Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heart Attack--Take II

I wrote about the Heart Attack Grill back in February and how they lived up to their name. Unfortunately, they did it again this week. I don't blame the restaurant for this. They aren't forcing people to eat there. They're not forcing the people who do eat there to already be unhealthy and to eat the entire burger that is about 10,000 calories.

Although I don't blame the owner, I don't like his PR spin on this event at all. "We attract an avant-garde clientele -- thrill seekers, risk takers," he told the Los Angeles Times, adding that his restaurant is a "bad for you but fun" restaurant that "attracts people who don't really take good care of their health." When he went on, he even seemed to counter his initial statements. "She was eating, drinking, smoking, laughing, dancing, having fun," he said of the most recent heart attack victim. "But when you treat your body like that day in and day out, eventually your body is going to give out." He then goes back and forth a bit. "So what is it about someone who sees that sign and sees that this burger has 9,993 calories in it, and that person says 'I want one of those.'" "I tell you, we attract that very bleeding edge, that avant-garde of risk takers."

I guess you can look at mistreating your body for years as 'thrill seeking' and 'risk-taking,' but to me it seems like self-abuse. Unlike with other activities that risk-takers enjoy, mistreating your body WILL eventually harm your health. You can skydive your entire life without any adverse effects. There are people who have raced cars and done other adrenaline inducing behaviors only to die of old age. Risk is the possibility of loss or injury. Since ignoring your health and abusing your body will shorten your life, that's not really risk, that's inevitability.

I know many people who abuse their bodies. They smoke too much, drink too much, eat too much, sit too much or do other unhealthy things to their body too much. I've been one of them; smoking a pack a day, eating bad food and not getting any exercise. Many of these people claim that they're just living life to its fullest and enjoying themselves. I don't believe them. Can that really be considered a full life and enjoyable when their lifestyle makes simple daily activities difficult because of a lack of health? I think the truth behind their life of excess is much sadder and more complex. Everyone has their own issues for slowly but surely shortening their lives, but I don't think it's to enjoy the remainder more.

I am not suggesting that everyone abstain from all vices for the rest of their lives. That, too, would make life less than enjoyable. We should all do some unhealthy things on occasion. Everyone should eat cheese covered food, or whatever empty calorie snack they prefer. These should be treats, though, not the core of our diet. Making them rare and special will only increase the enjoyment they provide. We should all spend some time being lazy and doing nothing on occasion, but not as the majority of our non-work time. As I mentioned yesterday: moderation is key.

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