Speaking from personal experience, I remember hearing these quotes, and others like these, almost exclusively at business events, personal development seminars and books. But it makes just as much, if not more sense to apply these principles to our health and wellness as well. I mean it's all fine and dandy to focus on business, but if your health takes a dive and no one can run your business or you can't show up to work.... or you've worked like crazy to amass great financial wealth, plan for a comfortable retirement – or even early retirement – only to have the spending of that wealth be dictated by your lack of health. Definitely food for thought.
We humans are creatures of habit. We like routine and change for a lot of people is overwhelming and sometimes even scary. Even when a person suspects or even knows something is “bad” for their health, many still do not take action.. Why? Three reasons. 1. There are no 'red flags' – or they're not recognizing red flags - prompting them to make a change. 2. People often see change around food and lifestyle as all the things they're giving up rather than asking themselves, “What will I gain?” 3. They simply don't want to. If any of these three is you or someone you know, stick with me here while I dive into each one.
When we think about red flags in relation to health, I believe most people think of red flags as something super serious like a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, etc. Heads up, these are way beyond simply red flags. These are more like four alarm fires that need putting out immediately. The absence of disease does not equate to good health. Red flags are small indicators. Things that may not even bother you on the daily, but that are upsetting nonetheless. Heartburn is a great example. Might not happen too often (or maybe it does) so you put it down to “something I ate” or “guess I'm getting old...” when heartburn, acid reflux, excessive burping, gas, bloating etc., are often indicative of digestive issues and leaky gut. Left unchecked, rising stomach acids damage the esophagus and the poor gut environment causes the stomach lining to become damaged, allowing things to pass through that shouldn't. The body identifies 'foreign invaders' even though they came from our own bodies, and goes to war trying to eliminate it. This is how autoimmune conditions are triggered.
Anyone reading this who's ever been on a diet knows the feeling of giving up favourite foods. Some people would say being on a diet means they have to give up all foods they love and enjoy. They 'sacrifice' to get through the diet, stumble across the finish line and then celebrate their weight loss by indulging in the very foods they gave up a few short months ago. How's that working out? It clearly doesn't. When we go into something believing we will be deprived and miserable, there is no way anyone will stick to it. Statistics say that less than one percent of people who start a diet will stick to it for life. But when we decide to make healthy changes around food and lifestyle by replacing an unhealthy item or habit with one that we find enjoyable and yet also serves to improve health and add value to our lives, we're not giving anything up. In fact we're gaining benefits in spades. Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, your excess weight and issues that go with didn't show up overnight. It was the small things done, or not done, consistently over time that got each one of us to where we are now. And the same principle works for reversing the damage and taking back control of your health.
What about those people who just don't want to make any changes? We all know at least one I'm sure. It's difficult to fathom anyone who wouldn't be sick and tired of being sick and tired, but they're out there. You might even be thinking of someone in your family. And although we get to choose how to take care of our health, those who choose not to, are making the choice to infringe on family and friends when he/she is no longer able to take care of himself/herself. More food for thought. For those who have succeeded in improving health, having more energy, reversing disease, becoming stronger, losing weight, etc., you are the example. I often think of that quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” followed closely by Jim Rohn's, “Let's go do it.”
So, do the good stuff, be the example and invite people to do it with you. When you walk your talk and come alongside to help others, point them in the right direction where they can have success, your good habits become infectious and contagious. In a good way. And the world definitely needs a super spreader like this.
To learn more about catching good health and spreading it to others, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook. And, if you value good health, share this with your family and friends and invite them to join too.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.