To achieve extreme health, some people don’t have to do much. Others need to climb a mountain every day before breakfast.
This is a bear of a truth, because it’s totally unfair and there’s nothing you can do about it. Some people can smoke and eat barbecue and drink liters of alcohol with few bad effects. They may live to be 95. Genetics simply predisposes some people to be centenarians, which is awesome for them.
Most people aren’t destined to be centenarians, though, barring major biotech breakthroughs. To varying degrees, we have weak points. Our genes may be prone to errors and not repaired efficiently. We may be sensitive to chemicals in our environment. We may be prone to digestive upset or allergic reactions.
The thing to do is NOT to think about how your cousin can eat raw raccoon with no ill effects. That has no bearing on your own ability to do the same thing, and thinking about it will only make you jealous.
Own Your Baseline
Each person is different. The good news is that each person, from their own baseline, has the capability to build extreme health. Extreme health is nothing more than the sum total of a series of small decisions made every day.
It may take a few weeks, a few months, or a few years to get there, and it may be something you need to do every day for the rest of your life. A practice, like a martial art. That may feel unfair when you see your cousin enjoying his raw raccoon steak with barbecue sauce and vodka. But you are not your cousin, and pretending to be won’t get you anywhere good.
Drive Toward Health
Raymond Francis, author of Never Fear Cancer Again, uses a highway analogy that I like. Essentially, if you envision a multi-lane highway with health at one end and disease at the other, if all of the cars on the highway are driving toward health, your body will probably get healthy, driven by that momentum.
In contrast, if some of the cars are driving toward health and others are driving the other way toward disease, the momentum toward health won’t reach a critical point and you won’t get there.
The real 1% that it’s most important to be part of is the 1% of healthiest lifestyles on the planet. The Blue Zone-level lifestyles (update: I’m finally reading this book after just reading articles about it in the past!). Which way are you driving on the highway?