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And yes, now that you ask, I do regret posting a picture of me eating a donut — a donut that looks suspiciously similar to frosted brains, given the zombie theme, but a donut all the same.
Words are funny.
Let’s start with health-conscious. Likewise, let’s start with Mary, the very picture of health: two hours each morning on the elliptical, five or six meals daily (otherwise her metabolism, she suspects, might implode), and given the dilemma of what kind of tortilla to around her post-exercise burrito, a staunch supporter of whole wheat, because everyone knows whole grains are a healthy addition to your diet.
She also reads glossy beauty magazines.
Mary, by most definitions, is health-conscious. She takes care of her body with the knowledge she’s been given, and while the majority of it is (unfortunately) mistaken, you can’t fault her for this: she cares. Unlike the majority of her friends, Mary has taken a keen interest in maintaining her health, putting her at least a few pegs higher than an otherwise disinterested population.
RIght. Let’s now talk about Dan.
Dan doesn’t care. He does a little exercise — usually around New Year’s, and usually just before summer – now and then, and he swears he’s going to start going to the gym again, but beyond that he doesn’t really do a whole lot for the cause of his health. That’s partially because work keeps him chained to a desk for long hours each day, and partially too because he doesn’t like to cook after the hour-long commute back to his house.
Frozen pizzas, however, are his specialty.
Dan is not health-conscious. By the definition of that word, then, he is not conscious of his health. He’s unaware of it, I guess, or at least disinterested, and his health — his body — will continue to pay the price for it every year he spends on this earth.
He’s a zombie.
I’m not trying to coin some clever term, here, but what can I say? It works. Dan is not aware. Dan is not even awake by most standards, especially on that morning commute after a late night spent watching TV and doing the social media dance. He is, for the purposes of this (silly, I know) argument, the walking undead, or at least the walking unaware.
To Be, or Not to Be: The Walking Unaware
In case that opener didn’t drive it home, I don’t agree with Mary’s idea of health. Despite that, I stand by what I said earlier: she cares. She cares quite a bit, and while she’s working with a set of assumptions foisted on her by years of bad information and governmental idiocy, she’s at least taking steps to keep herself healthy.
Given the choice, which would you rather be: health-conscious, or a zombie?
It’s an easy one to make.
My own adventures in weight loss and my gradual transition to healthy, simple living aren’t special. They’re not unique, even. Thousands of people across the globe have adopted a Paleo lifestyle to great effect, and thousands more will continue to embrace it as the good word about the lifestyle continues to spread across the Internet.
But here’s the thing: you have to care. My story isn’t all that special, but I’m still proud to say this: I cared enough to really dive in and start paying attention to what I ate. Want to do the same? You have to be willing to spend some time reading up on what your body needs, and you have to be willing, too, to accept some ideas about nutrition that otherwise go against your ingrained beliefs.
And when you do start caring? When you take active steps, now, to shift yourself firmly into the health-conscious category? When you leave the ranks of the walking unaware to pursue strong, lively health?
You have to keep going.
You have to remember that this is a life-long journey, not some month-long diet that you can hop on and off at whim. You have to remember that it takes time to achieve great health, and you have to remember that you probably won’t be completely satisfied for a long time — but that’s okay.
You have plenty of time. You have an incredible, complex body that wants to be healthy (no disrespect intended, of course, to actual zombies), you have a wealth of information online that’ll help you transform your life, and you have at least one person, here, that believes you can do it.
You have at least one person that thinks the world of you, and you have at least one person who is absolutely convinced that you can have the body — and health — you’ve always wanted.
You have you. And hey! Make it two people, actually, because you have me too.
I know you can do it.
But you have to care. You have to step outside of your comfort zone a little, turn down the box of donuts at work, and realize that it’s going to be long, sometimes hard work — but through it all, the best damn work of your life.
Don’t be a zombie. Take a moment today to stand in front of the mirror. Look at yourself — really look at yourself — and repeat after me:
“I’m going to be healthy. Maybe I’m not there yet, and maybe I won’t be there for awhile, but I will be healthy. Why? Because I want to look good naked.”
(Don’t deny it.)
Join me. And, as ever, if you have any questions about your journey to strong, vibrant health, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you’re curious about my personal approach to diet and fitness, feel free to hop over to my free eBook, Simpler, or start with the three-part beginner’s guide I wrote to a Primal/Paleo lifestyle.
Keep an eye on Three New Leaves, too. I’m looking to orchestrate some pretty exciting things in the next few months, health and nutrition-wise, and I can’t wait to announce them here.
And hey! If you made the decision to join the forces of the health-conscious, why not retweet this post using the button below? Add the “#notazombie” hashtag, too, if you like. I’ve never messed with hashtags before, but it’d be fun to directly gauge how many people have decided to take their health into their own hands.