Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Passing the Flame

The other day, I found myself at a concert dedicated to the memory of a local music teacher.  One of the teacher's former students spoke of  the venerated instructor "passing the flame" of his love of music to numerous students through the years he taught.

Passing the flame.....that phrase struck me as a beautiful image.  Illuminating the darkness with knowledge and passion is an image that is familiar to many of us -- especially this time of year.

My original thoughts upon hearing this phrase were along the lines of "what if we all could pass the flame of eating habits ... wouldn't the world be a better place?"

But then I realized, I was wrong.  We don't need more people passing the flame of eating habits -- because right now every one of us passes the flame of our behaviors everyday.

Whether you make a conscious choice about it or not, you are influencing other peoples eating behaviors -- you are passing the flame.

I know I've been harping on this a lot lately but I'm seeing the results EVERYWHERE!  Childhood obesity (we're not talking husky jeans -- we're talking OBESE with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure....in children!!!) is way up.  Our adult waistelines are growing (literally everyday!)  The diet industry is booming (but we're not getting our money's worth there....even when we buy the books, DVDs, pre-packaged meals...we are still needing to buy bigger pants!)

There are lines at the drive thrus on my way to work EVERY morning.

Sugar consumption is WAY up!

We are in the middle of a public health crisis of our own making.  Decision by decision we are actively shorting our life expectancy (and that of our children).

But the good news (the great news actually!) is we don't have to continue on this path.  We can learn to say "Not right now" to ourselves and feel great about it.  We can learn to build activity into our lives so it becomes inescapable.

We can chose to eat food that tastes good even though it is less convenient to obtain.

We can get ourselves back on track the same way we went off the rails -- one decision at a time.

What's all it takes.  Which direction is your next decision going to take you?

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