Good Health - A Lifetime Choice!
For more than 30 years, I have insisted, “Good Health is a Lifetime Choice… Choose Wisely!” Every day we make hundreds of choices that ultimately impact our health. When the “opportunity clock” wakes you (this is Zig Ziglar’s positive psychology, most believe it is an “alarm” clock), do you press snooze or do you jump out of the bed, into your exercise clothes and take off for the gym? Do you choose a healthy breakfast such as a bowl of hot oatmeal with raisins and walnuts? Or do you opt for the “two egg & muffin sandwiches for just $2” under the golden arches? (Spoiler alert, there is nothing healthy about “two for $2” at any fast-food drive-thru!) Then there is Starbucks where you have your choice of 50 different coffee options, from decaf to full lead, cappuccino or Frappuccino? What about caramel drizzle, chocolate drizzle or just plain whipped cream? Choices…we have so many choices and those are all before we begin our workday!
When you look back over the years, do you see how your daily choices have had a profound impact on your health? There is strong evidence to support that consuming a highly processed, high-fat standard American diet (SAD) activates the disease process early in life. Health issues may not be apparent, but they can manifest in the near future.
It reminds me of the man who jumped off the Empire State Building. On the way down, someone yelled to him, “How’s it going?” He smiled and exclaimed, “So far, so good!”
Don’t believe this is just for the older population. In the article, “What to Eat for Better Sex. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn on How to Eat Now” published in www.TheBeet.com, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. explains, “We know that when we do autopsies of GIs who died in Korea—the average age of 20 years old. About 80 percent of them see gross heart disease and you could see it with the naked eye. That study was repeated among young women and men who died of accidents and suicides, more recently, and when they look at coronary arteries, it’s in all these people. It’s ubiquitous. When you go to high school, you get a diploma but you don’t learn to eat. If you are over the age of 17, you already have heart disease. You can decide whether you want to eat this way, but basically, if you don’t cut out animal fat, you have a choice: You can have a heart attack or a stroke. Or both.”
When asked about your health, do you say, “So far, so good?” Looking at national statistics, it’s hard to believe that there are many who can honestly answer, “So far, so good?” Information on the average American adult includes:
- 1 death every 37 seconds is due to heart disease
- 30.4% do not engage in leisure time physical activity
- 42.4% are obese; 9.2% are severely obese
- 40% have a cholesterol value >200 mg/dL; 12% >240 mg/dL
- 81.6 million adults have prediabetes; 29.1 million have diabetes
So far so good? These stats are not the outcome of one poor meal choice or a missed aerobics class. These are the results of a culture that endorses “have it your way!” We embrace a fast-paced lifestyle, opting for highly processed fast-foods that are packed with sugar, fat and salt.
How can we make better choices that will improve our health and vitality in the future? According to the, NIH News in Health (National Institutes of Health) there are simple steps that when repeated often enough lead to healthy habits:
- Plan. Identify unhealthy patterns and triggers. Set realistic goals. Write down steps to help you achieve them.
- Change your surroundings. Find ways to make healthier choices easy choices. Remove temptations. Work for changes in your community, like safe places to walk.
- Ask for support. Find friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, or groups for support or ask people to join you.
- Fill your time with healthy activities. Try exercise, a favorite hobby, or spending time with family and friends.
- Track your progress. Record how things are going to help you stay focused and catch slip-ups.
- Imagine the future. Think about future benefits to stay on track.
- Reward yourself. Give yourself a healthy reward when you’ve achieved a small goal or milestone, like a massage or personal time.
- Be patient. Improvement takes time, and setbacks happen. Focus on progress, not perfection
Stephen Covey said, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” Let’s put aside the mistakes from yesterday. Start today and strive for a healthier tomorrow. Establish a plan, find the support and imagine a healthier you. Good health is a lifetime choice…choose wisely!
Do you need a lifestyle and health coach?
- Have you tried making changes in the past, only to fall back on old habits?
- Have you experienced an event or illness that threatens your life?
- Do you want to regain the quality-of-life lost from chronic disease?
- Do you want to prevent a disease that runs in your family?
- Do you need to lose weight…and keep it off for good?
As a certified Lifestyle and Health Coach, I understand the science behind behavioral change and possess the knowledge, experience, and expertise to help you attain and maintain your healthy lifestyle goals. I can help you make those healthy lifestyle choices on your journey to optimal health and vitality. Contact me for a FREE coaching session: Debbie@Phyto-Fit.Life or (863) 660-8588.