A while back, I had an epiphany while reading one of Arduous' blog posts. She was reviewing a book called Zapped about how we're all slowly being poisoned by electronic pollution. Arduous wrote a very balanced review of the book, but I was particularly struck by her point that we as a society are very bad at assessing risk. Arduous quoted an article in the New York Times:
And while we certainly make constant (mis)calculations in our adult lives, we seem all the more determined yet befuddled when it comes to the safety of our children. For instance, the five things most likely to cause injury to children up to age 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are: car accidents, homicide (usually at the hands of someone they know), child abuse, suicide or drowning. And what are the five things that parents are most worried about (according to surveys by the Mayo Clinic)? Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers and drugs.Arduous concluded, "Here's the point. If you are seriously worried about electronic pollution and want a few pointers for how to reduce your exposure, sure read Zapped...But before you spend thousands of dollars and hours and hours of time with an electrician trying to protect yourself, I would ask yourself to think critically about the risk here."
After reading Arduous' post, the wheels in my brain starting whirling...Now, I don't want to discount the precautionary principle because I do think it's a smart way to protect yourself from harm, but it occurred to me that I personally have spent a lot of time worrying about things that might be bad for my health when I'm not doing those things that I know are good for me. I've spent countless thought-time analysing what kind of shampoo to use, yet I never get enough exercise. I've stressed over what kind of deodorant to buy, yet I often make poor eating decisions. Just today, I decided to swap a handful of Christmas candy for a piece of fruit for lunch (same number of calories, definitely not the same nutritional value).
So I've decided to change my perspective on health. From now on, I'm going to focus on the good rather than the bad - on what I should do rather than what I should not. I'm going to spend more time thinking about whether or not I eat enough fruits and vegetables and am getting enough exercise than about the sodium lauryl sulfate in my dishsoap.
But how to do that? Do you have any tips for healthy living? Maybe I should stop looking at so much food porn on the Internet...