I am watching my loved ones die slowly. And there is nothing I can do about it. I tried, but it doesn’t work. Day in and day out I see them making poor choices about health and it’s killing me inside seeing them harm themselves so much. To make matters worse, they don’t receive advise nicely…at all. My words fall on deaf ears.
Now this may not be the case with all families, but it surely is with most families – most desi / bengali families. There is always one or two people trying their best to lead healthier lives – who constantly meet an impenetrable brick wall – being their own family members. Who – not only are completely closed to the idea that you can become healthier through lifestyle adjustments – also laugh in the face of the people trying their best to live healthier.
A recent conversation with my khala shashuri (aunt in law) for example
Khala : I’ve been having fever and runny nose and nothing is helping.
Me : khala try having some raw turmeric and ginger it will increase your immunity to sickness.
Khala : yes but i stopped having medicine that’s why i became sick you know.
Me : yes khala but your immune system is not strengthened with medicine.
Khala : yes but when i stop having medicine I get sick. Apollo hospital doctors are not good. No hospital has good doctors anymore.
Me : * cue music : “Hello darkness my old friend…” *
Our thinking has to change. We have to un-learn and relearn. And this is where many of our previous generation (and beloved family members) will fail. Unfortunately, our very own loved ones are no longer susceptible to new ways of thinking. They are just not open to the thought of learning new patterns of thinking. What’s worse is that they are oblivious to the idea that you can still change your life by lifestyle and thought pattern adjustments -age is not a factor.
This epidemic is dangerous to health. Literally. The most older generation are sick…from both ignorance and health issues. Starting from eating too much carbs, to not eating enough protein, and all the way to ideas of how a female should exercise (if at all) – sorry to say but they have got it all wrong!
But don’t jump the gun and start your health speech from a high horse. It won’t help. Talking to them and giving a verbal example is the last thing they wanna hear. They don’t wanna hear anything but a doctor’s prescription. And off course they are super opinionated – which they have the right to be because they are so much older than you and have seen the the world more than you by ____ (insert their age) number of years.
- If you love strength training and lifting heavy they will say you (a female) will ruin your uterus and ruin your chances of having children.
- If you eat raw vegetables instead of oily over cooked ones they will say you transformed into a cow or a goat
- If you stop dairy they will talk about their grandparents drinking raw milk day and night.
- If you control your carb portions and eat less rice they will claim you know too much and are showing off – you don’t look like a celebrity after all.
- If you stop drinking sodas you are over reacting and too dramatic.
- If you stop eating gluten and processed wheat junk they will remind you that the whole world eats bread and everyone is fine. What royal highness have you transformed into? Dumbass!
It’s not their fault. It’s the culture in which they were raised – thinking that health is achieved through medicine and only white coat wearing doctors can give the best medicine to treat EVERYTHING. It’s the ignorant culture that didn’t teach them “prevention is better than cure”.
Take my own mother in law for example. I love her to death, and her and I have established an amazing connection since day one of my marriage. But health is where I fail to get her to hear me. (Even with my degrees in nutrition and biology.)
I recently started giving her whey isolate protein powder mixed with ghee. She has high diabetes – 8 on an empty stomach – and a re-ocurring UTI. She is not open to the idea that eating less carbs, more lean protein, more raw vegetables and exercising will help keep her diabetes in check and actually prevent it in the future. Every time I try to explain to her she changes the subject and asks to make an appointment with her doctor. Ok Mom, I did.
*Taking her to the doctor
*Doctor telling her to keep her diabetes in check.
But how doc? Why don’t you tell her what she needs to do to keep her blood sugar from spiking or dropping down to hell and literally killing her?
Why don’t you tell her how to replace her bad nutrition with a more health optimising nutrition plan? We are paying 1200 Bangladeshi Taka ( a lil shy of 15$) to sit less than 5 minutes in your doctors office. And you send her away with “diabetes pills”, tell her to write down her daily blood sugar readings; and tell her to walk for 30 minutes daily? Seriously doc?
— heavy breathing coming down under control —
I know how bad your frustration is. I know you get angry. But don’t let a moments of anger will prevent you from thinking straight. Just live on. Smile and walk away. And lead by example. Keep carrying through with your daily health habits. Have your smoothies. Keep saying no to processed and nutritionally void food. Keep eating your raw veg. Keep working out at home or gym. Sooner or later your family will see your improvments and start thinking about their own. Don’t mind their silly comments that you’re doing wrong things. Ignore what their grandparents used to say or do. Keep spreading positive vibes and teaching the new generation the truth about health, strength and fitness.
It hurts to say it but I think I’ll just say it because some one has to : it’s the last of their generation. And there is so little we can do to help them. We can try our best to make sure they live out the rest of their days in peace and as best as possible. Maybe force feed them green smoothies with raw turmeric a few times a week. I started and they are taking it not so bad actually.
Persevere on strong soldier !