BHealthy Blog

Don’t Play Chicken With Your Health

Darla Henry, M.S., CPT, Baptist Health Weight Loss Program Health Educator

Robins are wonderful birds, don’t you think? They are the first birds to sing in the morning and the first birds to lay their eggs in the spring. They appreciate a freshly mown lawn and are able to get around by both hopping and flying. However, I have discovered a disturbing trait about robins – they are arrogant. Yes, you read that correctly, robins are arrogant, conceited, ego-maniacs. This character flaw is not listed on the National Audubon Society website, but I assure you it is true.

While stumbling back to the house after my exhausting jog, I was accosted by one pompous fowl. Now, you must understand that I love animals – big animals, small animals, hairy animals, slimy animals (well, maybe not all slimy animals). So, I welcomed the sight of a feathered friend. Nevertheless, I soon discovered that this red-breasted thrush was a thrill-seeker and I was to play the “thrill”. My sharp-beaked comrade decided to amuse himself with his own version of the game “chicken”. You remember this game, right? The game your parents warned you to never take part in once you received your driver’s license? The game involves two drivers driving toward each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash. The one who swerved will be called a “chicken”.

This nine-inch, two-ounce, songbird charlatan, decided to engage a five-foot-five inch, more than two-ounce, human in this madcap contest. As I staggered home, weary from my jog, little Mr. Narcissist decided that he would hop within a few inches of my feet, causing me to swerve my spent pedals to avoid squashing his tiny frame. This went on for several minutes with said feathered egotist hopping in front of me, then to the side, or me moving to the side. Which made me wonder, does this tiny plumaged show-off realize that he would end up on the losing end if I decided not to play the part of “chicken”?

Robins aside, are we any different? How many times have we heard on television, in the newspaper, on the web, etc., about the dangers of not taking care of our health? Lifestyle is the major predictor of premature death and major illness. Nothing influences health more than lifestyle. Seventy percent of most major health problems are due to lifestyle health habits. The big three: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer share one common risk factor, weight. Losing excess weight is not just about vanity, it is about our health.

Unfortunately, like the arrogant little robin, we believe we can lose the weight all on our own. Think how impressive my crimson breasted adversary would have been if he had enlisted the help of twenty or so bird friends. Instead of playing chicken out of concern for hurting his diminutive bird body, I would have bolted off like Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds!

Baptist Health Weight Loss Program offers the help you need. The Decision-Free diet of all meal replacements takes away the anxiety of planning your diet meals. The Healthy Solutions diet lets you add in scrumptious fruits and vegetables. The Home diet is perfect for those who like the extra help of meal replacements without having to attend classes.

I learned a valuable lesson from my audacious robin friend. Just as he, in his arrogance, assumed I would step aside as he sprang toward me, we, in our arrogance, think that these health problems will not happen to us. Don’t play “chicken” with your health and don’t try to overcome this obstacle on your own. Call Baptist Health HealthLine about the Baptist Health Weight Loss Program at 227-8478 or toll free at 1-888-227-8478 and enlist the help of a few friends.