Toss The Crutch

Monday Oct 1 | BY |
| Comments (17)


While the design of the crutch has changed over the years to make it more comfortable to use, its purpose has not — to help those suffering from leg, knee, ankle and foot injuries move around temporarily until their wound has healed.

I once used a set of crutches when I sprained my ankle playing basketball in 10th grade. Once I realized how restrictive they were, I thought it would be better to limp on my own power than use them. I can’t say if I healed faster or not, but the end goal was to get back to playing basketball — without the crutches.

What’s always been interesting to me about crutches is the dual usage of the word. When we’re not talking about sticks made of wood or composite metal to help us walk, we use the word “crutch” for foods and substances that we’re addicted to — eating sugary foods and sweets, cravings salty foods, smoking, drinking too much, overeating.

Interesting, because the purpose of using these crutches is much different than a crutch you use for an injury. We use these various crutches — or false crutches — to give us a fleeting promise of energy, give us shallow pleasure and shield our real emotions. These false crutches are used for a lifetime and the “injury” is much deeper than a sprained knee or broken bone.

But just like using a set of crutches to assist in the healing process of your limbs, you can use these false crutches to assist in your own healing, so you can life your live free without them.

So if you have a crutch and want to get rid of it, look deeper than your cravings and lack of control over them — you might ultimately find and heal the wound that caused you to need it in the first place.

Your question of the day: What is your crutch?

Live Awesome!

P.S. Get tips on how to toss away your crutches here.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Kim says:

    Great article Kevin. Coffee (organic) is my crutch. At first it was just for energy, but now that my energy levels are much better, I have found myself wanting it even if I’m not in need of a lift. I do usually hold out until I’m suppose to have another cup, which is every 4 hours. I allow myself (for now) 2-3 cups a day spread out throughout the day.

    • LynnCS says:

      Hi Kim…I can relate absolutely. I have come to realize that I don’t handle coffee well and only have a small cup now and then. It took a lot to get off it as I was a heavy coffee drinker. I am a raw food eater and feel great as long as I don’t partake of coffee, cooked starches, which leads to a lot of salty, fatty snacks. Wish I could but honestly, I think coffee is a poison for me. I had a small cup on Saturday morning (a social drink) and voila, the domino effect. It takes me where little else can. Negatively! Tomorrow is a new day. Onward…Sans Coffee!

  2. christine says:

    Hi kevin,

    Interesitng topic today and association.

    My crutch has been food in general – particularly chocolate. I could eat a big block in one sitting and came to realise I was stress eating. Finding healthier ways to manage my stress (which usually related to feeling overwhemled with too much to do) has helped. I now meditate daily (may not be for everyone but has helped me). As I have always been interested in food and nutrition I now direct this interest and challenge myself in healthy ways – rather than mindless eating. For example I have joined the October Unprocessed challenge as a way to help me be more aware of what I eat.

  3. Catherine says:

    Once again I find myself knocked down by life, so I can really relate to needing a crutch. Another relationship is falling apart, I need to move again, I’m managing my 93 yr. old moms life. She has dementia. I need to find work. I’m a health coach and yoga teacher, but I’ve lost my confidence. Soooo, I do feel like I need a crutch to help me back on my feet. The bad crutch I use is not food, but feeling sorry for myself and playing victim. I’m wondering what would be a healthier way, or a real crutch that would help me get strong again? A good question for me.

    • Mona says:

      Hi Catherine…I know what you are going through and if I did not have a healthy prayer life as my “crutch” I would never get through a day.
      God never lets us down or breaks up with us…I know you can do it…my mother also taught me as a child to offer all my suffering up to Him so I no longer feel like the victim.

      • Hi Mona. May I suggest you go into you tube and watch Eckhart Tolle. He is a great spiritual leader and helps me get through tough times. He has many of his talks there and they are all great. One of the best are the one and a half hour lessons (10 of them) on his book A New Earth that he did with Oprah Winfrey in 2008. There are 10 lessons and they are soooo good. All the best and just know that life is always changing and always for the better.

