Every day there is something in the news about how health care is unjustly expensive in the United States and yet we are one of the unhealthiest developed nations. We have behemoth health insurance companies, conglomerate hospital systems, and a deeply misleading food industry. None of them have your best interests in mind.
You must take responsibility for your own health.
Being healthy is more than just taking your vitamins, exercising, and eating healthy most of the time. It’s more than taking calcium for your bones, fish oil for your heart, or eating protein-enriched oatmeal. It isn’t taking a drug to control your blood pressure or cholesterol level.
Being healthy is a way of life – your health is the accumulation of all of your daily habits. Good health must be a state of mind, a way of life. A constant awareness that informs everything that you do – because everything you do affects your health, for better or for worse.
Deep down, we all know which habits promote better health and which habits are detrimental to our well-being. However, coming home exhausted after a long day at work can make it all but impossible to opt for grilled chicken and vegetables instead of frozen lasagna or a quick trip to the Taco Bell drive-thru.
A small shift in your state of mind, from an attitude based on immediate gratification to a way of life based on total health can make a huge difference in your ability to stick to your commitments to live healthier.
Creating a mindset of total health is much easier when you keep the big picture in mind – especially during a moment of weakness. A sad fact is that most people take better care of their cars than they do of themselves. You know that your car will run just fine if you don’t change the oil today. However, you change the oil regularly because you know that if you don’t, eventually the oil will break down and there will be increased wear and tear on the engine.
The same holds true for your body. Eventually your body will break down and you may find yourself facing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or arthritis. Eating poorly today or not exercising today is not going to cause an immediate health problem. However, over a period of years the consequences can be devastating.
Your body remembers everything you do and the effects of it accumulate over time. When you are feeling weak and need that junk food fix, step back and look at the bigger picture of your total health – your lifetime health – and refuse to add anything else that will accumulate and cause disease.
Make your total health your way of life, your permanent state of mind. Don’t simply take a multivitamin in the morning and think that you’re doing enough. Most multivitamins are garbage anyway. Be constantly aware that your health is precious. Treat your body with the respect that it deserves. When you are feeling stressed and need to snack on a bag of chips, remind yourself that omega-6 fatty acids promote chronic inflammation and disease. Respect yourself by not putting them into your body.
One last thing to remember is that you absolutely do not have to do this alone. Changing old habits is difficult and requires perseverance and dedication. Enlist the help of close friends and family. Tell them what you are trying to do and ask for their support.
Talk to me! I love having conversations about health, diet and exercise.
As a chiropractor, I don’t simply treat back pain or neck pain. I look at all aspects of a person’s life and we discuss diet, nutrition, posture, exercise, and stress relief.
It’s never too late to change old habits – make this the year that you truly commit to living a healthy lifestyle. You’ll feel your absolute best each and every day of your life – that’s what I want for you.