October 23, 2013


The phrase takes me back to keyboarding class, 8th grade. We were actually mostly learning how to type properly, but the class was still called keyboarding. Our teacher, Mrs. H., drilled into us the concept of "gigo" or "garbage in, garbage out." It's the basic principle of computer programmers everywhere: you put garbage in, you're gonna get garbage out.

It probably would have been relevant if any of us had grown up to become computer programmers. To my knowledge, none of us did.

I heard it again in college, of course delving a little deeper into the concept. Computer 101 and 102 with Mr. F. Nice guy, that Mr. F. But still, I memorized the concepts to pass the class and went on with my life. No real relevance from that either.

Until a few months ago. I finally realized that, for probably 90% of us out there, the "garbage in, garbage out" concept more readily applies to the most complex machine ever created--the human body. Something we all own and are responsible for.

And if you have children, you are responsible for them. You are responsible for teaching them and training them until they're old enough to make decisions for their own complex machine themselves. That's the very foundation of parenthood.

Our life train hasn't made the stop at Parenthood yet. Why? Because I'm working on fixing my own complex machine. I'm working on changes so that good decisions come naturally when I'm {even more} stressed out and sleep deprived and just want to get. out. of. the. house.

So it stands to reason that the opposite also holds true. Good stuff in, good stuff out {"gsigsu" doesn't quite have the same ring to it though}.

We wonder why our kids have so many diseases these days--as we pour their 3rd soda for the day and serve them pre-packaged meals where the ingredients list is longer than the nutrition facts.

We wonder why more people are dying of seemingly preventable problems at younger and younger ages--as we pop our daily statins and ACE-inhibitors.

We look around at other people watching them feel tired all the time and rationalize that it must be normal. Everyone feels like that. It's just part of aging. See your doctor for the proper symptom-masking medication and you'll be fine.

Uh, hello?



Garbage in, garbage out.

If I opened some programming software, pounded on the keyboard like a 9-month old for a minute, then expected the software to spit out a usable program....you'd think I was crazy. "You have to put in the proper code," you'd say. "Computers are a great tool, but only if you give them what they need."

Should we not also do the same with our bodies?

I'm not able to sit down and write computer programming. I haven't been trained.

We {as a nation in general} have stopped being trained to put the proper code into our own programs. That's a big-picture problem and part of the underlying cause of this mess called healthcare {ie: sickcare}. It's not going to be fixed in a day, a week, or even a year. Maybe not even for years {Lord, help us!}.

But we can each make better individual choices. One step at a time until you get to where you need to be.

When a computer programmer finds a bug in his code, he works his way line by line, bit by bit, until he finds it and can figure out how to fix it.

I found bugs in my code and I'm fixing them bit by bit. It sometimes seems like this program will never run properly, but I know I have to keep on. I know the end result is a smooth running program. Will it be bug-free and happy days from there on out? No, definitely not. But I'll be so familiar with my code that I'll be able to quarantine the problem and have it fixed before it causes bigger issues. When I find a bug I'm unfamiliar with, I research the mess out of it until I have at least a basic understanding and steps to take to fix it. I learn, I grow, I change. Good stuff in.

Garbage in--processed, unhealthy foods; synthetic vitamins that end up flushed; pill-shaped chemicals we're told are good for us by the people who create them; known neuro-toxins in our food & water.

Garbage out--stress, anxiety, exhaustion, emotional instability, irregularity, hormonal imbalances.

Good stuff in--fresh foods free of pesticides; using God-given herbs and plants to treat minor {and even not-so-minor} issues; natural forms of vitamins and minerals our bodies need in order to function properly.

Good stuff out--energy to make it through the day; ability to better deal with stressful situations; peacefulness; the knowing that your body is functioning properly.

I know it's hard. It's freaking HARD. I have to shop at the same grocery stores as anyone else. We're on a budget, same as anyone else. There are steps I know we need to take that we just haven't been able to yet. Yes, we need to prioritize better. But we're working on it. One step at a time. I've recently taken another step that I didn't even see coming, but I'm pretty excited about where it can lead.

Life will never be completely perfect. We still live in an imperfect world.

"I feel fine," you say. "There's nothing wrong with me." To that I raise my eyebrow and answer, "Really? You are 100% convinced that you are functioning at 100%?"

"My kids won't eat that." Really? Don't give them a choice, Parent. They are the child and you are training and teaching them. Be the adult in your house. They won't go hungry for long.

Think about it. Use the brain you were given {er, unless you don't have enough good stuff in your diet, then you probably have a legit reason for not using your brain--hint, that's what cholesterol helps with}.

Garbage in, garbage out.
Good stuff in, good stuff out.

**This is NOT a recommendation to stop your medication. I am, thankfully, not a medical professional. Do your research, then do what you feel is best for you after talking with your doctor.

1 comment:

  1. Very good observation on GIGO- a phrase that definitely haunts anyone who has taken a computer course in school. I have a quick question about your experience with diabetes, please email me at mtrucillo(at)recallcenter(dot)com when you have a chance. Thank you so much!


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