Basic Instinct


I use to have a little dachshund who loved to run after any ball thrown. She would run until her tongue was hanging out of her mouth sideways. Our walk from the yard to the door left her ready to go to one place: her water dish. Now, let’s say that I placed a dish of Pepsi beside her dish of water. Why would she choose the water dish? It’s basic instinct for an animal to avoid something that could potentially harm them. So why do I see literally hundreds of people in my city who sit and gorge themselves on food that should be served with an angioplasty and suck down gallons of bottled carbonated chemicals? Whoa! Don’t think that I’m one of those people, like the mayor of New York, who wants our choices taken away. If you want to suck down a pack of cigarettes while eating a fully loaded chili dog and drinking a two liter Monster, be my guest. I just want to know why. It’s just curiosity, I guess.

I am not a high metabolism skinny mini who bashes anyone with a weight issue. I work extremely hard to stay in shape and remain healthy; the older I get, the harder it is, but I can never see a day when I will not care how I look or feel. Nope. It is not vanity. It is taking the one body I was given and keeping it as healthy and fit as it can be. So now that my biography is out of the way, I can move ahead. I completely understand the reasons  why many resort to food as a way of comfort, but then there are consequences to overeating that causes the person to feel terrible emotionally and physically so that they eat more and more . . . and the cycle continues.  Our television are bombarded with workout plans and food delivery systems to aid in weight loss, so why are the obesity levels climbing year by year? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the statistics for the United States are staggering:

  • Since 1980 the obesity rate has more than doubled among adults and tripled among adolescents.
  • Health care for obesity related problems has risen to well over $147 billion a year.
  • People with less than a high school degree have the highest obesity rate with 32.9%.
  • Non-Hispanic black people have the highest rate with 36.8%.
  • Hispanics are very high at 30.7%.
  • Non-Hispanic white people have the a rate of 25.2%.
  • Asians have the lowest rate with 16.7%.
  • 72.5 million Americans are considered obese, leading the world in that category.

I’ve written before on eating. Food is for our consumption so that we can function. Many people allow food to consume them. It makes me sad and angry to sit in a restaurant and notice someone eating chili cheese fries like it’s the last plate of food to ever be served on this planet.  What is worse than that is watching the same person shove the same greasy mess into their toddler’s mouth. I wish I could help. I wish I could show people who it doesn’t take a ton of effort or time to eat well and exercise a few minutes a day. Some of my friends say that they don’t have the energy at the end of the day. My answer? I say, “Exactly!” I tell them to find something that literally moves them: tennis, cycling, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, water aerobics, etc. and dive into it. Start somewhere. But like I wrote before, you can’t out train a bad diet. You don’t have to start out measuring a cup of carrots or drinking a gallon of water, just avoid garbage foods that you KNOW are garbage foods. Avoid soft drinks like the plague (they are nothing but chemicals). Your body has a built-in radar that tells you when something isn’t that good for you. Just my little dachshund, it’s basic instinct.

4 thoughts on “Basic Instinct

  1. I really enjoy your posts and you’re a great writer. I can relate to this post in some ways. My mother was obese growing up so of course, I didn’t learn good habits as a child. I had to educate myself and I fought a battle from the time I was old enough to be aware of food until my mid-20’s. After a year long trip to South Korea, where food was so healthy and healthy food was easy to find, it finally rewired my brain. I’ve now kept off the same 20 lbs for years and I did my first triathlon! Now my husband and I are going to hike the Appalachian trail and I’m hoping this journey will help me become truly physically fit. I want to continue afterwards with trail running and the like. So, I think that childhood can be a big part of it, but I don’t think it’s an excuse once you’re an adult who can clearly understand what is good or bad for you. The big thing I learned is to just eat real foods and avoid processed foods like the plague. Thanks for posting this!!

      1. That’s really great you both hike the trail together 😀 That’s another thing I’m very passionate about , how my husband and I will raise future children. We want to make sure all family activities are active. I want to give them the best start to life as possible so they don’t have to take years to figure out “what is healthy” like I did.

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