Proactive Wellness: A Healthy Investment

Posted at 10:13 am on 07/16/2014 by Brandon McElroy
​If I told you making corrective, healthy lifestyle changes were a piece of cake, no doubt most Americans would be lined up to see if it was chocolate or vanilla flavored. The truth of the matter is these changes take time and you aren’t going to lose 30lbs in a matter of 4 to 6 weeks. You can blame the fitness supplement marketing industry for selling you sculpted, rock hard abs by taking only 2 pills twice a day. I’ve even heard marketing for a supplement claiming, “If you drink this you will cure yourself of diabetes.” I’m not sure which side is to blame for the ignorance of our society today, but convenience has blinded us as an entire entity, nonetheless. What’s the one thing the fitness supplement industry doesn’t sell you? Exercise, because exercise is free.

In this same society we struggle to fit in our favorite jeans yet we make excuses to avoid any kind of energetic, full body activity. “I’ll start that diet tomorrow,” or “I’ve earned this due to my stressful week at work.” Sound familiar? The days roll by and you’ve yet to really dial in on your weight loss nutrition plan. Whether it’s because you’re lazy or maybe you’ve really gotten caught up in the crazy little scheme called life, there is never a good excuse to repeatedly indulge in detrimental lifestyle habits.

First of all, the change starts in your vocabulary; it does not start in the kitchen or in the gym. Fixing your attitude towards proactive wellness will help guide you to a better way to live. Think of all the excuses you’ve made over the years as the reason WHY you can’t fit into your favorite jeans. Ditch the word “diet,” and the phrases “I cant,” “I’ll start that tomorrow,” and the “that’s just too difficult for me to do.” You’re lying to yourself if you say you’ve ever given up on something you’ve REALLY wanted; it’s the natural human instinct to strive toward goals, that is if they are truly important to you. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that only THIRTY minutes of exercise per day, five days per week will decrease chances of all cause mortality by 34%. So now I ask you this: Why isn’t proactive wellness, a lifestyle change that can and will improve the quality and longevity of your life, not a top priority? The trends of obesity, diabetes, and chronic heart diseases have risen steeply yet no one will take responsibility for their own health. Realistically, you are in charge of your life: you control how much or how little you eat and you control how much or how little physical activity you acquire on a daily basis. Food for thought: how long has medicine really been around? We’re making leaps and bounds every single day, but why are we content on taking a pill(s) rather than taking control? Instead of saying “I’m on medication for that,” wouldn’t you rather say “I’m no longer on medication for that?” These are rhetorical questions that need to be answered from within. There is no right or wrong answer; rather your answer is the root of your struggles. By addressing the root of the issue, you take the initial step to healthier living.  
Making these corrective, healthy lifestyle changes take time and to some may seem like a daunting task. That is why I am here to help guide you on your journey down the yellow brick road to healthier living. Having goals to strive for plays on the strings of human nature; we all love challenges, its just a matter of making a specific goal a top priority. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific Measureable Attainable Realistic and Time Oriented. Identifying S.M.A.R.T. goals allows you to feel in control. Take 5 minutes at the end of your day or after you’ve put the kids down to bed, grab a pencil and a piece of paper, and draw a pie graph split into 4 broad categories that you struggle with. To give you an example, your categories could be nutrition, exercise, stress management, and active family activities. Once you’ve identified the four (and it could be more than four) categories you struggle with the most, further break down the broad categories into specific, modifiable (poor) habits you perform on a daily basis. Once you identify your weakness(es), every time it rears its head you now have triggered a red flag to go off alerting you to step away from the corruption that’s keeping you from healthier living.
By taking only 5 minutes of your day to write down S.M.A.R.T. goals, you now have become self-accountable! Keep this paper on your fridge so you see it often. Make copies of it and place it on your desk as a constant reminder that you can live healthier. It is NEVER too late to start healthier lifestyle habits! Invest in proactive wellness like your future depends on it- the longevity of your life is the best return on investment there could ever possibly be. 

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