The pharmaceutical industry is downright frightening. They are corporations, after all, and corporations exist to make money. The big pharmas have been accused of not making cures, just making customers, which is sometimes actually true. There are so many ads out there for so many drugs that are supposed to help the ailments that I have, but I find their claims (pardon the pun) hard to swallow.
I've read a lot of self-help books over the years, and a line or two from each remains in my aging memory. One, from "Fit or Fat," was something along the line of, "Everybody wants a miracle pill to lose weight. Well, there is one -- it just takes 20 minutes a day to swallow." This concept hit me deeply.
Yes, we would prefer to swallow a pill instead of get outside and walk for 20 minutes every day. We're busy, and our bodies ache, and the list of excuses is endless. But the issue is so much bigger than a simple choice. The issue is that we don't want to have to do our own work -- we want somebody else to fix it for us. Taking responsibility for our own well-being means that it's our fault that we feel lousy, and we don't like that conclusion. I'm a good, honest, hard-working person who is trying to do the right thing with my life. How can it be my fault that walking is painful? If I know walking is the answer but I don't do it, I'm at fault. If I take a pill and it doesn't work for me, it's somebody else's fault, and I prefer that scenario.
But once I accept that it is in my power to change my own life, it's amazing how much stronger I feel. I'm not up to walking some days, but I can still stretch. I can try to spend less time sitting and more time standing, less time indoors and more time outside, less energy baking and more effort cutting up vegetables.
Each week when I sort through my medications and fill my little pill box, I think about each item. Do I need this? Is it time to talk to my doctor about making a change? Am I taking this supplement instead of eating properly? The answers often surprise me. But they're my answers, and the drug company ads have nothing to do with me.