I always try to assume (assume – it makes an ass of u and me) that other people want to be healthy, however what I’ve noticed is the opposite. Almost all of my elderly clients are diabetics, so one would commonly think that they would be more than happy to follow the advice of their doctors, keep their refined sugar eating to a minimum, eat in a healthy manner and keep an eye on their blood sugar. This is what you would think, yes?
What I’ve come to realize is that when it comes to forgoing your favorite treat versus your health, the treat wins every time. After they go ahead and eat something which could have adverse side effects, they then go into panic mode and take their blood sugar test every 5 to 10 minutes, all the while lamenting the fact that they ate that treat. When I ask them why they do this (sometimes several times in one day), I get YOLO as an answer. Now, they may not actually know the reference, but that’s basically their reasoning – they are “old” – although many of them are only in their 60’s, they’re going to die soon, and so they might as well eat whatever they want.
This leaves me shaking my head. Was that fleeting satisfaction of a treat really worth all the panic and worry it caused? I can tell you from watching and listening to them panic that no treat could ever be worth it. However, this is an ongoing theme. The clients with heart trouble and high blood pressure are the very people who eat meat and fatty foods a lot. Just as with the diabetics they seem to think that they need to eat this way even though they’ve been told not to. The main excuse? They are old and are going to die soon anyway.
Now, if they really believed that, I wouldn’t be so disturbed by their behavior. Instead they eat against their doctors’ advice, and then panic. They repeatedly worry that they’ve done “damage” to their health. This is a great source of conversation every time I visit. When I ask why they don’t just follow their doctor’s advice, I get a litany of excuses. They like eating this way; it’s the way they’ve always eaten; they’re too old to change; they’re going to die soon anyway. After the excuses, I get to listen to their complaints about how they feel sick, etc. etc. etc.
Do I sound like I’m discouraged? It’s because I am. Why don’t people just eat for their health all the time? When other people find out that I’m vegan the first question is – Don’t I miss all the food I can’t eat? To tell the truth I don’t even think about it. I like fruits and vegetables. I don’t feel deprived. I have found all kinds of new and different foods to make. I’ve even gone to the trouble to look up healthy alternatives for my clients and offer to help them prepare new and interesting foods. Mostly my efforts have gone unused, leaving me with the question don’t people want to be healthy? Let me know what you think. Do you want to be healthy?