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The reason why your grandmother is smarter than your mum

Let’s face it; times certainly have changed since that in which our grandparents grew up in. We seem to be more affluent than our ancestors, with a range of options for entertainment, eating, transport, information sharing, reaching out across the globe and across the street, as it were. Which brings me to my topic….and to quote the lyrics of a song from years ago…”Your mum is dumb, and your dad is mad”
With our growing affluence has come an enormous degree of ignorance. We live a lifestyle of credit card versus lay-by, and expect that we can cheat evolution with the same transaction system.
Something else to ponder…as human beings we have existed in our present state for around 195,000 years. We have had agriculture, where we started being able to produce reliable food sources for around 10,000 years. We have had factories to produce our foods for the last 200 or so, since the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that everyone was pretty much responsible for producing their own food and went about actually working for their food.
We have made it quicker, easier, more cost effective to produce food products in the last 40 to 50 years, with advances in technology, and with that technology has come a cacophony of noise we are bombarded with daily, about which food will make us feel amazing, which food will make us sexier, will taste better, will give us the magic pill for weight loss.
It has become overwhelming because we have come to believe we can overcome evolution on a case by case basis, by tricking our bodies, by pretending we haven’t eaten foods that we simply know are catastrophic for our bodies. We can obtain food products in minutes that previously we had to plant or cultivate for weeks or even months.
You can’t fool evolution – so eat the foods you have evolved to eat, as they are produced by nature, not a factory. That’s where credit card evolution comes in – we want instant food, instant weight loss, and instant results because we finally get tired of the way we feel and look. Our grandparents, if they didn’t have the money saved for something, put it on lay by, they didn’t expect instant gratification with retail therapy. If you need retail therapy, there is something just plain wrong with your life, but that’s for another blog on another day.
So why is it then that your mum is so dumb? (You know that by mum I actually mean all of us, right? You got that bit?) Consider what happens when you put your hand on an old fashioned electric hot plate on the stove…it burns and there is an instantaneous response (even before you are aware of the pain) to pull your hand away. We are evolutionarily designed to avoid things that are dangerous to us. Why then, with our diet the way it has been for the last 40 – 50 years, do we keep putting our hand to the fire? Why do we keep repeating, over and over the same actions that hurt us?
For the most intelligent species on the planet we sure do dumb things. We repeat the same actions over and over and whilst it is obvious that they are dangerous to our health we repeat them, until all of a sudden we are 50kgs too heavy, have systemic failure and are on our way to an early grave.
If you have eaten the same way since becoming an adult, and you are getting heavier, have less energy, are getting sick, feeling drained, sleep badly, have feelings of depression and despondency, then why would you keep doing it? Are you stupid?
The answer is, in all likelihood, probably not. You’ve been conditioned to eat that way. By your mum, most likely. She served up what the TV told her was healthy, she listened to the experts tell her what was right to eat and how much and in what percentage. And for 60% of us, it’s just wrong, all wrong.
So if you want to know what to eat to become lean and smart again, and have healthier children with less chance of obesity related death (not even going to say the world illness, a lot of our kids are going to die because we killed them with our food choices), then you should go and have a meal at grandma’s house.
So, is it all mum’s fault? (Remember that for mum I mean all of us). No, and yes. No, because she was doing what she thought was right, what she was told by the experts was healthy for us, and mostly it wasn’t too far wrong, just in the important bits. Yes, because she made a choice to change her dietary habits from what grandma served up, the traditional meat and 3 vegetable dinners that were a staple of our earlier diets.
So, my advice for what it is worth, if you want to lose weight and be healthy? Stop being dumb. Stop repeating the same actions over and over that are doing everything but get you to where you want to be with your mind and body.
Just humour me and try to be smart about it would you?

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Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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