Saturday, June 16, 2012

Today. 06.16.2012

A while back, I read this blog post about a woman who lost her father at 39.

She titled it "Why am I so passionate about real food?"

On her dad's birthday, what would have been her dad's 47th birthday, she wrote this on her Facebook status:
Do you think that what you eat doesn't really matter? Or maybe you're meaning to start eating healthier, but you keep putting it off? Can't seem to make time for exercise? Think it's all not really a big deal? When you see me talking about cleaning up my diet, do you think I've taken it just a little too far? When I tell you I don't feed my kids sugar or grains, do you really think I've gone off the deep end??? Does it make you uncomfortable when you hear about the risks of eating fake food and not exercising? Are you feeling uncomfortable right now, reading this status?

Good. I hope you are feeling uncomfortable. I hope you're feeling uncomfortable enough to DO something about it. Because you know what else is uncomfortable? Missing your dad. Watching his favorite team win the NCAA championship without him. Knowing you'll never get to introduce your kids to him, at least not this side of heaven. My dad should be turning 47 today. But instead we lost him to obesity at the too-young age of 39.

Please don't make the same mistake. Please don't think that it doesn't matter, that it won't happen to you, that you have plenty of time left. Your family needs you. Please honor my dad today and think about what kind of changes you can make to be healthier. You don't have to change it all at once. Take baby steps. Do a couple of things at a time. But please, don't keep putting it off. Do it for you, do it for me, do it for your family.

Then she wrote this in her blog post:
Does that seem somewhat inappropriate? Would it still feel inappropriate if my dad had died from lung cancer, and I was pleading with you to stop smoking? What if he had died in an auto accident, and I was spreading the word about how seatbelts and car seats save lives? Would it be okay for me to spread those message? Why is it different just because I'm talking about food? Fake food kills. Obesity kills. And I'm going to keep sharing that message with as many people as I can.

It really set me back a little.

So. Today. June 16, 2012.

My brother would have been 27 years old. Justin Ray Remmers.

I know some people question the intensity of the changes I have made in my life. Why? Why get so drastic? Why put so much time and effort in? There are so many other important things to life! Taking care of your body is just going to end at the grave anyway.


But isn't it worth it to take care of what you have while you have it?

Isn't it worth it to live a long, healthy life with those you care about?

Isn't it worth it to live past your 26th birthday?

I loved my brother dearly... I wish I could go back in time and simply tell him that. I don't remember actually having done that. There are things I wish I could say. He truly was a gem. A teddybear of a guy who would do anything for the people he loved. He always was the life of the party, the center of conversations, and a charismatic presence in the room where he was.

I love the memories I have of him. I wish that I could lock them up somehow, safe from the attack of my fading memory.

And so, my wish for you is this. Take things seriously. Get a grip on your health. Live long enough for those around you to enjoy you.

Since I am already on my soap box, I might as well forge full speed ahead. The biggest complaint I seem to hear, is that you do not have time. No time to exercise, no time to eat right, no time to get a good night's sleep. Really? No time?


Because you know who actually doesn't have time? Justin.

Everyone else who has died an early death due to heart disease. They don't have the time.

And maybe you truly don't have time to exercise. I find it hard to believe that you cannot steal even 15-20 minutes out of a 24-hour day. But, let's say you have special circumstances and a plateful of responsibilities that prevent you.

Fine. You still have to eat, don't you? Start taking that seriously then. Eat the foods that sustain you, while providing you the most nutritional benefit. Cut out the processed crap. Eat another burger instead of the bun. Learn more about the SAD (Standard American Diet), eg. that little plate illustration that Michelle Obama came up with... and then look at how that way of eating has "helped" us. Rising obesity rates, chronic inflammation, disease, etc, etc.

There are ways to become healthy. Educate yourself. Take the time.

Because someday you might not have time.


Elissa & Logan said...

Happy birthday to Justin today! Lots of memories, Im sure! He was kind of like a teddy bear ;)

You can still be healthy without going to the gym everyday, being thin and eating weird food though ;) Everything in moderation and being smart about your diet. You have a healthy motivation though and are inspiring!

Deirdre Remmers said...

I would suppose this is why I still try to eat healthy and exercise also. I've always believed in eating healthy and keeping active though, and it was hard to see someone we love die from heart disease. But each person has to want it bad enough for themselves. It seemed Justin wanted it pretty bad when he was in Rochester, but it wasn't soon enough or meant to be. We loved him dearly while he was here on earth, and I believe he knew that. He will never be forgotten in our hearts.

The Chairman's Wife said...

When I think of your brother, I think of a great big, happy smile with an outstretched hand to shake hands. Maybe you could journal some thoughts that you remember now so you could re-read later. I did that after our baby died and it helps remember things you want to years later... Hugs.

Brenda said...

We heard recently that when God made time, he made enough. I really feel for you in losing your brother. I like the Big Lady's suggestion of writing your thoughts/memories down.

Mariah said...

Heh. I would hardly call lots of good meat, veggies, eggs, and dairy "weird food." And I'm far from thin, thank goodness!

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I do not have any type of medical training, and my workouts and training are only intended for my personal recollection and your curiosity. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience. All images are subject to a personal copyright unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without permission. If you read to the end of this, congratulations.