Look, as much as the next person I enjoy living my life as though I have nothing at stake. Whether it’s affairs of the heart (figuratively or literally), negotiating a contract, or playing recreation soccer, the best way to have a favorable outcome is to seemingly care a little less. When you seem invested, you have something to lose. But in my really humble opinion, you have to throw all that away when it comes to your health.
I know. I think that’s probably even worse news than learning that it’s more likely information about Wolverine on Wikipedia is accurate than information on historical figures who actually lived in real life, too.
Due to thinking this way, I have had to accept certain truths, such as that existing entire on caprese salad isn’t particularly healthy (especially if you sub in brie for mozzarella) and even broccoli hurts if you put too much Velveeta on it. Oh, and cheddar popcorn apparently isn’t quite as low-cal as air popped popcorn with cumin on it. When the stakes are my health (and being able to fit into those teal corduroy I found in Telegraph Hill), I have to actually play like those stakes are wildly important.
The fact is, if you don’t play that way, it’s too easy to forget where you’re at. It’s too easy to be sucked down an unhealthy shame spiral, and it’s too easy be complacent instead of proactive – all of which is totally delicious and means tons of watching Battlestar Galactica while hanging out with your best pals and chowing on spare ribs and beer at a local sci-fi bar (wait, those don’t exist yet? EXPLAIN!). Unfortunately, that lifestyle has consequences. High blood pressure. Cholesterol. Diabetes. You know the rest, you’ve heard it a gagillion times before – it’s a bunch of weird sounding issues that lead to your life being short-changed.
Here’s the thing: it’s not just your life that is at stake, but your quality of life. You are ten times more likely to be considered a contender for the next Bionic Man (as Dr. Dad was a few years back) if you consider your options, indulge as a treat not a rule, and go get your Jane Fonda on every couple days. Starting now, and lasting for forever. The sooner you start, the sooner future you has a better quality of life, is less likely to get all colin-cancered out or have severe memory loss or simply deal with aches and pains on a daily basis. You’re more likely to be active and travel, check out new places, go retro-rollerblading in the year 2045, have unequivocally rocking sex in your twentieth year of marriage (or open-relationship monogamish, or civil union, whatever your pleasure).
Because what would be worse than dying at a “before your time” moment is simply this: getting old, being chronically ill, and feeling like absolute crud with no will to live and no real desires, yet no ability or will power to cease your life here. I am very likely wrong, but honestly, that’s what I think is at stake.