Finding your best health isn’t always easy but it’s do-able and worth your time. Understanding your past and present influences, as well as cause and effect helps. We know that obesity and lifestyle choices are at the root of most chronic illness in the US. Yet having that knowledge is only the beginning. Although it seems illusive in our hectic lives, some simple insights and heightened awareness can help you make your best health a reality without the drama.
Let’s take a deeper dive together:
1) What choices were made for you as a child? How did movement and food play a role in a typical day? If it helps, record your observations. It’s not about blame or getting stuck in the past. For me, as a kid I was encouraged to spend time outside and mealtime was a sit-down affair with others where I wrestled with eating certain foods (like vegetables, fish and beans).
2) Become aware of the choices that you make for yourself each day and understand why you make them. Again, no judgment – simply acknowledge what you do and write it down. Notice any connections from past to present? In my past, I ate lots of mac and cheese to save money, but avoided foods like fish and beans. That’s a big connection for me that I needed to work on to build better health.
Often, as said recently by musician Bonnie Raitt, we’re on a quest for authenticity. Peers and cultural influences play a role in our choices. Do you feel you need to go to extreme measures to prove something to yourself or others? Maybe a diet or product or activity is all the rage with your peers so you try it too. The search for authenticity takes many forms and the reality is that extremes are rarely necessary. Whatever your past choices – they are not your future. Each day offers you a fresh start – if you’re willing to choose it.
3) Plug this new-found awareness into your choices going forward. Where do you want to go in terms of your health and fitness level? What reasons do you have to get or stay healthy? Maybe you want to experience life to it’s fullest each day. Maybe you want to get off expensive prescription meds with harsh side effects. Maybe you want to stick around for people who love and rely on you. Whatever the reason(s), find and record the ones that get and keep you moving.
4) Redefine your future in ways that keep drama to a minimum. What if cause meant choosing to take action in your life – and effect meant choosing between peace or its opposite, drama. What choices force you to live with lower energy, greater stress, additional worry and fear? What choices empower you? For me, life will throw enough curve-balls on it’s own. In the meantime I’ll skip the drama by choosing a more healthful – read: peaceful path.
Actively choosing health really matters – not just because it saves us all big bucks but because it improves the quality of our lives immeasurably. Poor health isn’t an inevitable part of life or of aging. The fact that you’re reading this is a living testament to your body’s amazing resilience and ability to rebuild and heal itself, sometimes with a little or a lot of help from those around you. Find your best health by becoming aware and getting the help you deserve. You don’t have to go-it alone.