  4. kuru says:

    Kevin, can you enlarge the print of the comments, as least as large as the article font? It’s really tiny now and kind of light. Thanks.

    My crutches disintegrated in 2012, hooray!

  5. Charlotte says:

    Kevin: love the article as it resonated with me and made me realize that food is
    A CRUTCH I should NOT USE. . I need to eat to live… NOT live to eat. Why is that so hard for us to learn?
    Why do we think about food so much? Why do we think we need so much of it? I look at the audience on Dr oz tv show and cannot believe how many obese women there are. But then I cant feel better and just say well I only have to lose 25 lbs because it feels like it might as well be 100 because I fail so much at not eating. Why do I let food be that crutch? And I eat good food … Just Too much of it! Today I ate an orange and a banana, then a carrot celery juice with one scoop of Garden of Life raw super greens and a teaspoon of Potent Proteins Donna Gates’ spirulina and a half cup of frozen blueberries… Which was really good! Then I ruined the whole day by eating gluten free but full of calories almond cookies!!! Just writing about the almond cookies makes me want a cup of tea and another cookie!!!
    I know I shoukd not have bought them in the first place!
    And to Catharine: have faith and Ask God for help always as he is always there if you just ASK. I remember a famous minister telling about visiting a war torn city and he saw a young girl on the back of a truck and she was singing a song in another language and he asked what she was singing and they said she had seen her family be killed but she was coping with it by singing Yes Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so… They said her parents had taught her and she was coping by singing it …. That story always puts life into perspective, doesnt it?

    • Eileen says:


      I am so with you about needing to lose about 25 pounds. I too eat very healthy most of the day but my “crutch” is salty crunchy snacks from about 3-5pm, I just can’t stay away and if I did I would be so much healthier. I even work out right before that time to try and help myself to not want to eat but I think the working out adds to my hunger. I start with a healthy snack before dinner then it always turns into a little something crunchy and like you said it just makes you want more when you start. I need to remember your statement about eating to live and not living to eat. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, I want to be healthy and live a long life for my daughters. Thanks

  6. Sundaram says:

    Miss your old kind of posts…

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey Sundaram,

      We continue to do informational posts on the blog. You can just scroll down through the blog roll. I’ll be sending these in the email newsletter starting November-ish.

      I honestly lost interest in posting health advice in that way. I needed a more creative outlet, so this is my reinvention for now.

      Thanks for reading and I hope you stick around!


  7. LynnCS says:

    Hi Kev. Interesting analogy. Hopefully the days of using food as a crutch is over for me. Still tempted and sometimes partake, but prefer the health from eating raw. Thanks for the site and the topic. I miss the accompanying research. Just putting up a cute topic leaves me a little emply. Miss the vids too. Hi to Annmarie and Hudson.

  8. For Catherine, I agree with Mona. Also some crutches can be good ones. I remember hearing about a person who accused another of using Jesus as his crutch. The man responded “Yikes, No! Jesus is my WHEELCHAIR! My whole life is based on Christ”s and His Word” (The Bible). Well said!

  9. Helen Olson says:

    I never used alcohol until my husband died. Then I found a few glasses of red wine really stopped the pain. I realize the crutch of moving through the evening alone but have not been able to find a way to stop using it. Your article is very pertinent as I now understand why people use alcohol it works very well.

  10. will2sr5 says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I popped the clutch to fast in gravle and dropped my Honda magna on my ankle. I sprang it pretty bad. I soaked it in an infusion of Compfry every afternoon for about a week and drank Pineapple juice. Four days after I was able to get to the clinic for an exray. Boy was I glad there were no broken bones. The doctor said my home remedy seamed to work very well. The Comfrey promotes cell growth ie..Skin, tendens, muscle, and bones. The Pinapple juice is anti inflamitoruy for my ankle.
    Cool ??? Will2sr5

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