Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arguing with Myself

I find myself arguing with myself a lot these days. One of these arguments occurs every time I think of my dad's death. It's just not right that a man who took care of his body the way my dad did should be dead at such a young age.

I recall a conversation with my cousin that repeated itself with other family members as well. She said something to the effect of, "It's just such a surprise. If this was going to happen to anyone in our family, your dad would just be the last person we'd ever have expected. He was so healthy."

My dad ate vegetables daily. He grew his own garden, found the harvest of mulberries from the wild tree in their front yard to be a feast, and turned down most any sugary treat he would encounter. He played basketball for a hobby, did construction for a living and exercised up until the very last days of his life. My dad's picture could have gone in the dictionary next to "good health".

According to the rule of thumb, my dad should have lived a long life. My paternal grandpa died about a year before my dad. I remember my dad referring to this during his own battle with cancer. "I was certain I would at least live to be his age," my dad shared, "seeing as how I took care of myself, I thought I'd live another 10 years at least beyond that." It was just a fore drawn conclusion that someone who paid attention to the food they ate should live longer than someone who did not.

This leads me to the obstacle in overcoming my food addiction. A number of years earlier when I had been convinced to lose weight, one of my reasonings was a longer life. My mind will no longer accept this line of thinking. The argument I have with myself is case and point: my dad. Where did refusing all those yummy foods get him?

Reality is that living a healthy lifestyle, including wise food choices will, more often than not, extend your life. I have to quit using my dad's death as an argument within my own head to excuse myself from healthy eating.


  1. My mom was extremely careful and health conscious, too, and I have thought the same way that you are describing. One way that I look at it is that if she hadn't been in such good condition going into her illness, she would not have been strong enough to last as long as she did. So by being careful and health-conscious, she probably did "buy a little more time," time that she used well and that we all appreciated.

    It still doesn't make sense the good habits don't equal old age, but I still believe that they extend the life beyond what it would otherwise be. I believe that your dad and my mom each bought themselves/us a little more time. Maybe that helps a little?

  2. I have thought about that, too, Eva. Thanks.