22 February 2010

Which obsession do you choose?

The word obsession is sometimes used obsessively, particularly when it pertains to something a person does on a regular basis.  If you do something healthy on a regular basis, it is probably better to refer to that behavior as a "good habit," as opposed to the true definition of obsession, which means to be irrationally compulsive. 

Over the years, I remember hearing people referring to people who regularly eat healthy and work out daily as being, "obsessed" with themselves.   I can even remember hearing such a term from people close to me, and especially at times when I would remain dedicated to my program, or train for something very challenging like a marathon.   These "people" would even go a step further and tell these dedicated individuals, "hey when all your obsessive training is over and done with, let me know so that we can hang out."  Misery loves company eh?? 

And just what were these non-obsessive people doing with their time?  Many of them were living what they believed to be a "normal" life, eating and indulging in everything regular, normal, common, something that "obsessive" health fanatics work against.   So I started to think about these labels we put on various groups of people, and I realized that being inaccurately labeled was not a nice thing at all, and perhaps it contributes to the reasons why the non-obsessive people resist the idea of getting on a health program.   Perhaps it's just an excuse, "I don't want to be like those obsessive people."

My thoughts are, for the sake of this blog, that I will look at 2 groups of people:

1.  The group of people that realize that health is a priority, and requires that you eat as healthy as possible, exercise, and try to maintain balance in life.  These people explore ways to effectively manage stress, combat illnesses, avoid medications, rise daily with gratitude in their heart because they are able to go through their day dedicated to whomever and whatever they do in life feeling great!  They may not live perfect lives, but they have pretty good to very good health which enables them to better deal with life's challenges. 

2.  The group of people who don't prioritize health, and require medications, extra time off, days to recuperate from illness, time-outs for depression, sadness, doctor's appointments, complaints, problems, setbacks.   These people find themselves on a merry-go-round, constantly dealing with the same issues.  They tend to talk a lot about their health issues, health issues in their family, and they don't quickly realize that NOW is the time to reform and become a member of Group #1.

Well perhaps both groups are obsessed.  Some people call on the need for an in-between group, a group that "somewhat" addresses their health, but still lives life to the fullest.   This is interesting.  Live life to the fullest?  Again, another strange concept designed to make people feel more comfortable about possibly abusing their health??? 

We all need to rethink HOW we think when it comes to critiquing people who DO address their health.  We must stop labeling people and start to simplify what is necessary to live a healthy, happy life.  It starts with SELF.   Look in the mirror and acknowledge what changes need to be made.  If you ache, have ailments, take medications, have serious health issues in your family, there is no middle ground.  If you have issues, you must deal with them seriously.  Once you have done that, it is time to figure out how to go about making necessary changes.   Find someone, who is truly knowledgeable, who will SERIOUSLY help you to make your changes.  Stay away from the people who may not have your true HEALTH concerns in mind.   Stay away from the people who will have new names for your new choice about your life. 

Once you embark on a program that will be ideal for your health needs, you will start to learn what is important and necessary for you.  You may come to realize that you must totally change your ways.  You may come to realize you need to workout 5 or 7 days a week.  You may come to realize that you need to meditate.  You may come to realize that you need something that you don't have now.  It's not about what people think, what people say, what people label you as, but more so about you coming to realize that choosing to be healthy is the ONLY CHOICE! 

05 February 2010

For the sake of the children, please!

On a daily basis, I speak with people who seem to have given up on the state of their health, and even the state of their entire family's health,  and it's so sad to hear these stories but I try to share as much as I can in an effort to change a few people's mind.  So many believe that just because they are in their 40s or 50s that there is no hope for their health to improve or that they don't have the ability to raise healthy children. 

There is always hope for anyone who decides that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  A woman my age, with children my age, told me that osteoporosis runs in her family and she admitted that she does not do anything for herself to combat this fact.  Why?  Well, could it be that her life is so hectic and she barely finds time to exercise and learn about nutrition?   Could it be that she has children with a demanding schedule, and she has decided to put them first?  Could it be that she also is married and is the dutiful wife?

Where will her choices for today lead her and her family tomorrow?  The bones of the body are alive, and that is why children MUST start out life eating healthy foods and getting proper nutrition in the process.  The bones grow and need to be strengthened.   Bone density is greatest when we are in our 20s, and then as we age, if we are not doing things to keep our bones strong, they start to thin out.  As we approach our senior years, we are more susceptible to fractures, breaks, etc. 

Beyond eating right and exercising, we also need to understand what ELSE causes our bones to lose density.  It can be certain foods, medications, illnesses, and more, and this is why it's important to especially be proactive with learning about prevention and health maintenance when you have certain conditions in your family.  No offense to doctors, but people need to manage their health beyond what they learn in the examining room. 

Why sit and wait for something to happen?  Why not prevent it from happening in the first place?  As I stated earlier, the bones are alive.  If something is alive, you have the ability to keep it strong and healthy...if you try.  During the same conversation with this mom, I also asked her about her children's nutrition and whether or not they were getting certain things in their diet, and she again answered, "well, no, they just don't like to eat certain things, you know how kids are."

As a mother of two, I certainly do know how kids can be, but I also know that it is my responsibility as an adult, a parent, an educated person, to make sure that my children get what they need nutritionally to lay the foundation for at least a healthy start in life.   Just like how adults can be afflicted with certain illnesses if they neglect their health, so too can children.  Children can develop high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc., just like adults can if they lack proper nutrition.    

The wonderful thing about the human body is that it is repairable and renewable.  Never give up on yourself and think that there is no hope for better health.  Prevention is the best thing to alter those possible genetic conditions that run in your family.  

At the very least, as parents, we MUST give our children a fighting chance.   I used to hear my parents say these words, "when I was a child, we really did not have much of a choice..."  In a way, their choices were pretty darn good as they both grew up with fresh farm animals and fresh produce in their backyards, and so there were no harmful toxins, no additives, no processing.  I also reflect back to when I was a child, and I think about some of the things we ate that we don't eat now.  Again, however, times have changed, and the production of the foods we eat today has changed drastically (not for the better) in the past 30-40 years. 

Why is my grandmother of 92 years old still alive, walking around, cooking, going to church, doing most everything for herself with no issues?  I would like to think it was the healthy start in life she had, and the fact that she lived the first 50 years or so of her life eating very healthy foods straight from her backyard, and because she is just a really good, sweet, loving person too!   

WE can't use that excuse anymore about not having a choice, because today we most certainly DO have a choice.  You can not hide behind money as an excuse, or even lack of time.   You know what, it behooves you to have a healthy diet if money is an issue because you can't afford to get sick!  If you don't have the time to stop and get educated about WHY it's important to address your health now, will you have to time to invest tomorrow when you end up sick?  

For the sake of the children, find the time!