Pain and Stress [5]

Afraid to acknowledge and address the internal incongruencies which lead to our injuries, our illness and our diseases, we create false flags, create false positives and then conclude that we are in fact not only doing something about our health, but that we are in fact healthy.

What’s trending now in health & fitness?

  1. Hi Intensity Interval Training (e.g. CrossFit, Tabata, circuit training, cycling and running interval sessions)… because we have come to believe that health is obtained in neat little packets of working out for 10mins at a time at our maximum.
  2. Probiotics… because after you kill all the bacteria in your personal biome with hand sanitizer, body scrubs, shampoos, deodorants, and antibiotics, you need to replace them with probiotics.
  3. Higher fat content foods… because the research today is unequivocally correct, yet the research which stated the diametric opposite three decades ago is now undeniably wrong.
  4. And of course… some veg, right now beets are all the rage, also a leafy green with kelp replacing kale, and some form of supplement, minerals are key… acting as if these items were just released into grocery stores no different than Apple releasing its latest iPhone.

Hi Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is not healthy, end of discussion.  The research that links higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and higher rates of upper respiratory infections with HIIT is not new, it has just been conveniently wiped under the carpet.  In short, HIIT sells, so why would the fitness industry want to admit that despite the short term results, HIIT leads to nothing but illness in the long term.  Are there exceptions, absolutely, when used appropriately, by those of sufficient training, and when applied by experienced trainers and coaches, but that is the rare rare exception. With nary a trainer or coach having any practical understanding of human physiology or pathology, most see all ‘clients’ as nails, and apply the same hammer solution to all. When the first blow from the hammer doesn’t work, then clearly the second, third and fourth blows will make’em healthy. Besides, isn’t the mantra ‘no pain no gain’, ‘PR or ER’, right? So sold are we that HIIT is the solution that when professional athletes die of heart disease, retire due to heart rhythm abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, chronic injury and pain, when a masters athlete dies on the start line of an event, or when age group children ‘retire’ from sport at 14 or 15 years of age, we refuse to connect that one has anything to do with the other.

Probiotics would not be needed if we didn’t constantly sterilize ourselves and our environment with all the fresheners, cleansers, disinfectants, and antibacterials we use. Probiotics would not be needed if our food items were grown without being inundated with pesticides, herbicides, germicides and every other ‘cide’ know to mankind stripping our food of its nutritional content. Probiotics would not be needed if we didn’t incapacitate our immune systems with excessive HIIT that we can no longer fight off a simple cold causing us to rely on prescription medications – which kill bacteria indiscriminately – to sustain us. Probiotics would not be needed if we didn’t overwhelm ourselves with stress levels beyond our capabilities.  Probiotics would not be needed if we recovered between stresses, rested, recuperated, and slept sufficiently. Instead of doing what is healthy, we rather do something that looks healthy or is sold to us as healthy.

Low fat content created an entirely new product category and made the food industry into the behemoth that it is today. The “research” has never conclusively shown that saturated fat is in fact heart unhealthy.  No matter we will trust this new research just like the old research. Too bad that the French diet which derives as much as 40% of calories from fat, with as much as 16% being saturated fat was never considered healthy. Meanwhile the French are only second to the Japanese in terms of longevity. Instead what we picked up from the French was their habit of drinking wine which we are now learning is not as healthy as claimed to be. Yet another industry seeking to stretch reality to sell product and profit irrespective of the consequence on human health?  Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last time.

kelpshakeAnd of course, there is always some food item proclaimed to be the ultimate detox, cleanse, healer, or miracle tonic that if you only sit in it, bathe in it, rub yourself with, and maybe on the odd occasion eat will do everything that everything else you are doing healthy hasn’t been able to do, ever.  Last year wasn’t it Acai berries, or Goji berries or was it blueberries. Grapefruit came and went, now its beets. Kale in every form imagineable including kale chips were or are the miracle cure, and now its kelp. Actually, now that I say kelp, wasn’t there a Spongebob Squarepants episode where Kelp shakes we’re all the rage, and doesn’t Mr Squarepants eat Kelpo cereal? Thought so…

kelpo cereal

We chase, and chase, and chase our tails believing that HIIT will give us the strength to endure stress, Kelpo, sorry kelp will give us the energy we need to hop and skip through our days, probiotics will restore our immunity by repopulating us with healthy bacteria, and now that research has set us straight… we can resume copious consumption of high fat food products now that we have been told they won’t harm us, and are in fact good for us.

Ever get the sense that we are being played with?  Toyed with? Chasing a red laser light no different than your cat and dog. Eat this, no eat that, no not that, that other thing we genetically modified to meet production and margin quotes and buried the data showing its link to cancer.

Meanwhile, we refuse to address the toxic relationships in our life, avoiding any discussion of the repressed anger which pops up more and more frequently, requires the Reboboam size of red wine bottle to be drowned and silenced, forget the anxiety that we feel each time we step on the scale, or the depression we sink into driving to work, when we fail to sustain the momentum of life, when everyone else has posted a superb weekend and we have nothing to share. Instead of rooting out our problems, we medicate ourselves with toxic relationships, toxic food, toxic exercise, toxic mental narratives and wonder why are we unhealthy?

We are so captured by the external appearance of health, that where health truly emanates from, bubbles up from, arises has been forgotten.  You do not put on health like a pair of pants, paint it on like putting on mascara, force it on the way we funnel our body into the sausage casings called support underwear or compression fitness apparel.

You want health, then you have to toss aside all pretense, and go after health as if you have no other priority.  In fact, is there any other priority? Perhaps cliche, but there is a saying: “When you have your health, you have everything.  When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” Augusten Burroughs