Have you ever seen a fat Gazelle? No, you haven’t.
Unless nature designed you to hibernate, (with specific metabolic adaptations, i.e. bear, badger, etc). No wild animal is naturally fat. Think about it. Deer, leopards, dolphins, birds, the list goes on. Wild animals are lean, capable and strong.
The simple question that emerges then is: Why do humans get fat?
Lets start off by looking at a few natural humans. No, These guys didn’t go to the gym. These are Aboriginal Australian men from 1923, and a Tupinambá man from South America. This is the natural human state, or a “wild human” if you will. These men lived in sync with the systems of nature and therefore had optimum diet and lifestyle conditions. They hunted, gathered, and were active outdoors everyday; yet also had plenty of time to rest and play. Studies have also found that indigenous people are happy, and have a strong sense of purpose in life.
Now lets have a look at a “modern” human, or a “domesticated” human you might say: Studies show that many Americans are unhappy, and antidepressant prescriptions are at an all time high. The average workweek in American is now predicted to be over 50 hours by 2016. Most people spend 8-10 hours a day sitting, in doors, in front of a computer screen. With the few hours of personal time Americans have, they are bombarded with commercial advertising for consumer goods and highly palatable food products that were designed by our nations best scientists to literally be irresistible. Media companies now can offer you 1,000 channels to sit (again) on your couch and be entertained. Everything can now be delivered to your door. Mainstream medicine actually recognizes a disease called, “Restless Leg Syndrome".
Some of you reading this might think, “That’s such an exaggeration, most people are not that overweight”. You’re unfortunately wrong. The most recent data collect this year found that: “More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Ogden et al., 2014).” I can empirically state that the majority of Americans are fat...
It isn’t just being ascetically overweight that’s the problem, it’s that it is also killing us. The top three killers in this country are, heart disease, cancer and stroke. ALL diseases of diet, lifestyle and environment. (That will be examined at a later date) I want you to take a minute to watch a Clip from the film “WALLE”.
As Americans, really how far off is that idea of the future? Google glasses are going to hit the consumer market any day now. We are becoming more and more dependant on technology and computers as a part of everyday life, especially as a social medium. We walk less then any other country in the world, and more food “product” advertising is portrayed every day in each and every facet of media. Studies now are also revealing that social technology is actually beginning to stunt normal human psychology. (Bargh, McKenna, 2009) Though the WALLE clip may seem extreme, I really want you to ask yourself, “What do I stand for”? Right now, what does your lifestyle, habits, community, and thoughts revolve around? What principles are you devoted to? You may be 30, and “doing just fine”, but what will 50 look like? 60? 70?
It boils down to a pretty simple question. Do you want to be the vibrant, healthy, and proud Gazelle pictured at the top of this post? Ready for anything, present in the moment, active and playful with strong community. Or do you want to be overweight, on high cholesterol medication at age 45, and have Games of Thrones be the highlight of your day? What are your habits setting you up for...?