Updated: Jun 11, 2020
The Classic Story
We all know a Dave, the guy who enjoys himself a little too much. Like most people, Dave parties in his twenties. In his thirties, he loses contact with most of his friends, who prefer to stay at home with their kids. Dave starts a family, but still gets to the pub most evenings.
In his forties, Dave gets promoted. He seems to spend more time at work than anywhere else. He still parties whenever he can find a good enough excuse. His wife leaves him and his diet goes downhill. He either eats takeaway food or at his local pub.
His doctor tells him that he has high blood pressure and cholesterol. He tells Dave to watch his stress levels, cut out junk food and to exercise. Dave assures him that will sort his life out, but never actually follows through. The only time Dave works on his stress levels is with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other!
In his fifties, Dave develops some aches and pains. His doc reminds him to change his lifestyle, and reluctantly prescribes cholesterol and blood pressure medications. As soon as his boss gets off his back, Dave tells himself that he will get down the gym. He wonders where on earth is he supposed to find the energy to get down the gym?
On his sixtieth birthday, Dave wakes up feeling exhausted. He’s not sleeping very well at the moment. Two days seems like hardly enough time to recover from five days work. Small things that would never have bothered him gets him terribly aggravated. He avoids looking in the mirror because he hates what he sees. The doctor really scared him last week, so he decides to cut out sugar. It’s so difficult though! Sugar seems to be in just about everything... The only time he really feels fine is in the pub. As soon as he retires, he will have all the time in the world to get fit.
At sixty eight, Dave is retired and pre-diabetic. He joins his local gym but feels out of place. It’s not as easy as he thought it was! Do people actually enjoy feeling light headed?
At seventy, Dave is bored and diabetic. He gave up on the gym. He felt like he was about to have a heart attack every time he got out of breath!Dave feels totally dismayed. He spent his whole life dreaming of his wondrous retirement, but doesn’t have the health to enjoy it. Far from traveling the world, he can hardly walk up the stairs! He doesn’t see his kids much any more. They live far away and have their own families to worry about. When they call, Dave assures them that he is just fine! He doesn’t want to worry them anyway. Dave feels old and depressed, and self medicates with alcohol. He doesn’t have a drink problem though, because he never drinks at home. Little does his doctor know that Dave goes to the pub every afternoon.
At seventy five, Dave looks gaunt and his kids are concerned. Dave is becoming increasingly forgetful, and is struggling to take care of himself. They convince their father that he would be happier in a care home. He won’t have to cook, or go shopping, or even clean the bathroom!
At eighty four Dave is now in a wheelchair and barely even recognises his children. Life feels scarcely worth living now he can’t go to the pub anymore. Only his sugary treats comfort him. But his diabetes means that his kids are reluctant to bring him any. If Dave had made a few lifestyle changes, things would have been very different (2009).
Exercise 3 1⁄2 hours a week
Don’t become obese
In this case, Dave would have lived into his eighties with a good quality of life. His mind would have stayed sharp enough that he could live in his own house, and even frequent his local pub.