A piece about long life

Young, relatively healthy people don’t want to live longer. Let’s word that a bit differently, and come to the same end: young, healthy people can’t imagine a long life. When you’re young, you can’t even conceive of your own death, hence the plethora of content for fail compilations on YouTube. In your teens and twenties, you’re you – the biggest, bestest you there is – and though the struggle is real, nothing can stop you.

Then, as you age, a sense of mortality sets in. Maybe you gain a few pounds, maybe you start getting little aches or twinges doing things you used to do without thinking. It’s natural and necessary and just a part of getting older. But if it’s going to get much worse, you’ll be glad the sooner it’s over.

Why bring this up? Well, it’s just that a great deal is made of a healthsome diet being the key to long life. And most people either can’t conceive of what a long life looks like, or don’t enjoy life enough to want it to last longer than it needs to. So maybe promising folks longer lives isn’t the way to get them on the road to Wellville.

Longer life may be a fact of healthier eating, or it may not; you could get hit by a bus and die, at which point it doesn’t matter a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys what you had for breakfast. But there’s something that is a fact paired to healthy eating. It happens to everyone (eventually) and it’s something to which tangible promises can be attached.

Better life.

List five things that make your life suck right now. Using my wayback machine, I can tell you that my five things were:

  1. Depression
  2. Weight
  3. Menstrual cramps
  4. Grocery bills
  5. Health concerns

Personal health problems are pretty much gone. I won’t say my depression’s cured, but I’ve returned to a functionality I haven’t known for years. My weight has dropped to a healthy, manageable number on the scale, and my measurements have made drastic improvements (5″ off my waist and nearly 6″ off my hips from dietary change alone).

Grocery bills were always a struggle to keep in balance when we were essentially forcing ourselves to eat meat, eggs and dairy. Last month, I actually added to our food budget when it turned out I’d allotted less than a US food stamp subsidy for our groceries – and we continue to underspend that amount.

For some people, this might be just as hard to picture as a long life. You’re feeling pretty great, and can’t imagine how it could get better. But if it could – if you could go from feeling pretty good to feeling like a superhero – would it be worth trying for?

I’m not going to turn down long life if that’s what happens, but for now I’ll stick with feeling 20 at 35.