If you’ve had the chance to watch American TV you’ve likely seen ads for prescription drugs. At the end of any of those ads there is a list of possible side effects. Cigarette packages come with a warning printed right there on the box. Smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease and some other ugly health issues. This got me thinking, perhaps we need more reminding of the possible side effects of other activities in our lives.
Think about a commercial or advertisement that you’ve seen recently for a burger and fries. Bet your mouth starts watering just at the thought of it. That perfectly toasted bun, melted cheese delicately dripping from the top of the patty, crispy bacon nestled under the fresh lettuce and perfectly sliced tomato. You can imagine the taste of the secret sauce. Then, in the case of the TV commercial, there’s a voice over that says: side effects may include indigestion, constipation, weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Those side effects are real and we should be reminded of that every time we’re encouraged to consume that meal.
There are side effects to everything that we do. Often the negative effects build up over long periods of time but they do happen. Things like:
- Excess screen time (TV and devices)
- Eating processed food
- Late nights
- Sitting for long periods on a regular basis.
When we pick up a prescription at the drugstore we meet with a pharmacist who reviews how to take the medication and the possible side effects. What if we had to meet with a dietician at the grocery store or the drive thru window? What if a physiotherapist popped onto the TV screen as soon as we turned it on and listed all the possible ailments we were exposing ourselves to by getting comfortable on that couch? I’d like some specialist to pop up around 9:30 pm and tell me I’m gonna feel like sh*t tomorrow if I don’t go to bed soon. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but I never feel as good in the morning as I do when I get to sleep at a decent time.
Sadly, the powers that be will not issue warnings for the possible side effects of our current less-than-healthy activities so it’s up to us. It starts with awareness. Get to know your weaknesses. No offence, but you do have them. I believe the greatest strength we can have is to know our weaknesses and then work to strengthen them. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.
*Possible side effects of reading this article include feelings of motivation, inspiration and empowerment 😉
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