The costs of health care in this country are at record levels and are rising daily. Smaller businesses are being forced to totally cut health benefits, large businesses are changing their health insurance benefits so that the employee is absorbing more of the cost and receiving less coverage. Prescription co-pays are increasing, doctor’s visits now require payment up front, and the length of a stay at the hospital is influenced by the type of, or lack of health insurance that you have. The bottom line is that you can’t afford to get sick!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should not be looked upon as an expensive, time consuming chore. If that is your belief then think upon these 4 things: 1) anything worth having is worth working for, 2) you only invest in that that you think has value, 3) an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, 4) you only get one body, so it is wise to take care of it. Being healthy is a choice. Each time that you eat a meal, you are choosing to eat something that you know is healthy or unhealthy for you. Every choice in life that you make comes with results or consequences. The consequences of unhealthy eating might not be obvious immediately, but you will begin to notice subtle signs (gas, bloating, sluggishness, constipation, headaches, sinus problems, aches and pains, fatigue etc.) Unfortunately, generally people do not notice or respond to the subtle signs, which could then allow acute or chronic illness and disease to begin to develop.
Taking responsibility for oneself is the first step towards a healthy body. This can be done in several ways:
1) Educate yourself about your body and it functions so that you can take preventative measures to ward off illness. If you are already ill, self-education will equip you to make knowledgeable decisions and choices about your healing process. Learn about herbs, vitamins, supplements, food and food preparation.
2) Eliminate the excuses that you make when it comes to changing your dietary habits and lifestyle, such as : “I’ll start next week”, “O.K. this is my last time”, “I don’t have the time”, “It costs too much”, “I don’t know how to cook that kind of food”, “I’m too tired to exercise” etc.
3) Set realistic goals for yourself when making dietary and lifestyle changes. Change is a process not an overnight success. In most cases it is necessary to wean oneself away from certain foods, especially those that have addictive qualities (cheese, breads, pop, meats, candy, junk foods), but then learn about the healthy satisfying alternatives that you can eat.
4) Monitor your mental/emotional triggers, which unconsciously stimulate your old behavior patterns, cravings and addictions. Companies pay millions of dollars to marketing firms to incite, arouse and stimulate you to buy their burgers, candy, pop, chips, donuts, pizza etc. Also, be conscious of the types of people that you are around and their habits, which might cause you to lapse into the old addictive habits that you are trying to break.
5) Create a plan of alternatives of foods to eat that are satisfying and healthier, as well as discovering restaurants that serve ample choices of fruits, salads or vegetables. It is easy to become frustrated and give up when you are constantly told what you can not have and what you should not do. Empower yourself by developing a realistic attainable plan which includes: a) your goals (i.e. loosing 1 pound per week, making your lunch for work, walking/exercising daily), b) listing your limitations or challenges (i.e. financial, physical, emotional, geographical etc.). Once you have listed your limitations, then research what the alternatives are, relative and realistic to your life.
Making an investment in our health sometimes requires a paradigm shift or a change in your perceptions. Time, energy and money spent on your health now will not have to be spent on prescriptions, doctor and hospital bills later. If you do not spend money to fill your kitchen cabinet, you will be spending it to fill your medicine cabinet.