I know my last post appears to imply that everyone’s disease is their fault and they are all to blame. This is not what I believe for one second. In fact I think it is unfortunate that we have been sold the ‘it’s your genetics’ deal because this thinking has left us with a sense of powerlessness over our health. It is therefore no wonder that we adopt a passive attitude towards our health when we are told biology takes priority when it comes to our bodies. We are left feeling helpless. Of course there are genetic factors that come into play, but it was Dr. Oz who assured us that our destiny is 10% our genes and 90% our lifestyle.
This means that if you don’t have a congenital abnormality but heart disease runs in your family you are not doomed. If you eat a heart healthy diet, exercise regularly and manage stress through relaxation methods you will likely have a healthier heart than people who don’t have a family history of heart disease but have a less than healthy lifestyle. The problem with ‘bad genetics’ usually happens for most of us when we have certain genetic predispositions and carry on like everyone else eating the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and what I like to call the WAS lifestyle (Work, Anxiety and Sleeplessness).
Unless we have a rare dominant genetic predisposition most of us can turn off those genes or manage them quite well if we live a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, what more and more research is indicating is that sometimes bad genes aren’t the real cause of diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Bad diets run in families as do hidden food allergies, poor lifestyle habits and family dysfunction (STRESS). The CDC (a very conservative organization) has actually stated that about 80% of illnesses are caused by stress. They even go as far to say that this is a moderate estimate!
If genes were all to blame these health problems would have existed for centuries. But that’s not the case. They existed, but they weren’t the leading cause of death. In the early 1900’s 1 in 33 had cancer. By the 1950’s it had risen to 1 in 16 (this was when refined grains and processed food was introduced to the world), by the 1970s 1 in 10 had cancer and today it is 1 in 3. At the beginning of the 20th century, heart disease was responsible for fewer than 10% of deaths. Today it is the second leading cause of death in Canada. Similarly, Type 2 diabetes was unheard of in the past as it still is today in populations that do not eat refined and processed foods. Today diabetes is on the rise–even Type 2 diabetes among children is reaching epidemic proportions. Bad genes or bad lifestyle? You decide.
In the last few decades we have been given Passive Health Care on a silver platter by some well meaning people (and other not so well meaning people) who assure us we can trust them. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten sicker. But if we focus on blame we are still not focusing on the cure: Prevention. This is about growth from the naïveté that we ever expected processed food to be equal to the Earth’s Harvest. How did we ever think that mass produced farming could ever be equal to locally grown organic food? How did we ever think that adding chemicals to our food supply (and everything else for that matter) would ever be anything but a recipe for disaster?
We have learned what happens when we don’t question what is going into our food. We are each responsible for our health. Responsibility has gotten a bad rap as being a boring, burdensome thing, but if taking responsibility for our body means a healthier, happier life then that is empowerment!
Active Health Care is responsibility. Active Health Care is empowerment. If we want to feel better, we have to choose better, we have to eat better and we have to live better.
To your own journey towards Health!
In Health and Wholeness,