This vlog is called do it for the kids. The more I think about this, the more absurd it becomes, how come kids and children in school are never taught how to manage their mind and emotions. How come there are not taught nutrition and fitness science, how to cook healthy, those are crucial life skills.
David Benatar is a PhD in Philosophy and college professor in South Africa. He writes about having or not having kids. And his thoughts are shaking the whole field of psychology, philosophy, ethics, and religion. I read him a lot.
One subject he writes about is how so many parents and soon to become parents rarely think about the entire life their children will live after they pass away. We often think of kids when we are going to be here. But he said, when you really think about what kind of life your children will live, people rarely think that you know what, my children will experience more pain and suffering than joy and pleasure in their life.
Think about it, it’s weird to reflect on that. Benatar goes as far as to say that, when you look at human life, at a bigger scale, you find out that most people on earth suffer more in their lives than they experience happiness and pleasure. But few are willing to admit that.
I won’t go deeper into what David Benatar writes about but I wanted to start this vlog with these thoughts to make you more aware of the power you have in shaping the lives of kids you bring into this world.
Either you are already a parent or plan to be, so this video goes out to you. We all talk about making the world a better place, but it starts at home. I focus on nutrition, fitness, and wellbeing, and there is a deep health crisis in America right now. The majority of people eat unhealthy and are inactive. This American lifestyle puts a huge burden on the health care system, obesity alone costs the country 174 billion a year. Worse, you have millions of people who will finish their lives in pain and suffering, for some, major health issues start around 40 years old.
Now, I’m all about individual freedom, but it’s one thing to live with the consequences of your actions but it’s another to raise children with those same habits, hence why this video is called Do it for the kids.
What is your responsibility in the future health of your children, even when they become adults?
When I first start helping clients lose weight, I have them write down 20 to 30 reasons why they want to lose weight, the list is long because I want to make them really think and ponder about all the benefits of eating healthy and being fit. I also encourage them to read this list every day.
Most people have 3-4 reasons why they want to lose weight:
Because there is a big event around the corner like a wedding or vacation trip
Or their birthday it’s coming, Or it’s a new year resolution, Or just because they are sick and tired of being overweight and not feeling their best.
All these reasons are fantastic, but you need to give your mind more ammunition, plant more seeds. This is why you need to build a longer list. So to help them build this list, we talk about it and I share with them some of the reasons why I want to stay healthy and fit.
One of the reasons on my list is being healthy and fit for your kids and grandchildren. Would you like to be there for them with all your vitality later in your life? Being able to play with them, to support them mentally and physically, without being hurt OR do you want the whole attention of your family to be on you, in your senior years because you are sick, always at the hospital, so your children and grandchildren are always worried about your health. How about the financial burden of being sick, how will that help you and your family?
Really think about this, it’s great to look good and feel good when you are relatively young, but it’s even more important at the end of your life.
I have been coaching my mother since she retired 10 years ago.
She wasn’t overweight and ate healthy but it wasn’t optimal. After she retired, my mother had very weak bones. The doctor said she had low bone density and started to have arthritis in her hands, elbows and shoulders. At the time, she was around 55 years old. And she used to tell me how she couldn’t squeeze people’s hands because she would feel so much pain, or kneel down at church.
So I started to give her fitness and nutritional advice and she followed it. She started to lift weights, I gave her specific exercise to strengthen her hands, elbows and shoulders. She also started doing squats, lunges, all with weights, and even running full speed at the end of her daily walk at a stadium near the house.
Today, she is 66 years old and in better shape than she was 10 years ago. Her bone density increases all over her body. She also has more muscle in her upper and lower body.
When we talk, she tells me that her worst fear is suffering at the end of her life, because we all know grandparents, uncles, or aunties who are currently suffering from all kinds of physical and health issues.
So when I mean do it for the kids, by taking care of your health, imagine the tremendous burden you will save them from. And also, imagine how much better will your own well being be. How do you want to finish your life? Do you think about this?
I am very cynical about people having kids because I really don’t think people think about the life their kids will live. We are very short-sighted and think about the joy children will bring us, but how about them, in the entirety of their lives.
As a parent, you have or will have the most profound impact on the lifestyle they might stick with as they grow. Directly or indirectly. You get to be the first one to condition them, another word for brainwashing.
They will most likely learn all your habits and your perspective on life.
