Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cherish the Memories not the Food

I have a lot of memories tied into the unhealthy diet I always write about, but not for a second do I miss the food; instead I choose to cherish the memories as I do most any other memories from my childhood, after all it's what makes me, me.

I say this because humans, as a species, have one major flaw... many flaws actually, but I'm going to focus on this one for now. People get so attached to their memories (both bad and good) that they often let these past events run their current lives. Whether it's never quite getting closure over a sad event, or being haunted daily by a horrible event, or tightly holding onto what we perceive as a "good memory"; so much so that it becomes unhealthy to us in the present. This is the one I would like to talk about because this one in particular can directly affect your diet, which will directly affect your health.

I, like most of us, have many childhood memories attached to unhealthy food, but I unlike many of us choose to cherish the memory and not the food. Every time I pass a Friendlies I can remember how much I enjoyed going there as a child. They're known for their ice cream deserts and I absolutely loved the fribble... their version of a vanilla milk shake. As much as I consider these to be good memories, I would never consider eating their again for old times' sake.

I also am not immune to the childhood memories of the big Mickey D's, let's face it I did grow up in America. I can remember the one or two times a month that my parents would go out for an adults only evening, which always resulted in the kids getting McDonald's for dinner, and let me tell you my brother sister and I loved those nights! Even with that memory being so strong and clear in my mind, never do I pass by one of these fast food death traps and say to myself, "What's one more time anyway..."

And let us not forget the many childhood birthday memories... Still fresh in my mind are the many outings to Red Lobster where my parents would often treat us for a birthday dinner, but never, not even for a second do I miss the fried butter saturated artery clogging food.

If you grew up in this country then you more than likely have some fond memory of unhealthy food attached to your childhood, but it's important to understand that our memories should not run our lives. Cherish the memory; pull it down from the shelf every once in a while, dust if off and reminisce if you must, but then put it back on that shelf. The memory is not the unhealthy thing here, after all the events that make up these memories are the events that have molded us into what we are today, but when we hold onto these memories and revisit them (literally) we let a "good" memory turn into a bad unhealthy decision.

If I knew then what I know now I would have made different choices, and I'm sure my parents would have as well, but like most American families we did not. This is not true today however, there has been plenty of research done and there has been plenty of literature written on the subject. All it requires is for us to care enough about ours and our family's health to educate ourselves on the truth, and then live it. So do the healthy thing and eat right, because an unhealthy diet equals an unhealthy life.

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