Time to drain the swamp (your lifestyle choices)

Its high time we drained the swamp.  These disgusting monsters have dragged us down for too long.  They're insidious and corrupt.  They offer nothing in return for the money we give them, except cause damage.

No, I'm not talking about President Trump.  I'm talking about a much deeper and sickening swamp: the average American's nutrition plan.

The swamp monsters come in all shapes in sizes, from the bag of Cheetohs hidden under your car seat, gone but not forgotten, to the 2000 calorie Starbucks frapuccino rotting in your cup holder, all the way to the half-eaten pale of ice cream lurking in the furthest corners of the freezer.

We're so focused on slimy politicians that we can't do anything about we neglect our own swamp, and it is festering!

Be the change you want to see in the world
— someone I can't remember

Maybe it was Abraham Lincoln.  Or was it Hillary.  Maybe the auto mechanic who rotated my tires yesterday?  Nevermind, it still holds true.

In a world where there is so much supposed "division" and "hate", where social justice warriors prowl the streets like pretend-police, what better way to facilitate change than to drain our own swamp first, instead of looking for the government to do it for us?

One thing I've noticed about a lot of people that routinely complain about say, the government, or a certain political group, or person, or anything outside of themselves...is that they usually have one or more significant health issues at hand.  Usually more than one.  Sometimes, a lot.

We are a nation of mindless consumers who rarely if ever consider the damage to our bodies and indirectly our thinking that poor lifestyle choices create.  That's right, create.  You don't become a whiner out of thin air.  The swamp of negative thinking and fear fills slowly over time.  Before you know it, there is, instead of a guilt-free and positive consciousness, there is a putrid, stinky, swamp.  And the bigger it gets the harder it becomes to drain it.  Strange things start to grow in the swamp.  We call these "diseases" and "mental disorders".

But the good news, as always, is we can drain that swamp, and we can do it quickly if we do it right.


Little changes add up.  Big changes add up quicker.

Draining the mental and physical swamp involves making choices, minute to minute, day to day, for the rest of your life.  If that sounds daunting then there is always option b which is to let the swamp fill indefinitely and ultimately vanish into the abyss of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential.  Like Les Brown used to say "the richest place is the graveyard, where countless unfulfilled dreams and ideas are taken to the grave".

That person screamed at you on the highway and sped by erratically.  Instead of screaming back, you take a deep breath and move on with your life without letting it affect you.  Good job, you just took a cup and dumped out a little swamp water.

The person at Starbucks that always offers you a cookie every time you make a purchase, even though you know you haven't deserved it and its 11am so why do you need a cookie in the middle of the day anway.  You kindly decline the cookie and move on.  Good job, you just dumped out another cup.

But dumping cup by cup takes a long time and the swamp needs cleaning as in yesterday.

Why not just quit going to the coffee store and filling up on adrenal stimulants and eating pastries for no reason other than that its trendy?  Now, you officially attached a hose and created a swamp relief system.

As for the negative relationships in your life that you put up for for no other reason than you're scared to hurt their feelings, or scared they might get mad at you?  Pull those off like a bandaid.  Good job, you just took a bucket and dumped a sizable amount of swamp gasses out of your life.

You throw out the soda and chips, flicking swamp fecal matter out of your life in the process.  The swamp creatures are beginning to starve because you have removed their sustenance.  Its getting a little easier now, because you've created momentum.

Next comes the working out.  Everyday, without excuses.  Yes, its hard.  No, your excuses are not acceptable.

Slowly but surely, we can create the swamp drainage system.  Maybe in due time the climate can change to where we can plant flowers and strong trees where the swamp grasses used to grow...

Maybe someday we'll all have our Eutopian fantasy land where the government loves us and gives us stuff and actually looks out for us.  Maybe someday they'll actually give a shit about you and me and what we want.  But in the meantime, drain your own damn swamp first.  After all, if we all do our little part, the collective swamp known as humanity may finally be drained, once and for all.

Ben Hetzel

Benjamin Hetzel