As you know, eating habits and staying fit is far from easy when it’s not a lifestyle yet, it’s not your identity yet. This is why I focus on helping people make those changes by starting from within, in the mind, because it’s the control center. To stop unhealthy eating habits and start new ones is difficult, you have to pay a lot of attention to your emotional state, and not green light urges to eat unhealthy.
I’m saying this so you realize that if you raise your child with unhealthy nutrition and fitness habits, you are giving them problems they will have to fight and maybe suffer from for the rest of their lives. Children don’t have the same degrees of free will adults have, so they are under your control for almost 10 to 18 years.
Again, DO it for the kids, reflect, and think on the positive impact you can have on their well being if you raise them in a household where you are eating healthy and exercise often. Children learn by example, monkey sees, monkey do.
I can’t tell you the amount of time I’m walking outside and see kids eating complete garbage, it’s sad, because the junk parents are giving to their kids is actually making them addicted. Ice cream, cookies, cereal, you are making them addicted to sugar. People tell me, but Karl, they are happy, but how about giving more drugs to someone who is addicted, it does make them feel good in the short term but how about after. That’s the definition of an enabler.
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, it targets the same areas in the brain, the reward system, pleasure center.
Dr Robert Lustig is a well-known endocrinologist, who works a lot with children. He is a hormone specialist and teaches pediatrics at the University of California. He said in his books that the effect of sugar on kids is like giving them alcohol and that sugar for kids is a gateway drug because you are training them to seek specific dosage of pleasure which drugs like cocaine provides.
Sugar is not just white table sugar, but it’s also in bread, pasta, rice, cereal, cookies, fruit juices, and sodas.
Children do not ask to come into the world, you want them to come, so you have to be responsible and not enslave them in a vicious unhealthy cycle that is extremely hard to break. The failure rate in people looking to follow a healthy diet and stay fit is 95%. 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, exposing themselves to all kinds of preventable diseases, and you have the power to make your children join this group or the power to help them grow up with a healthy lifestyle.
Personally, I think the educational system has a major role to play in the health, fitness and well being of children, from elementary to college. Nutrition and cooking classes should be part of curriculums from middle school and up. Fitness science should be required in high school and college. It’s one thing to improve what children eat at school, for those who don’t have the means to buy their own lunch, but it’s more impactful to teach kids the in and out of nutrition science, it’s not as complex as people think it is.
Thomas Sowell, the great American economist said education is the great equalizer because public education if done well, can help someone from an impoverished family, background or neighborhood rising up in society. School can help him learn and develop important skills that his parents might not have, and thus breaking a cycle of poverty.
In the same fashion, I think inserting a rigorous health and nutrition curriculum right from middle school and up will help millions of kids break unhealthy health cycles they might be in at home.
If you want to Do it for the kids, you have to first make it happen for yourself. Make a healthy lifestyle the core of your identity, your flavor. People are living double lives out there, where a part of you wants to be healthy, sometimes you get back in shape and then you relapse again.
This is what parents are teaching their kids, be fragmented within, be divided, crave for cookies and also get some abs. Move two-step in the direction of being healthy than 10 steps in the direction of being unhealthy.
If you want to move all-in and be fit once and for all, you need to learn nutrition and fitness science. But start first by understanding how to take full control of your mindstate and emotions, so they don’t drive you to eat unhealthy. Mindstate management and increased peak wellness, this is what I teach on the video program to lose weight forever. So you don’t have to go read 100 books on nutrition and fitness. I build an entire course, over 25 hours that covers everything you need to know and what to do to lose weight and get in top shape, but we start from within, in the mind.
In the past five years, after spending thousands of hours meditating, observing my mind, and emotions from within and improving it, I see the world and human interactions in a new light, a wider lens.
Anger, depression, hate, racism, jealousy, envy, anxiety, these emotions are to be expected when mindstate management is not taught in school. Few parents teach their kids how to deal with emotions and increase their peak wellness.
This is why some biologists call humans bipolar apes, we have the potential to do good and to do bad. But it’s possible to remove any seeds in your mind of those negative feelings and improve your overall well being.
So if you are a parent, or looking to become one, ask yourself this, what legacy will you leave your kids with, what nutrition are you teaching them, what example are you setting, are you preparing them to flourish when they become independent or suffer because of the influence and habits you taught them?
It’s up to you. Thank you