There are times in my office where I will be confronted with a patient that states, “I just can’t do that!” They may be referring to daily exercise, they may be referring to the First Line Therapy program with lifestyle and dietary changes. Whatever the reason they feel they can’t make these changes. For example, a diabetic ordering a piece of dessert after their meal needs to realize how detrimental that is to their health. But they may say, “I can’t eat healthy like that!” If I countered with this question, “What if I gave you 1 million dollars to go sugar-free for one month, could you do it then?” Their answer would invariably be a resounding yes! But what is your health worth to you? What is it worth to you to live life to the fullest? What is it worth to you to remain productive, happy, clear-minded, and strong? I recently read a quote from Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker, that stated, “Nothing tastes as good as being strong and healthy feels.” I like that.
The problem today is that so many people have felt so sick for so long they don’t even remember what it’s like to feel revived, refreshed, and renewed. They have been fatigued and dragging for so long they have nothing to compare to how it feels when you “eat right, drink right, move right, sleep right, talk right, think right and poop right” (The Magnificent Seven, thanks Dr. Rakowski! :))
What are some of the reasons people feel they “can’t” do it? Perhaps it seems too overwhelming. We have to understand that lifestyle changes take time! It takes 45 days to break an old habit and develop a new one, and during that 45 days it’s not all smooth sailing! You will face ups and downs, discouragement and disappointment. The important thing is to recognize your focus…what is your purpose? Then, keep your eyes on that goal!
Samuel Johnson, an English poet stated, “The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” What habits are you propagating? What chains are you placing on your health and well-being? I like to think that any chains can be broken. It will take more discipline, more work and more dedication…but the fact is this…it can be done!
Start today to make small changes. It’s the small daily “habits” that lead to profound health changes down the road. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables? Take your family down to a farmer’s market and pick out a new fruit or vegetable and experiment with different recipes as a family. Go into your yard, or even on your porch, and dig out a little garden where you can grow your own vegetables. I know my two boys love to garden with my wife. It’s a learning experience for them to go out every day and check the progress of their work, and then when the harvest comes they know that it means homemade salsa and great organic fresh veggies for lunch and supper! We are helping them to make good habits now.
So your exercise for today. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line right down the middle. On the left half of the page write down all your excuses that are holding you back from fulfilling your dreams. Then on the right side have a counter response to that negative excuse. Save that list and pick one excuse each week that you are going to cross off and develop the right side positive response. You may have 50 excuses, so this may take you an entire year, but you know what? Your health is worth more than a million dollars.
Make today a great day!