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Million Dollar Baby

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A great pair of boots doesn’t make one a cowboy, a fast car doesn’t make a racecar driver, running shoes won’t make a marathon runner and riding cows doesn’t make one a bull rider. Misinformation or “Snake Oil” has never helped those who need it most.

Progress in any area of life requires knowledge, practice and skill.

In 2016 I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the ONE VOICE NUTRITION – Nutrition Throughout The Ages, Educators Conference sponsored by Fort Defiance Hospital (Fort Defiance, Arizona). The lead off topic and the most powerful in my opinion was the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative stressed the timeless practice of breastfeeding, a practice that has been politically and socially shamed through the lobbying efforts of big companies like Nestle.

What was discovered through the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was the practice that has always been true and that is babies are healthiest when they are allowed to breastfeed from their mother. Doctors soon discovered that Native American babies and children were suffering from chronic ear and stomach infections, colds, brittle bones, tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.

Through the efforts of credible scientists, the medical community would soon learn that the conditions affecting not only the babies, but the native population as a whole was a condition called Lactose Intolerance, meaning Native people were allergic to dairy products.

What took scientist decades to discover only took Kevin Costner 2 ½ hours to reveal in the movie that Native folks often joke about, Dances with Wolves. If you missed it I highly recommend watching the movie again. The movie clearly reflects the period, in that there was no sugar, no cows or diary, Blue Bird flour, no obesity and diabetes that were previously apart of Native American life.

The other hot topics from the One Voice Nutrition educator’s conference were the epidemic of diabetes and obesity among native people. The speaker from California had good information but unfortunately the point was missed.

What are talked about too often concerning diabetes are the symptoms and not the root causes of diabetes. This is no riddle. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, a condition where the body attacks itself when it is constantly exposed to substances the body is allergic too. Diabetes is curable. What the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t tell the diabetic is that the very medication they take to control the symptoms of diabetes produces other autoimmune symptoms and ultimately contributes to the disease process.  The best medicine for diabetes is good food.

The last topic I want to share with you is the Million Dollar Baby itself, the multi-million dollar wellness facilities that are being under-utilized and have yet to make an impact on the very populations and conditions they were designed for.

In speaking with local healthcare providers the biggest concerns are beginning exercise classes without proper assessments, the lack of consistent participation, knowledge and skill-based instruction.

For starters, if a person is new to exercise, has prior injury concerns or they have not exercised regularly for an extended time they will need more than a workout or two to change the lifestyles that has lead to obesity, diabetes or other health challenges.

Injuries are a major factor impacting consistent participation in exercise especially for the older adult and those who do not exercise consistently.

If you have been inactive for at least 3-6 months (or longer) before you start any form of exercise there will be soreness, but sore muscles should not be confused with proper training. People who are consistently sore or get injured tend to quit and they will not care how much the gym costs.

Health is not something we do, health is how we live.

Coach G

Greg McNeil is a StrongFirst Instructor, Professional Strength & Conditioning coach, Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC), Life Coach, Author, and the owner of Gallup School of Strength (www.gallupschoolofstrength.com)

By Greg McNeil