During one of the rare times I switched on the TV this week, I caught snippets of an episode on the Dr Oz show. The guests cried and I nearly cried too. It was an episode about health and mortality, and how the two are linked.
We got to know more about Jay, aged 43, via his wife, who is terribly concerned about his health. Jay is clearly obese, a huge fan of barbecues and a lover of meat and alcohol. His wife fears that she will lose her “best friend” unexpectedly one day in the near future. Jay thinks otherwise – he doesn’t think there will be consequences to his actions, he thinks he’ll live till he’s 80. So the hard truth is put to him after a series of lab tests: doctors expect that he will die at age 57:
That gives him just 14 years left to live.
What this means for Jay is that, unless something changes, his best friend will be left to manage the home alone, he will die when his children are in their teens, he will not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle when she gets married, and he most certainly will not be able to carry his future grandchildren.
That’s when the grown man started crying.
When the brutal truth is put forth this way, there is no denying the facts anymore.
This is when I am reminded of people I know (usually male) who have young children at home that they care about and love dearly. Their Facebook profiles have become their kids’ profiles because it is full of pictures of that beloved daughter or that adorable son.
My friends are definitely, undeniably obese.
How do I tell them to stop drinking those soft drinks?
How do I tell them to stop eating fast food?
How do I tell them that their lifestyle choices TODAY determine whether they will be around TOMORROW?
How do I do all these without pissing them off?
How do I tell them I am worried about them?
That’s the reason I am writing this blogpost, wondering if they will read it and ask themselves this question – “How Old Will I Be When I Die?” and the related questions:
Will I see (insert daughter’s name) get married and walk her down the aisle as her proud father?
Will I see my boy complete National Service and pat him on the back and say “Well done, son! while he beams with pride?
Will I get to hold my grandchildren in my arms?
IF, right now, you have people you care dearly about (for whom you would even give up your life for in a heartbeat), and you are obese, I hope you think twice before putting your lips to that straw, before putting that French fry into your mouth, before thinking that you can start that exercise program next week.
What if next week never comes?
Do you even know how old you will be when you die?