challenging to question our health professionals who cure rather than prevent. Who prescribe medication rather than find the cause of an ailment or condition.
But everyone is responsible for himself or herself. Do you want to amble on while suffering from arthritis? Or do you want to be strong enough to be jumping around even as you approach senior years?
Then we have the sports addicts. Triathlons, walkathons, early morning 21- kilometer runs. What drives them? Note I say “them” because I gave up running when I gave up squash and tennis. I gave up golf when it was getting in the way of early morning meetings and hectic operational schedules.
There are those who do hot yoga everyday. There are those who are addicted to Planaforma or Pilates or ballroom dancing. What drives them?
In the end, it is about the quality of life. We want to be physically healthy, free from disease and as Ravi Singh the guru says, we want to be well. Wellness is a state of mind. So we are not talking about health, we would rather talk about wellness.
Who does not want to be well? I think no one really wants to be sick or addicted. Everyone dreams of being well, of having no issues whether physical or emotional and even spiritual health issues. There are everyday churchgoers, there are atheists, pagans and there are Bible toters and prayer group followers. Each to his or her own.
In the end, it is what makes you well that is important. If addiction is no big issue for you, so be it. If being a health fad fanatic is your way, so be it. Whatever choice you make, whatever whirlpool you get sucked into in the form of a bad addiction, it is a choice. Your choice.
What we all need to have is tolerance and respect. I recently attended a college reunion and did I get surprised at how ten people who were educated in the same school, spent college years together in extra curricular affairs, could turn up so different from each other many decades after.
I stayed with a family where each had his own diet, each had his own schedule, even if they lived under one roof. The parents go to mass religiously while all three kids have stopped going to church. What gives?
Whatever your choice may be, I will treat you with tolerance and respect. This is how we can have peace within ourselves and among others.
* * *
Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium and Centris QC malls. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.