A Message for my Community
The Time has Come...
I have to get a few things off my chest. I would be remiss if I did not. I don't know where and how our faith-based community lost it's way on this because the Jewish tradition is very clear - Ain Od Milvado - there is nothing besides the Divine. Everything we have - our bodies, our minds, the natural world - belongs to and is part of the Divine.
They do not belong to us.
They cannot be separated from the spiritual world.
They are not ours to trash.
We are stewards of every physical blessing that we are given.
Forgive my directness but if you want to continue to bury your head in the sand, that is your choice. So, in case the message isn't clear enough, I'm going to make it crystal. Here goes a little tough love.
We are killing ourselves.
Obesity in our community is at an all-time high. We eat too much. We eat low-quality food products that weaken our systems. The biggest single-food type aisle at our local Kosher grocery stores is the candy aisle. We feed our kids garbage because we are afraid to say no. We feed ourselves garbage because food has become a crutch. We aren't in touch with joyful living.
We move too little. Our kids move too little. Our schools use junk food as prizes and incentives. Our schools give kids gym once a week for 30 minutes and there are no organized sports.
We live disposably. We are wasteful of food and other resources. We make excuses for why we can't change like time, money, religion (ask Rambam and Rav Kook how they feel about that one), and fear of upsetting family members. Our boundaries of where we end and others begin are messed up.
Here's a fact...
When we ignore messages from our bodies and from G-d, they have to get louder to get our attention. Last week the CDC issued a statement that is yet another painful reminder of the cost of treating our bodies like billiard halls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data that depicts how many Americans who have died from COVID-19 also had contributing conditions. According to the report, only 6% of deaths have COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned, revealing that 94% of patients who died from coronavirus also had other “health conditions and contributing causes". Top health conditions listed? You got it...diseases of lifestyle including heart
disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Message loud enough?
The time for change is NOW!
Start small. Make incremental and sustainable changes.
Set specific goals for yourself. Write them and place them around your house as visual cues to stay on track.
Figure out what information and resources you need to start making body and earth-friendly choices.
If you don't know what healthy eating and shopping looks like, ask a friend who does, hire a coach or go to myplate.gov for family-friendly information.
Create and cultivate JOY. Find accessible activities that you LOVE and make them an essential part of your LIFE.
Move. A lot. As much as you can. As often as you can. In any way you can.
Make this a family affair. Everyone is home most of the time so get them involved.
Get support - from a coach, a friend, a family member, a group of peers who want to start making changes.
No excuses. If it's important to you, you will find the time and the resources.
Do NOT let the inmates run the asylum. You are the parent. You set the tone and the rules. You may need to educate but you don't need to justify or excuse. Small steps. Be positive.
Get with other parents and pressure schools to prioritize children's physical and emotional health if they want them to live long and learn well.
If compulsive and emotional eating is an issue, reach out to Overeaters Annonymous or a qualified therapist for support.
Don't wait. Carpe Diem.
Reach out to me if you need more guidance.
"By far the best investment you can
make is in yourself. Take care of your body and mind, especially when you're young. If I gave you a car, and it'd be the only car you get the rest of your life, you would take care of it like you can't believe. Any scratch, you'd fix that moment, you'd read the owner's manual, you'd keep a garage and do all these things...You get exactly one mind and one body in this world...and you'll rust out if you [don't care for and protect it]." -Warren Buffet, Aug 30, 2020