Monday, February 7, 2011

The Price Of Being Feeble

The Culpability Of Our Own Health

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

I have a cautionary tale to share. One of my good buddies recently lost his job.

The reason for his firing? Too many sick days. You didn't know you could get fired for such a thing did you? He's been at this job for years. Finally the total accumulation of his sick hours were too much, he wasn't at work enough for his position to make sense. So they decided to cut their losses.

He would be sick literally about twice a month. Not really sick. Just the sniffles. And sometimes he would get a real sickness, like the flu, and would be out for a week or so. Now imagine this consistently for years -- after so many warnings they have to take action.

Before you feel sorry for the guy, you need to know his lifestyle. His main source of pleasure was an online game called World of Warcraft. He would play from the moment he got home from work, 'til 4AM and beyond. He needed to eat things that were convenient and that gave him energy. So he would drink Mountain Dew or some other soda, and gobble bowl after bowl of some sugary cereal.

The next day he would be so exhausted he would call in sick. And of course after a while his immune system would just fail. I don't know if he was actually sick with a cold, or these were just symptoms of poor health, diet, exhaustion, lack of nutrition, and activity.

He was in a word... feeble. And I guess in this new generation of adults in the work force, you actually can be too feeble to hold a job. In the last year he's also gained 100lbs.

Now going to a doctor, they would just tell him to watch what he's eating but overall he's okay. OKAY? Well their definition of health is basically this, if there's no sign of imminent death and you have no diseases, you're fine.

Their definition of health is based on mortality not on quality of life. Well my friend is proof that, that kind of criterion is sorely lacking. In a real health continuum, the levels would be: dying, sickly, well, fit. The price of his health? It's high, not just financially, but it also hurts his social life, and his self esteem. He further escapes into the world of gaming. He's caught in a vicious cycle.

This is more of a cautionary tale, as opposed to the typical inspirational one. These are things you shouldn't do, this is not how you should live, and these are the real costs one must pay. Instead of making your own mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others, like my friend here.

More recently my friend got a new job, got married, and lost weight. Not in that exact order but he had to prioritize and look at his lifestyle and change something. I can't say he stopped gaming and he's in absolutely great health, but like many things in life, it's a work in progress and you keep chipping away at it and you never ever stop.

My name is Sam Yang. I'm a martial artist, entrepreneur, fitness nerd, information geek, and productivity nut. For more useful information, join my newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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