What is Your Health Worth?

I haven’t been on “a diet” since … well, I can’t remember when. And conventional wisdom says anyone who eats the stuff I show on this blog all the time must weigh about a thousand pounds. (I don’t.)

But after following along for a while, you see that I do follow a general principle: Processed food is generally bad for you. Whatever you’re eating, making it from scratch is probably better than buying it in a box. I wonder, if the typical American ate the same diet but replacing all the pre-made food with the same thing made from scratch, how different their health would be.

But that’s more expensive, isn’t it? Probably. And it takes longer, doesn’t it? Oh, absolutely. But your health matters, at least a little bit, doesn’t it?

I bring this up, because I just read a great article on Violent Acres: Americans Aren’t Fat Because They Lack Willpower; They’re Fat Because They’re Broke. The author used to be overweight. Now she eats right and exercises. Yes, that’s still the right advice for everyone: Eat right and exercise. Your grandmother was right. But you have to decide that’s more important than whatever it is you’ve been doing instead:

It’s either cable television or being thin. It’s an Ipod nano or a slender body. It’s a big screen television or a pair of size 4 jeans. Make your choice now and quit beating yourself up over it. Outside of being filthy rich, the only other feasible way to have both is to invest in some stellar health insurance, pick up a fork, and eat yourself into morbid obesity. Then you can go to the doctor and get your stomach cut out. Hey, it works for some people.

She’s a big fan of personal responsibility. And she’s got a potty mouth. (Seriously, don’t click that link if you don’t like four-letter words.) But she makes a really good point. Our top priority isn’t what we say is important. It’s what we do. If you have to choose between two things, the one you regularly choose is your top priority.

Is your health important? Or is it saving 20 minutes by picking up a burger so you can set down and watch American Idol?