But most people treat their health like a credit card instead of a bank account.
Our immune system is our health account. We can make withdrawals - perhaps by drinking heavily and eating junk food for a weekend… or deposits – perhaps by eating a healthy diet and exercising for a week.
With a bank account, when you spend more money than you have, you receive a letter from the bank, informing you that you are overdrawn. In the UK, we are usually charged around £30 for this – about $50.
When you make excessive withdrawals from your immunity, this letter comes in the form of illness.
Financially VulnerableIf you regularly go overdrawn with the bank, the accumulated cost of those letters starts to mount up, and, of course, you never accumulate any savings. The older you get, the more financially disadvantaged this lack of savings makes you. Once you reach old age, your ability to earn diminishes and you become even more financially vulnerable.
You wouldn’t run your finances like this, so why would you do it with your health? The parallel is clear – if you keep getting ill, it means your immunity is never building up beyond baseline – and the older you get, the less you can rely upon your body to ‘earn’ back its strength after illness.
Sure, this is simplistic – sometimes an illness comes along that’s just gonna get you. But as a general rule, how often you get ill and how ill you get is an index of the strength of your immune system.
Irresponsible BorrowingI have watched Mrs M build up her immunity in recent months after years of irresponsible borrowing from her health. There was a time when she was ill so often that it was more common to find her ill or recovering from illness, than well. Since March last year, she has been ill only once, and that was manifestly induced by the Christmas junk-fest.
Saving Like ScroogeMy own Christmas junk-fest did not make me ill. I attribute this to having a vastly greater savings account than she. I have been saving like Scrooge for years, squirreling away my health for a rainy day.
You don’t have to be like me. Just don’t be like Mrs M was.
And remember – some people’s banks give more warning than others. Don’t keep squandering your funds without thinking because one day there might be men at the door who have come to take your house.
When it Comes to Nutrition, the Glass is Half Empty