Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The "H" Word

Dear Powers That Be,

Hello and good day to you. I hope this missive finds You well and happy.

I am writing you today in hopes that you will consider my petition to become Queen of the Universe... I see many things going awry in this world, and many misguided people and feel that my experience and knowledge base will help me help others so they too can live a peaceful, enlightened, fulfilled lives.

If my petition is granted, I shall make it my first priority in office to banish the use of The "H" Word... Healthy.

Yes, PTB, you read that right... I wish to banish the word "healthy" from the vocabulary of the modern age.

I did not reach that decision lightly, and there were several words, especially in the weight loss world, that were considered. Words like "diet" and "clean", not to mention the range of "named" eating plans... then there were words like "Only" which diminish the positive actions of the person stating it (I /only/ did 15 minutes of X activity... which is a HECK of a lot better than _NO_ minutes.) And there's the whole concept of resolutions that, honestly, I wouldn't know where to begin.

So I decided on tackling what seems to be at the heart of the matter and cause for much confusion: "Healthy" ...

Just as the Eskimo's have elebenty billion words for snow, Healthy has elebenty billion and one different uses, implications, and concepts... it has gotten to the point where, to quote the great philosopher Indigo Montoya, "You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Let me 'esplain:

Plain and simple, the definition of Healthy is this:

1. possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality: a healthy body; a healthy mind.
2. pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind: a healthy appearance; healthy attitudes.
3. conducive to good health; healthful: healthy recreations.

So, one could conclude, that possessing or pursing these things, one would be considered "healthy." Rightly so! Possessing a sound and vigorous body and mind /should/ be something to celebrate and chase after with pride and passion.

Sadly, that's where the masses diverge from the path and have taken the word "healthy" and turned it into a judgment, a standard, and almost a 4-letter word, _especially_ in reference to food.

My take: Healthy is in the eye of the beholder, and what promotes vibrant health of the mind and body in one, can destroy it in another.

The word itself is tied to many things that, on the surface, do seem to good for the masses - less processed food, more foods that are closer to their natural state. Move more, sit less. All good ideas in general, but it's the specifics where folks get bogged down.

For example: Some say that a way of eating that is rich in whole grains is the way to go... but to a celiac or someone with serious gluten/grain intolerance issues, that's a one way trip to Loo-ville, or worse, the hospital.

A way of eating higher in carbohydrates is great if you're an endurance athlete, but for a Type 1 Diabetic, or someone with insulin resistance it's a roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows that can lead to bad, bad places.

For some, building a foundation of eating based on just plant based items may be the key to vitality, but put that salad or veggie dish in front of someone with Crohn's Disease, might as well offer them a plate full of nails.

A plateful of critter protein and minimal carbohydrate accompaniments may do wonders for energy and focus for one, but make another sluggish and want to curl up for a nap.

A recipe could be labeled "healthy" because it swaps out whole wheat flour for all purpose, but still contains over processed grain that's been bleached beyond recognition. Or it could gain that illustrious title because it's reduced the amount of fat, which also reduced the capacity for some of the vitamins contained within to be absorbed.

Sitting in any lunchroom is like putting yourself in a judgmental war zone where you are praised or ridiculed by the amount of vegetable matter on plate.

You see from these few examples, dear PTB, that the rampant misuse and abuse of a positive word needs to be stopped?! I didn't even touch on the confusion that occurs when one tries to identify what is or isn't considered healthy (Milk, for example, the wonderful, vitamin rich elixir which apparently is also of teh debil and must be avoided and consumed at the same time.)

You now see the reason for my petition to become Queen of the Universe so that my Reign of Terror era of help and kindness can begin as soon as possible. So the focus can be taken off of imposing on the masses what is perceived as "healthy", and put back in the hands of the individual to determine what brings about good health _to them_ and empower them to continue on that path.

In closing, I hope that you consider my plea as I am only looking out for myself the mental and physical well being of those around the globe.

I look forward to your quick and positive response, granting my request.

Your most humble servant,


1 comment:

angie said...

If I was a Powers That Be, you would already be Queen. Excellent post!