What’s their secret?

Like Rilke's Archaic Torso of Apollo, our ancestors cry out to us through time saying "You must change your lifestyle"

The ultimate purpose of genealogy is to promote an understanding of what it means to leave a healthy legacy so that we who live in the present may behave adaptively. We leave a healthy legacy when we are good stewards of our physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and material resources. Aside from our massive debt, the real elephant in the living room is the poor health of our people and it behooves us to include health as part of our blog discussion-in which anyone can comment.  This organization would do a disservice to its community if it provided only one additional sedentary activity for individuals. But it does more than that–genealogy motivates us for an active lifestyle.

For history, like the archaic torso in Rilke’s famous poem, reminds us that we must change our lifestyle.

“Sonst stünde dieser Stein entstellt und kurz
unter der Schultern durchsichtigem Sturz
und flimmerte nicht so wie Raubtierfelle;

und bräche nicht aus allen seinen Rändern
aus wie ein Stern: denn da ist keine Stelle,
die dich nicht sieht. Du musst dein Leben ändern.”
Rainer Maria Rilke,
Neue Gedichte 1908

My English translation of the above:

Else this stone would stand stillted and short under the shoulders’ insubstantial droop and fail to glisten like the fur of a carnivorous beast;

and would  not brake through all constraints as a star, there is not a place [on this statue], that can’t see you. You must change your lifestyle.

Since our people have been uprooted from our ancestors’ vigorous lifestyle, they need to compensate, or else the sculptures they leave behind will forever stand stunted, covered, and ashamed. Sedentary Death Syndrome is destroying the quality and shortening the length of our people’s lives. All of our appetites were selected under conditions that were very different from those we have today. Our ancestors worked physically in the field all day, and came in to eat natural foods grown organically. They needed to be ever ready to defend their community. In contrast, we sit in a tractor, in a cubicle, at a bench, or in front of a TV and then we stop by MacDonalds/QuickTrip/Kum&Go for our MSG (excitotoxin) laden, trans-fat (cellular signal disrupting, cancer causing) ridden junk food that we wash down with diluted corn syrup or diluted artificial sweeteners.

And so, let’s change our lifestyle by asking the members of the community who manage to stay in the healthy range, what is your secret?

Age Underfat Healthy Range Overweight Obese
20-40 yrs Under 8% 8-19% 19-25% Over 25%
41-60 yrs Under 11% 11-22% 22-27% Over 27%
61-79 yrs Under 13% 13-25% 25-30% Over 30%
Source: Gallagher et al. Am J Clin Nut 2000; 72:694-701

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