The Miracle of Life

Excerpted from

Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life

By

Emblazoned across the front cover of Newsweek magazine, below a picture of a very obviously overweight child, the caption asks in large block letters:

"FAT FOR LIFE?"

This book answers that question with a resounding no! Not fat for life-fit for life.

As I looked at the picture of this child on the cover of the magazine, a child so noticeably overweight, I could not help but be moved by his predicament. Certainly, he would much prefer to be singled out for a scholastic or athletic achievement, rather than for having to go to a "fat farm" to try to bring his weight under control. It is well established that if he does not figure out how to do so, not only will his childhood be riddled with health problems, but his adulthood as well.

Furthermore, I could not help but reflect on the problem of overweight that also continues to exist within the adult population. Nearly two-thirds of the American population is considered to be overweight to some degree. At any given moment, over 80 million people are said to be on special diets, spending billions of dollars every year on weight loss.

And I could not help but reflect on my own long-running and ongoing effort to keep my weight in check. I have been living on this planet for nearly sixty trips around the sun, and for my entire adult life, I have wrestled with my addiction to food and my desire to eat.

I cannot recall the number of times I have wondered, sometimes with amazement and sometimes with envy, how there can be people who can eat their own body weight in any kind of food they like, at any time of day or night, and not gain a single ounce, while others can put on five pounds merely by walking through the deli section of the grocery store. Those of us who dwell in the latter category know all too well that in order to maintain a reasonable body weight, we have to be ever-vigilant and diligent if we don't want to wind up blocking out the sun for those around us.

Except for programs that involve surgery and/or drugs, both of which I have an extreme aversion to, I have tried more weight-loss plans and "diets" than I care to recount. Not until I came to realize that there are certain fundamental truths that govern all human bodies-regardless of shape, size, genetic makeup or rate of metabolism-was I able to discover how to eat the foods I like and still keep my weight down.

These truths I refer to-you can call them laws, rules, principles or whatever you choose-exist and are real. And until they are acknowledged and respected, you can read all 500 or so diet books at your local bookstore; you can count calories, calculate grams of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and measure portions; you can take appetite suppressants and starve yourself; you can drink powdered meal replacements and eat boring prepared diet foods that taste like straw; you can do all these things until the pyramids turn to dust, and it all will be to no avail. After all, aren't these the things people have been doing for years, even decades, and isn't the problem of overweight still as prevalent as ever?

The fact is, it doesn't matter if you are aware of die laws to which I am referring but choose to ignore them, or if you have never even been made aware of them: The end result will be the same. The effort to lose weight will be met with the same frustrations with which you are, in all probability, all too familiar.

Consider the law of gravity. No matter who you are, no matter if you are rich or poor, big or small, educated or not, male or female, and no matter where you live-be it in the United States, Asia, Africa or Europe-the law of gravity applies to all of us equally. Even if you don't believe in gravity, don't care for it and refuse to acknowledge it, if you don't respect it, the repercussions of violating it are the same. If a man falls, or even leaps, from a five-story building, he will be splattered on the ground, whether he is aware of the law of gravity or not. Someone might say, "Well, no wonder he's all smashed up. He broke the law of gravity." In actual fact, he didn't break the law of gravity; he illustrated it.

Other laws, equally as unyielding as the law of gravity, govern the human digestive tract and the process of eating food. Not being aware of them will not save you from the results of violating them. After reading this book, at least you will be aware of the principles to which I am referring, and you will be able to avoid the usual pitfalls and frustrations that customarily accompany attempts to lose weight.

You will be glad to learn how few of these truths there are, how marvelously easy they are to incorporate into your eating lifestyle, and how wonderfully simple it is to live in harmony with them, so that the eating experience remains a joyous one while you lose the weight you desire to lose.

What would you say is the one thing that is more precious to you or more valuable to you than anything else? Isn't it life? Glorious, magnificent, abundant life. How special and dear life is. All the money, all the diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, all the gold, all the riches the Earth can yield, all of it combined is but dust compared to a single moment of life.

The Hubble telescope is, by anyone's standards, an astounding conquest of science in action. It floats out in space taking pictures of stars, planets and galaxies that are billions upon billions of miles from Earth-so far away that we cannot even fathom the distances this remarkable piece of equipment manages to put before our eyes with crystal clarity.

What is it that differentiates our planet Earth from the billions of heavenly bodies that stretch out into the boundless expanse in every direction? Life. If the Hubble should happen to discover a single blade of grass a billion trillion miles from here, it would be heralded as the greatest, most monumental discovery of all time. And yet here we are on this tiny little orb floating out in the great void, and that little orb is teeming and bursting with life at every turn. It is a veritable island of prodigious superabundance-containing more life than all the rest of the known universe combined. How uniquely special and fortunate we all are to be here. What an indescribable gift life truly is. Yes, life is in a category all its own as it reigns supreme over all else.

As we look around at the limitless splendor and grandeur that is everywhere to be seen, it is impossible not to marvel at the incomprehensible intelligence that governs and directs all and everything that is life. Is it possible to think about these things and not simultaneously reflect on the nature of God? I don't think so. To me, it is impossible to think about or discuss life to any degree and exclude God from the process.

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Tags: Diets and Weight Loss


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