Lately I have been wondering about the shift in thinking, in terms of people trying to lead a healthy life. In the past people seemed to be looked at with concern if they were rapidly gaining weight or not taking care of themselves properly. As of late, I’ve noticed a completely different trend. It seems that you are the odd man out if you prioritize your health and go out of your way to make sure you are getting exercise and eating healthy food. Now, I do understand that there are extreme measures that can be looked at as obsessive, but in my opinion we have veered so far away from healthy lifestyles that anything above bringing a lean pocket to work is considered abnormal.
Clearly with the state of our health in this country, and at the rate which obesity is increasing, something has drastically switched over the years. Is it our thinking, our habits, our education about food, our accessibility to unhealthy food, our culture, our attitude, our impatience, our issues of entitlement, or all of the above?
I come from a family that has always struggled with weight. For a long time I thought I was over weight because of my “bad genetics.” After years of reading and educating myself I realized I was unable to lose the weight because of my “bad habits.” This was hard for me to grasp since I knew letting go of those habits meant letting go of the few things in my life that I felt were giving me happiness. My entire life revolved around food and truly felt I deserved to be able to eat what I want, when I want. To me food meant fun, bonding, love, happiness, gratitude, acceptance, rewards and above all comfort. Little did I know that it was my love affair with food that was also giving me feelings of self loathing, weakness, embarrassment, lack of energy, sadness and loneliness. I remember starting these thoughts at the tender age of eight.
Talking with my clients, and from my own experience I realized people are given a hard time whenever they try to make a healthier lifestyle change. For many this is because people do not want to be reminded of what they should be doing or they don’t want to lose the reliable lunch, drinking, gossip, care taker or whatever buddy they have come to rely on. If all is status quo, they never have to change or feel bad about the choices they make. That is, until one day when someone breaks up the pack and decides to pursue health and tries to better themselves! The person who has decided to set these goals has the best intentions in mind, but for some reason some people around them feel as though they are personally being threatened by having their environment CHANGED! Questions pop in their head like, is he/she judging me on what I am eating? A: NO. Is he/she thinking I am lazy? A: NO! Is he/she thinking she is better then me now because he/she has will power? HECK NO! HE/SHE just wants to try to feel better and be happier!
If you have set healthy goals for yourself, AMEN! It’s the only way to get what you want out of life! You are one of the few who has found the missing link to being happy, content and healthy. We are not born this way! It is a lifelong endeavor and search to continue to better yourself and remain disciplined in order to continue to gets life’s rewards that are waiting for those who work hard. The only answer to this huge problem is to start with yourself and your own family. Stop all the blaming and justifying, and learn about what you should be doing and eating and take action. Be and set the example you want for others.
Leaders will always be criticized in the beginning and that is what makes them stronger. If you are thinking this sounds too tough and unrealistic then you have already chosen your future. It all starts with your thoughts and attitude. A healthy life is right around the corner and the smallest of steps make a difference. Don’t rely on others for happiness and remember, the road is long but in the end it is better than you can even imagine. Do it for you and your loved ones and start living your best life possible!
Set your goals high, never apologize for them and don’t stop until you get what you want!