The Paleo(lithic) Diet: You Owe it to Yourself
This week, I want to to talk to you a little about what you owe yourself. As a human being. As the keeper of your body.
You’re the one in charge of your body and (at the very least) some of your decisions. There’s an entire philosophical discussion to be had about whether we really make any choices at all…but for now, let’s assume that we can.
And so you can look at the responsibility you have for your physical well-being as an opportunity for you to experience peak fitness or maybe at some other point along the spectrum between peak fitness and throwing your hands in the air and pretending there’s nothing you can do.
So why choose to experience fitness? Is it inherently better than experiencing, say, gluttony and sloth? Well, most people who have experienced gluttony and sloth know that those aren’t states they want to constantly be in.
And besides, didn’t you hear what Socrates had to say about it in the beginning of the show. Here’s that quote again:
“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
I suppose you could say it would be a disgrace for someone to live life without ever seeing the agony and pain of which his body is capable: irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, short life, the suffering that goes with not being able to enjoy a walk or to interact in a playful way with the world around him.
Without ever climbing trees and mountains and chasing children on grass fields and running with a dog.
Without knowing the suffering of being on the sideline when it’s really your only time to play.
No one really aspires to those things. That we even have that choice is amazing from an evolutionary standpoint. At no other time has it been acceptable to be so inflamed and out-of-shape and sick, and yet rather long-lived.
Well, let’s loop back around to what you owe yourself: knowing what it feels like to be your personal best.
I’m not talking about some magazine version of so-called “personal-best” — I’m talking about your best.
Here’s what Socrates’ student, Plato had to say:
“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.”
And Cicero said:
“It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.”
All right forget about philosophers — how about John F. Kennedy:
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
How about the Buddha?
Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering – an image of death.
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
So what am I getting at? Well, if you want to lose the fat, you have to change your diet. And if you want to be strong, you have to move around a bit. That’s all there is to it.
And the bottom line is that you don’t want to go through life never knowing what it’s like to feel healthy and strong. No matter what your situation, even if you have some health problems, you can aspire toward your personal best.
I believe it starts with your diet and then becoming more active, for the best results.
You owe it to yourself.