Everyone has either said, or heard, someone declare “I don’t care if it kills me, it’s delicious/worth it!”

As a person with a brand-new Medtronic pacemaker, allow me to tell those people that they’re actually, factually, incredibly, full of shit. It’s not worth it.

When you’re in the midst of even a minor cardiac event, some chest pain from a lack of oxygen hitting your heart, or passing out, or a feeling of pain creeping up your neck; as you feel burning warmth or ice cold going down your left arm and you’re suddenly short of breath and you were just sitting there minding your own business with no reason to have shortness of breath or pain…at that moment, just before the 911 call or the ride to the emergency room, two things are going to go through your head:

1: everyone you love, and how they are going to handle your death if you actually die before telling them how much you love them

2: every slice of cheesecake, every piece of bacon, every burger; every shot of liquor. Every Taylor ham and cheese sandwich dripping with grease. Every bagel with cream cheese. Every slice of pizza dripping with grease. Every single time you said “I don’t care if I die, this is delicious!”

Trust me: when death suddenly stands right in front of you, scythe in one hand and large order of fries in the other…YOU WILL CARE IF YOU DIE. And suddenly every fucking treat you ever ate will not matter. Every memory of taking seconds at a barbeque, every joke about having a “healthy” salad filled with cheese shreds and fatty dressing, every porkchop will come crushing down on you like hounds from Hell chasing you straight into a body bag.

Trust me. It’s not worth it.

You think it’s hard to eat healthy? You’re full of shit. The difference is not taste, but the choice to live. That is the most delicious taste of all.

Stop looking at healthy food choices the way your grandparents did. There are so many food choices today, you don’t need to eat things that “taste like cardboard”. Look into Mediterranean diet choices. If you’re really serious, eat less meat. (I only eat meat now perhaps twice a week.)

I plan on living a bit longer. I was blessed with 3 kids, a grandchild, a partner who loves me, friends who care for me, coworkers who I think of as family. So for them, I DO care if it kills me. And since today is Pay it Forward day, I am paying it forward with this advice to you and some things here and there I don’t need to brag about.

Love yourself as much as I love you. You’re worth more than that “treat.” If you don’t believe me, believe my LAD artery or my arteriosclerosis or my apical ischemia or my pacemaker. You are worth so much more than that one little bite. You’re one in a million.