Wellness is a Choice
Many people believe that health and wellness is like rolling a dice. Sometimes you win sometimes, you lose. Some people win and some people lose. It’s as if we have no choice in the matter. That’s a convenient belief because then you are not expected to do anything. Perhaps more importantly, you do not have to change anything. Life can go on and if something goes wrong you go see the doctor for the magic bullet. In other words, you hand over your problem to your physician because that’s his or her job. This is a nice theory and practiced by millions. It’s the one reason why health care costs are skyrocketing in Canada, the US and elsewhere. The theory is not logical or true for 97% of the population. Sure some people are genetically pre disposed for some diseases, and some are exposed to environmental toxins that ruin their health before they get a chance to correct the toxicity from occurring. These are the small minority but the vast majority of us cannot blame poor health (heart disease, cancer, diabetes—the lifestyle diseases) on anyone or anything but themselves. If you are currently suffering from one of those diseases, I am sorry. The good news is that it is possible to reverse some of them.
We make choices every day. Every one of us has 24 hours in the day and what we do with that time is all up to us. Time is a big issue. People say they have no time but line up for a morning coffee at the drive in. people say they have no time and wait in line at the fast food restaurant or sit at a table and wait to be served by a waiter/waitress. People have no time but they can watch dumb soaps and unfunny sitcoms. People like to spend endless hours watching other people get exercise playing sports but spend very little time actually exercising their own bodies.
Health choices start with what you decide to eat on a daily basis. You vote with your fork three times a day. Do you vote intelligently? Where do you get your nutritional information from? TV? Radio? The Internet? The library? Are you reading ads or articles? Are you reading ingredients or the advertising jargon on the label? If you find nutrition, dieting, eating the right foods confusing and you feel like you are not smart enough to understand it, you are right where the big food companies want you. For them, the more confused you are the better as long as you are eating their products while you are confused. Your job is to unconfuse yourself and get the real facts on nutrition.(Read The China Study and watch Forks Over Knives as a good start)
What are you drinking on a daily basis? Water, Coffee, tea, soda pop, juice, beer, wine, liquor? I’ll give you a health tip, the only one that the body really needs is water. The rest are all fluff. In excess, they can be harmful. Even too much water can be harmful. We call that drowning. People drown in sugar drinks every day and end up with weight gain and diabetes. People drown in alcohol every day and become alcoholics and fry their livers. What you drink on a daily basis has a lot to do with your health and wellness. It’s your decision.
How much are you exercising on a daily basis? Oh you get exercise at work? Studies don’t support that thought. You are too busy working to exercise? Are you too busy attending to your family? Families are important to be sure but so are you. Do you spend time waiting for coffee at fast food places? Watching TV? Going to movies and sports events? Going to parties? Are you a workaholic? Do you really need a second job? Exercise is as important as what you eat and drink every day. It’s the third leg on a wellness stool. It’s the secret to true health because it get the systems of the body moving, energized, cleansed , detoxified and rejuvenated. People who want to live a long life do not skip the gym.
So do you have the time to live a long health life? Or would you rather live a short unhealthy one? It’ all about the choices you make on a daily basis. Notice, I did not say go to the doctor for checkups so you can be healthy. Going to your doctor is very useful because it allows you to keep score. It allows you to get professional coaching (as long as your doctor is into wellness and prevention) Doctors allow you to monitor your health through numbers. Numbers that are critical to your good health are your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels, and your weight. Based on these numbers and others you can evaluate and modify your lifestyle. Wellness is fundamentally about the decisions you make on a daily basis. You are in charge, no one else. It is your job to find out what you do not know and make sound judgments on the veracity of the information you choose to read, absorb and apply. There is a lot of junk science out there about quick fixes and supplements that will change your health.There are no quick fixes, just sustained wellness achieving actions. These are often small, almost insignificant decisions that we make for and against ourselves every single day. We may think there are no consequences to poor decisions but there are, every day, every minute. Your body is talking to you but are you listening? Achieving wellness is fun and very satisfying. It’s also very liberating because you know you are in charge. Really! Your body knows you are treating it well and it responds with positive energy. It’s like the body is playing its own version of The Song of Joy.
Colm Maher March 27, 2012