9:15 AM

P is for Paul, Pissed off and Priorities.

Paul, my oldest brother, and I are very close. Paul has always been very much my "protector" during my younger years. There are 10 years between us and he has and still does refer to me as "his baby" (even though I'm 32 years old). Paul has lived the rough life for the majority of his years. He's had his battle and trials, and his come out on the other end a better person.

Recently (as in Superbowl Sunday, 2010) Paul suffered a massive heartattack. I had just left Staten Island (my hometown) from a weekend hanging out with him and the family on my way back to Boston. That evening, when I heard the news, I turned around and drove right back. Upon arriving at the hospital in the cardiac unit I asked where I can find him, and they pointed me to the last room on the right. As I entered the room, I was a little rattled by seeing my older brother laid out on the bed with all the wires and tubes running their way in and out of his body. I had tried to prepare myself ahead of time for this, so I think I gave off the "calm vibe" when he saw me initially. That calm vibe was about to change.

As I sat there with him, talking with him and getting reports on how he felt, a hospital staffer brought in lunch. Now remember we are in the CARDIAC UNIT at a very well known and respected hospital in Staten Island. Upon lifting the lid of the lunch tray, my shit really hit the fan. FRIED CHICKEN? MACARONI AND CHEESE? WHATTTTT?!?!?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. I believe those were my exact words. I immediately grabbed the attending nurse and demanded to speak to the head nutritionist. She told me that the nutritionist would come down to speak to us (well, that never happened). I called my mother and asked her to make some grilled chicken, vegetables and quinoa to bring to my brother. I was heated to say the least.

Now let's put this into perspective, shall we. My brother, who is about 80 pounds overweight, just had not one, but 2 heart attacks (they later found out that the heart attack that landed him in the hospital was the second he had suffered in the last week) and just found out he had type 2 diabetes recieved the old Kernel Sanders special with a side of cheesy pasta? I mean, c'mon! I'm getting heated all over again just writing this damn blog entry. What is wrong with us people? Is there a question why our national healthcare is in the shitter and the obesity epidemic is running rampid when our "scholars" think Mac'n cheese and fried chicked is the best possible meal for my brother in this condition. This transcends the word stupid. In fact I'm going to make up a new word right now to exhibit how idiotic this is. Dumbestshitever. There it is. OK, enough of my rant.

So what I was getting at in this whole blog entry is that for YEARS I have been asking, begging and pleading with my brother to eat better, quit smoking (even though in the past I had been known to have a smoke here and there on my trips back to the Island of Staten), and live healthier. I had pleaded with my parents to PLEASE start cooking better for themselves and the family. The annoying thing is that when I travel back to NY for a weekend trip, Roberta (my mom) will go all out and cook healthy for her baby (that would be me). Quinoa, Tempeh, Millet, Tofu, Vegetables galore. I mean some seriously awesome, healthy and DELICIOUS shit here people. Then when I leave to go back to Boston, she goes right back to cooking the crap. WHAT?!?!?! You know better! I definitely get worked up when I talk to her and could probably be more diplomatic in my approach, but this is what happens when passion and desire overspill. I'm sure you know what this is like. We've all been there in one way or another. It's like having a child and telling them not to touch the hot stove, because it will hurt them, but you know how this story ends. The difference with this analogy and my crusade to have my family eat better is that if they ignore the warnings and continue to "touch the stove", they will only know the repercussions of their choices when it is too late when they have some disease or body malfunction.

It annoys me so much that as a society we are all so programmed to be REACTIVE as opposed to PROACTIVE. Let's fix the problem before it starts instead of keep doing stupid shit. We look back and say "oh yeah, that probably wasn't a good choice", and then deal with the consequences (ie-pain, medication, death). My brother Paul, only now, has changed his eating habits and quit smoking because of the threat of death. He now comes to me for health and exercise advice, as it is now I who feels like the protector of my older brother in some sort of way.

Does death have to knock on your door to get your attention? You may say, "That won't happen to me, I'm young, have good genetics, appear to be thin, yada frickin yada".... it's not gonna save your health people. BE PROACTIVE! Change your eating habits now! Go to a health food store or farmers market. Learn to read ingredients. Put positive foods into your body. Will it possibly cost more? Probably. But if you're going to invest in ANYTHING, shouldn't this be it? It's your health we're talking about! Make it your priority. Get on board and do this! It'll be the best thing you can do... this comes with a guarantee!

All fired up and kicking ass,
BK (That would not stand for Burger King)

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