Filed Under:  OpEd

A happy four score and two

27th February 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Fr. Jerome LeDoux
Contributing Columnist

For me at least, the eeriest thing about my ascending to four score and two years is the somewhat unnerving fact that my eyesight has backed up over 40 years. That’s right. I am seeing virtually what I saw at the time I was 40 years old. Admittedly, my vision is not 20-20, since there is a slight astigmatism. Still, I literally cannot believe my eyes!

At any rate, reading glasses do not help but rather impede my vision, because they get in the way. Strangely, my eyes do not grow tired or blurry after four hours at the computer, or after six hours, or even after eight or 10 hours. It just seems incredible to me.

So, whence this reversal of natural degradation of vision? You may choose to judge this differently, but I see the most fundamental change of our body at work here. It begins with the biological composition of some 100 trillion cells in our body. About 300 million of those cells die every minute and must be replaced by newly-formed cells.

Critically, if we consume high-grade food and drink, the 300 million cells will regenerate almost perfectly. But, if we consume cholesterol-laden foods and drinks laced with sugar and salt, the 300 million cells will regenerate as wild, cancer-prone cells.

Clearly, the choice is ours. Further, our skin, the largest organ of our body, changes completely every 30 days; our heart cells and most of our muscles, about every 8 months; our very skeleton and the rest of our body, completely over the span of one year.

This turnover of cells enables us to engineer the ousting of wild, cancerous cells and the replacing of them with the generation of healthy, vibrant cells. Such healthy cells eventually become the very cells that comprise our body’s immune system. That is why we can eradicate diseases like cancer, diabetes II and hypertension by selective eating.

The final ingredient of this amazing exchange of healthy cells for wild cells is the dynamic connection with and interaction of exercise with smart eating. Rather than a mere 300 million cells a minute, the act of exercise kills many more millions of cells that must be replaced. This allows for a much more rapid turnover from wild to healthy cells.

Thus, we are able to engage in both a faster generation of dynamic cells and at the same time in a generation of tougher, stronger cells hardened through the studious regime of resistance exercise that causes our muscles to grow in size and strength.

Vivid examples of such ousting of wild cells and replacing with healthy cells abound all around. Consider Thurman Taylor in New Orleans who vanquished 100-plus PSA count prostate cancer, a 25-year acidic stomach, and also a 25-year terribly painful back by dropping all animal products and juicing carrots and such – all in 60 days.

One of my personal astounding experiences of turnabout is my daily entering and exiting my car. Not very big, my car presented somewhat of a challenge up to a year ago for me to twist and turn during the act of entering. It brings a smile to my face that my leg muscles are notably stronger now and allow me to bounce gleefully into my car.

And that maneuver happens with a grace left kick as I bound into the car seat. Most notable of all is that I feel no weakness or strain in any muscle as I make my entry. Until now, I was using technique to execute my car entry. Now, technique is quite secondary.

Naturally, the hidden message here is that I, as everyone else, need to exercise my muscles more in order that they will grow and stay strong through resistance. Sleep is the other part of the equation. Strangely, I have no problem sleeping, even though I dislike sleep. I am now sleeping six, often seven, sometimes even eight hours as doctors advise us to do.

It has taken the better part of four decades, but I have reached the point where I see every day is a bonus and a vacation no matter how many hours I spend fielding “hygiene” phone calls—a ministry to itself—visiting the sick or toiling behind the computer.

With an attitude and temperament of very low maintenance, I am quite content with very little in the way of food, drink, shelter, accommodations and entertainment. Truth be told, life itself is the greatest and least expensive entertainment of all.

Always relaxed, I live without stress, pain, medication, an irked temper or any episodes of impatience. It is an ongoing joy to realize fully that the only treasures in life are faith in God, a loving family and the extended family of friends and church members.

This article was originally published in the February 27, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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