I’ve lived in many countries for several years, from when I was a little kid until now a 54-year-old man! Time, travel, and experiences are the best universities in life — without them, you really know very little.
One of the great misunderstandings ingrained in people’s brains is:
Study, school, study some more, get a “proper” job, settle down, get married, work hard, and have kids. That’s your “life plan” and the path to success and happiness!
So they say!
Unfortunately, that’s what 90% or more of the world’s population believes, and they are wrong.
They teach you that in school and mostly your parents do too. You listen, follow the rules, and march on down the yellow line like little toy soldiers are supposed to.
In truth — that’s the single worst advice you can take and thing to do to yourself, plus a guaranteed path to poor health and unhappiness.
In school, you learn the basics to get by relatively unscathed in life, and that’s about it.
However, to discover deep knowledge and understanding of yourself, how the world works, people’s behavior, situations, and outcomes, you need time, practice, and travel.
That’s how you learn to live a “real and healthy” life.
What’s Thailand got to do with anything?
I’m currently traveling in, as they call it, “Amazing Thailand.”
Sadly, it’s not a holiday. I’m here to help a family member with serious metabolic and mental health issues to regain his health and survive.
He’s not obese — the opposite, he’s skin and bones. He’s suffering from a different type of metabolic health disease:
Malnourishment through junk food — lack of sun exposure — skin conditions — insomnia — hypertension — anxiety — insomnia.
You can be slim and even look fit on the outside yet still suffer from terrible internal health on the inside — it’s called Metabolic syndrome.
The scary ex-pats in Thailand
I’ve had to walk the streets where I’m staying in Thailand in search of a decent grocery store to buy and cook “real food.”
Usually, I refer to Western countries — primarily the USA, Canada, the UK, and a few European countries, to be the worst regarding the exploding obesity and heart disease rates.
I rarely mention Asia or Southeast Asia. Whereas I know Indonesia has one of the worst rates of diabetes worldwide, their neighboring countries (Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam) didn’t appear that bad.
But appearance doesn’t tell the whole story!
Experience, time, and travel do — meaning, I can see if you’re healthy or not just by looking at you.
The last time I was in Thailand was probably 12 years ago. So, honestly, what did I really know until I arrived again? Little!
I had to walk for 20 minutes through small, busy streets packed with bars with 10 to 20 ladies each outside, begging you to come in and enjoy their services — whatever they may be — to arrive at the supermarket I’d found on Google Maps.
At 5 pm, in broad daylight, believe it or not, it was scary and a challenge to navigate my way through, making it clear that I’m not a tourist looking for services.
But that wasn’t the worst of it — not by a long shot.
The men, oh my god, the foreign men!
Bar after bar, row after row, they were packed with old, wrinkly, suntanned, hugely overweight ex-pat men drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.
That’s all they do here: drink beer, get tanned, and hang out with the girls at the seedy bars.
These folks are all metabolically sick and don’t know it
Every single man in this category in Thailand is an ex-pat or tourist from a Western country, not Southeast Asia.
So, is it fair to put Thailand into the metabolical-health-sinking-titanic ship?
No— the majority of Thais are slim, and there are few overweight people to be seen.
Once again, our fellow Western compatriots ruin the scene and make the place look like a pig farm.
Have these people traveled, had time, and had the chance to gain experience in life?
The answer lies in the middle:
1 — Some have traveled a bit, but not often or far.
2 — They had time, but they wasted it.
3 — They’ve experienced little — they made poor decisions and lifestyle choices, ruining their health which will soon kill them.
I have to say it as it is — the state of health of most Westerners living in this area of Thailand is abysmal. Sadly, most of these horribly obese expats, and very ill men (and even quite a few women) are from the UK, Australia, and the USA.
Please read my related story:
Is the East — like the West — also turning metabolically sick and sinking like a lead balloon into diabetes and obesity-riddled society, with heart disease being the Number 1 killer?
On the surface, no. Japan and Hong Kong are known to be 2 of the “healthiest” countries with the longest life spans.
However, the food and drink consumed by the locals in all SEA countries are primarily sugar, and carb-laden junk foods, fried in seed oils.
All of which, in the end, is a road to metabolic disease and an early ending.
As in most countries, there’s no food education, and 99.9% of the population in Southeast Asia have no idea what they are putting into their bodies and how they’re harming their and their children’s health. The Westerners in Southeast Asia know even less, and don’t care about anything, except, where’s my next beer?
MBA from Robert Kennedy College & University of Cumbria, UK.
Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach | Trainer | Blogger | Copywriter | Author
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