“Show me the five people you hang around the most and I'll show you your future.” I'm not 100 percent certain who originally said this, but I do remember hearing it for the first time at an entrepreneurial event where business people from around North America came together to learn the ins and outs of successfully growing a business. The quote implies that the people we allow into our circle of influence do exactly that – influence us. And, depending on who we have allowed in and how they are influencing us would then determine the growth, or not, of our businesses. Anyone in business knows this to be true, but did you know the same principle applies to our health as well?
I remember years ago reading a cartoon published in the health section of the newspaper. It showed a doctor talking with his patient addressing the issue of high cholesterol where the doctor says, “The problem is not necessarily that high cholesterol runs in your family, it's that no one in your family runs.” Although we all laugh, this analogy rings with more truth than most people realize.
For decades, each generation has been under the impression that if some direct relation in the family tree had a particular disease or disorder, they would someday be plagued with it as well. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, allergies, etc., are all said to “run in the family”. Science now tells us that our DNA plays a much smaller role than we originally thought in determining what runs in our families. In fact only about 30 percent of our DNA actually determines the outcome of our health. The other 70 percent is all up to us. So, if we control 70 percent of the outcome of our health, why do so many people struggle with health? Frankly, it is because we control that 70 percent. The fact of the matter is, the majority of people aren't aware they have very much, if any control whatsoever, let alone a whopping 70 percent. How we handle stress, what we eat, how much and how well we sleep, whether we have a positive or negative mindset, how much water we consume, environmental factors at home and work, exercise, etc., are only a few of what makes up that 70 percent.
Going back to who we surround ourselves with, the constants, at least in our formative years, are our families. As we grow, we learn through osmosis – watching, copying and doing what goes on around us, often times without ever being specifically taught. Besides breathing, sleeping and the elimination of waste, everything we know including habits, was learned. We copy what we see the people around us continually do – consciously or unconsciously - and these learned behaviours if not interrupted, then often become life-long habits. We not only inherit DNA from our family, we also inherit their habits. And like the cartoon illustrates, when your family has habits that are not consistent with creating optimal health, we are more likely to struggle with lifestyle diseases and believe we have no control over how to change it. I'm here to tell you that couldn't be farther from the truth.
In business, when we look around and discover that the people we've allowed into our circle of influence aren't helping us move forward, we distance ourselves and begin to seek out people to connect with and organizations to join that are more aligned with our goals, values and beliefs. With family, it's not quite that simple. Kicking your family to the curb because they eat sugary breakfast cereals and bring home takeout 3 times per week for dinner is not realistic. But realizing those choices created a learning environment which fostered habits that resulted in poor health, and then deciding to kick those to the curb is something we all can do. And when we make better choices, we are creating an environment that allows our children and subsequent generations to inherit not only our DNA but also the good habits and good health that now runs in your family.
If you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, and ready to optimize your 70 percent to take back control of your health, go to www.fuelignitethrive.com book your complimentary health assessment today.
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.