Who is the maniac posting here the last few days?
What the hell is Double Arrow Metabolism? Doctors always think they know everything. And I don't like the looks of this guy. He was probably born skinny, and here he is trying to judge the rest of us for driving cars, smoking, eating processed foods, spending our money on whatever we want, and spending our free time on social media. Sure, maybe you can be healthy if you've got a good set of genes and luck into a doctor who's not a quack. But it's a roll of the dice. Life is hard, and this guy acts like we can all just "choose" to be healthy. Some of us have obligations! Kids at home, a mortgage to pay. So we get a little stressed out and watch some TV and maybe have a beer or two. Live a little for a change. So what?
Yet some people live happily and healthily into their 90s, while the overall life expectancy is going down. Is it all just genetics, or is there something we can do to live longer and happier? Let's examine the thin grey line between being healthy and happy and being sick and depressed.
How thin is the line? How about 40 minutes a day?
Let's say you are holding your own, health-wise. On the Double Arrow Metabolism Wellness Index, you're a solid two or three. Then you decide that lying on your side for thirty minutes in bed each night flipping through your Facebook feed is more important to you than moving through space like you were designed to do. All the light from the screen blasting into your retinas throws off your sleep cycle, so you wake up in the middle of every night for ten minutes and raid the fridge to the tune of 200 highly-processed calories.
Then, since you couldn't sleep the night before, you wake up twenty minutes late and decide that you don't have time to make a sensible, non-cake-based breakfast at home.
Let's assume that you commute less than five miles to work, as a solid plurality of
Americans do. You're in a hurry and instead of biking, walking, or busing to work, you swing your fancy gas-powered wheelchair through McDonald’s on your way there and spend $5 on a meal that should have cost you less than $2. Let's be generous and say that this breakfast was no better and no worse than what you would've had at home (a generous assumption indeed). Say this routine (self-inflicted bad sleep, sedentary commuting, breakfast of processed crap, repeat) becomes a habit.
So that 40 minutes a day: 30 minutes of Gay French King scrolling Twitter or Facebook, then 10 minutes of late-night insomnia binging, all at the sacrifice of a more meaningful breakfast and commute, leads to this: 1400 extra highly-processed calories a week in food intake, 1148 fewer calories per week burned by missing your average 19.2 minute one-way cycling commute, $21 a week spent on food you didn't need and shouldn't have bought, and, at the current Federal rate of $0.52 per mile, $30 a week from gas-powered wheelchair driving. And, for the sake of being fair, let's say your fancy gas-powered wheelchair is a sensible car and not a gas-guzzling adult Tonka Toy:
If that's what you drive, these numbers would be far, far worse.
End result? One year later, if you started out at 150 lbs, you're now almost 60 pounds heavier. The extra $1440 you spent on your habit in that year, had you just put it in an indexed fund, would now be worth $1541.
And ten years later, if you really fell into a rut, that 40 minutes would have cost you $10,791! Your weight would eventually level out--we all hit our genetic max for obesity at some point--but you'd almost certainly have complications, like diabetes, heart disease, or sleep apnea.
And all this assumes you didn't even take on any credit card debt to pay for this, and assumes that the bad sleep you were getting didn't make your metabolic issues worse, and doesn't even take into account the $1184/year that your new diagnosis of diabetes cost you.
40 minutes a day to stay out of this swirling vortex. 40 minutes.