Daze of My Life: Bottled Up No More

Daze of My Life
Bottled Up No More

Who am I kidding? Father time waits for no man, especially one who's overweight and underexercized. And it's probably not logical to presume that the longevity and above average good health of my elderly parents will automatically trickle down to yours truly, the baby of the family, and guarantee me long life and minimal medical concerns, too. Moreover, thinking that a multivitamin a day, alone, will ward off evil spirits, not to mention cancer, heart disease, diabetes, aching joints, weakening muscles, impaired vision, difficulty hearing, gray hair, etc., is similarly unrealistic, isn't it? And rationalizing that refraining from alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs--and avoiding their potential harmful effects--for most of my life is enough preventative behavior to forestall the inevitable, is likewise wishful thinking, make that wishful hoping, right? And finally, changing to an over-50 multivitamin, now nine months after the fact, as difficult psychologically as that appears to be, is also not enough to assure the health tide will continue to turn in my favor, I don't believe.
But is it too late for a mid-course correction, or is it even possible, given the personality involved? I'm not exactly Popeye the Sailor man, but I am what I am and I'm no more a silk purse than I am a sow's ear. Nevertheless, do I foolishly believe that what hasn't already killed me has somehow made me stronger or, is that merely another sign of unintelligent life?
At age 45, approximately, after visiting a local doctor complaining of a sore throat, my mother stopped smoking Chesterfield King cigarettes, cold turkey, which had become for her a four-pack-a-day habit. And coincidence or not, her lifetime losing battle--up to that point, anyway--with psoriasis ended rather abruptly as the skin disease effectively disappeared never to rear its white, scaly patches again. So apparently, not everything health-related is set in stone, figuratively speaking. Maybe some of it is in your head? And I would imagine having never smoked a cigarette myself that giving up smoking and attempting to purge nicotine from your body is a great deal more challenging than balancing one's diet and eating a few more fruits and vegetables and quite a bit less Entenmann's, Hostess, Drakes, Nabisco, Keebler, M&M Mars and
Hershey's for dessert/snacks and reducing the meat and potatoes with bread and butter main-type course as well but... .
"Rome wasn't built in a day; neither was Milwaukee," and a journey such as the one I've described--and feared--is hardly for the weak of heart and begins with one step, or shall I say, one meal. "It ain't over 'til it's over so I'll start with the over-50 multivitamin and go from there. And since the summer is practically here, there will be an ample opportunity to replace/exchange some processed sugar, so characteristic of my normal diet, with some natural sweeteners found in fruits and vegetables available in my grocer's produce section. (You see, I do know where to go to buy healthier foods; it's just that I don't).
So is this the age when I realize, finally, that I'm not getting any younger and accept reality? My parents have shown that I could have many good years yet to come. Therefore, if I want to continue to take advantage of the gift of good health that I've been lucky enough to inherit, perhaps it's time to start eating like an adult, not just looking like one.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.