Updated: Aug 11
I have heard stories about people from other cultures who moved to the U.S. and started gaining weight. That generation and the ones that followed starting suffering from overweight problems including some of its diseases. Keep in mind that these immigrants had no overweight issues before moving. They adapt to the American life as they incorporate. After they move, it takes a couple of years before they start to gain weight.
The food they eat and the sedentary lifestyle they adopt are part of the problem...
We live in a first world country, and we are dealing with overweight issues even with all the resources we have to stay healthy. This leads me to think about other issues.
We live in a country with a lot of opportunities. The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. This is the land of opportunity. This makes me wonder: With so much opportunity, why do people still commit suicide? We have the highest rate of suicide, and we consume at least 80 percent of the cocaine in the world. This means that many people are not happy here, and they need to kill themselves or do some kind of drug to escape from reality.
Now, not everyone who comes to the U.S. or lives in the U.S. has overweight problems or kills themselves or does drugs. There are also many happy people. For example, my dad came to visit the U.S., and he was overweight. After 5 months he was in his best shape ever, losing 30 pounds. Being overweight is not genetic.
When I moved to the U.S., I was lost. I was not happy. I was starting to get affected by the superficial messages television sends, society, and the lifestyle that many desire. I became jealous and found myself trying to fit into society. I started to buy things I could not afford such as brand-name clothes and went to restaurants that were out of my budget. The more I tried to copy other people’s lives, the more unhappy I became. To this add the lack of self-empathy and emotions from others. No wonder why people think about killing themselves and doing drugs. We feel unaccepted and out of place like there is something wrong with us. There are many theories about what exactly the term “genetic” means.
You may thing that being overweight is genetic...
While I believe that many of our behaviors, diseases and traits may be genetic, I also believe that all these are also affected by environment.
Genetic is a term that many of us misunderstand. The term has become dangerous. We think that genetic means that we are predetermined to a certain disease, behavior or even destiny because of our genes. There are many studies done now that show that genetic is something different than what we believe. To those who study genes it usually is a biological term to define how life is being affected. In other words, environment affects a gene at all times. So genes can be altered by environment, and to some degree environment affects our lives.
My point is that many people come with healthy genes to a different environment and start developing health and behavior issues. But not only that, our environment also affects the decisions we make. For example, acceptance is a human need, and for us to be accepted, we are willing to do anything it takes. This is one of the reasons why gangs exist, teens start drinking, we spend a lot of money on cars and clothes, we give up to sexual pressure and we make many decisions that go against our beliefs.
While it is true that many people who are affected by environment are predisposed to diseases or behaviors, it is also true that some are not. But that is another story.
The truth is that environment plays a big role in people’s lives...
and you can notice this if you have had the opportunity to observe how all cultures behave differently throughout the world and throughout time. They have different beliefs and problems to deal with.
I used to be very egocentric thinking only about my own benefit. My life has changed, and I now think about others. I think about the generations to come such as your children, animals, and whoever and whatever is going to inhabit this place. My goal does not have to be your goal, of course. But if you care about the health of others, it is very important to start thinking about each decision we make and understand that these decisions do affect the environment, which in turn will affect others’ lives.
I could tell you that I do this only for everyone else and our earth, but I would be lying. Even though I am not as egocentric as I used to be, I still think about me. Each time I help someone else, I feel better, I help my business and my health improves. In addition, each time I have problems the solutions come to me very easily because I think about everyone.
I am not sure if the psychology of it is real, but I have proven that the law of do unto others like you want to be done unto you is true. When I was egocentric and never helped with money or my time, it seemed like negative things were always happening. My car would break down when I needed it the most, and I had no money. I was broke most of the time. I did not like my job, and I was not happy. I never had a sense of progress.
My conscience is aware about the many decisions I make. I won’t feel successful or at peace if I see people suffering and don’t do anything. I can’t just be a spectator, buying an expensive car just because I want to feed my ego. I am not saying that buying an expensive car is wrong. I think many people deserve it because of the value they have put into this world, and my plan is to get a nice car one day, but I won’t get it until I feel I deserve it for helping so many animals, people and the earth overall.
My goal is to improve the environment where I live to improve other people’s lives...
It will not only help the generation to come, but it will also help me by making me feel great and leaving a legacy.
I come from a very poor family, and I raised myself starting from age 14. I used to sleep in cardboard. I used to make less than 5 dollars a day and survived on that. I wouldn't think about buying a taco because I was afraid of the money I would have to spend. I had two sets of pants that I wore for more than 2 years. I never really had money. I was poor. But I was happy.
I moved to the U.S. and became rich. I had it all, things I never thought I would have. Back then the CD was the hot trend. I would buy all my favorite CDs, I could buy clothes, as many tacos as I wanted. I even bought a car. I had money. I literally became rich. The problem was that even though I did not have anything before, I still wanted more than what I had. I got a better job, made more money and get more material things, better trips, a better car and I would still feel empty.
No matter how much money I made and how many things I got, I would always want more.
Once I understood that I could decide what to think about the environment, I could take control of my thoughts, my actions and therefore my life. Many times my belief was that cancer could just strike anyone, and I was no exception. I thought that my body would adapt to chemicals and toxins and things that I was not supposed to eat or drink or be around. I was not responsible for my actions and usually blamed someone else for my situation.
One day, it just happened. I started to study human behavior, the environment, psychology, the power of the mind, cultures and I found out that yes, the environment affects everyone, but by the end you decide how you let the environment affect you. I was 28 when I made the realization.
However, it can be difficult for younger people...
who don’t have this knowledge and take adults as authorities — to control their thoughts and understand that the world they live in is not a set reality. Reality is what they decide to think about the environment. This is why so many young people can’t be successful in their lives and feel rejected, commit suicide or do drugs.
The better the environment we create for the next generation, the better our next generation will be, avoiding some suffering along the way and improving this world in general.
Let’s help the next generation to succeed by changing the environment for them and by changing ourselves, we change the environment.
Custom Body Fitness is located in Glenwood Springs CO and Carbondale CO