In this segment of our weekly column, we are chatting about eating, diets, vitamins and so forth. These are the practical decisions we make every day about what we consume.
My colleague Robin Trimingham wrote an excellent piece a week or so back on the choices we have in life about a number of issues, and how we are always seeking “balance”.
She said, “I do believe that there is a very strong correlation between what you put in your mouth and the overall state of your health.”
Then, “these people either “don’t care” or are “in denial” about what they are doing to themselves”
I believe Robin’s points are correct. Yet I would add an extra dimension – the psychological angle.
This may be a tough statement for some people – but there are countless numbers of people, in their older years, who just don’t care what effect food, drink etc is having on them …. because … they have succumbed to the realization that their time on earth is now finite and “what the hell, I’m just going to enjoy myself and be damned with the consequences”.
It’s the doomsday excuse.
Have you ever heard the expression “Letting yourself go”..? Maybe that’s the syndrome we are discussing. “She used to be rather attractive, but in recent years, she’s just let herself go.”
Some of these folks don’t care what they eat ; don’t care how much they eat at one meal ; don’t care if they eat several times a day ; don’t care if they eat chocolate biscuits in between ; don’t care if they have extra pints of beer ; don’t care if they have pot bellies. They just don’t care. Simple as that.
If eating badly shortens their life, there are many people who will accept the trade-off. It is not our intention to say they are wrong. It is their life – and their decisions should be respected. But an acceptance of that lifestyle is, by and large, an expression of “just giving in”. The irony is that, in many instances, those who do eat and drink poorly, can actually live long lives and who’s to say they would have lived longer had they not done so.
While most people who do eat and drink badly probably accept that they ARE impacting their quality of life in physical, or medical, terms, but yet they are willing to do so because their psychological well-being is in great shape.
It is a powerful argument, to be fair.
It is not anyone’s right to say they are wrong. If they genuinely believe that at this age, they can eat and drink as they choose and “to hell with the consequences” then so be it. If their “final” years are years spent with a big smile on their face, good luck to them.
In the meantime …
Ask yourself this question:-
“Do I want to be miserable in my later years and not have fun, or am I willing to forego good medical advice and eat and drink as I choose..?”
“May you have Happiness all your Life”
The Olderhood Team.