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An Open Letter To A Loved One Who Refuses To Be Healthy

By May 2, 2016Think

Dear Loved One,

I’d like to start by saying I understand. Eating healthy isn’t always preferred over eating fast food. I understand. Why go to the gym when you can lay on the couch instead? I understand. Life is short: why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it to the fullest?

But what I don’t understand is why you would choose to make your life shorter.

Sure, eating a burger and large fries most days may seem like good food for the soul, but is that exhausting stomach ache you get afterwards worth it? And when this eating becomes a habit, don’t you notice the changes in your body? You move a little slower, you become irritated easily, you don’t listen to your loved ones when they try to offer small changes… Do you notice these things?

And even if you don’t, aren’t you worried? Worried that your grandchildren won’t be able to play with their grandfather because he’s too drained of energy to run around? Worried that you might not even make it to see your grandchildren, to hold them in your arms and to understand that you are a big influence on his or her life? I know you’ve heard the stats a thousand times: heart disease, diabetes, and a million other complications that could make life so much harder or even take it away completely. If you’re not worried, I am: I need your support when I take on a role as a parent, just as much as you did with your child.

But I get it. It’s hard work to make a change to your lifestyle. And you would probably get teased by your buddies about trying to be healthier, let’s be real. But I want you to know that it worries me when you lose your breath from climbing up only a couple of stairs. It’s concerning for me when you gorge on junk food until you feel sick. It’s disheartening for me that you don’t understand that your refusal to be healthy is actually selfish – not only impacts you, but also all of your family and friends.

And I know you’re a selfless person. You would do absolutely anyone else a favor before helping yourself, and I do admire that greatly. So I ask that you do this if not for yourself, then for me. It doesn’t have to be huge. Walk the dogs every day for 30 minutes. Take time off of your phone and spend quality time with your family; you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Please see a dietitian and try to break those deeply rooted and harmful eating habits, the ones that make you feel sluggish and tired. Go to bed before midnight. Replace one soda a day with a bottle of water. Understand that it is okay to have cheat days, but that doesn’t mean it can be like that every day. Even just one of these changes would mean the world to me, because it would mean you were moving in the right direction.

I ask that you do this for me, because as much as it is slowly killing you on the inside, it kills me just the same.


Your Loved One 

Author Christina Chu

Christina is a Junior at Boston University, majoring in Dietetics and minoring in Communication. She is a tennis instructor at BU, an ACSM CPT, and writes blogs for multiple Registered Dietitians. She can be seen with her headphones in playing one of her Spotify playlists and/or shamelessly taking a picture of everything she eats. You can check her out at @foodietunes on Instagram.

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