This past weekend I worked an event and my eyes welled up with tears and heart ached for my fellow people of America.
- One obese woman was being pushed in a wheelchair, clutching a diet coke.
- A 2 year-old girl was guzzling a supersize Mountain Dew.
- A precious girl around 5 years of age with a beautiful smile showed tooth decay so bad she had a front row of gold and silver teeth.
- A young, pre-teen, about 4 foot tall boy weighing around 180 pounds had trouble walking.
- A woman telling me she drinks diet soda in the morning instead of coffee to wake her up.
As these people walked right in front of me, I wanted so desperately to take them by hand and give them a new way to live life! Life doesn’t have to be filled with disease, cancer diagnosis and addictions. (Unhealthy food and drink is an addiction.)
The kids broke my heart as their parents/caregivers are responsible for their little bodies right now. Any they are turning a blind eye to it. If there is one thing that I am passionate and knowledgeable about it, it is health and wellness.
Here are 6 ways you can help with our increasing unhealthy nation crisis.
Take personal responsibility!
The first step is to accept responsibility for where you are right now. You didn’t get this way overnight and it’s going to take a while to get where you need to be. If you have children, you are also responsible for their health too. Temper tantrums for candy don’t mean you give in to them. You are setting the example for how they will live life later. Please don’t fail them!
No more excuses!
Money and time are the two most common excuses. I don’t like to say never, but these are two excuses you never need to use again. You make time for what is a priority to you. You buy what you want to buy (some of the people this weekend were carrying around iPads). We all have 24 hours in the day and we can spend those hours making excuses or living a healthy life. Chances are that you will have to re-prioritize your schedule and life. But I promise you it WILL be worth it. And it’s really hard to have wealth before your health.
Read every label!
Before you pick up a package of Oreos, chips or beverage, read the label. If it is anything but real food but it back. Real food comes from the earth and land, not labs and manufacturing facilities. If there is a coloring dye (i.e. Blue #5, Red #4, Yellow #5, Yellow #6) put it down. Those food dyes have been linked to all kinds of disease, including cancer.
Cook at home, eat at home!
Since you aren’t using the I-don’t-have-time excuse anymore, cooking and eating at home is something you can begin to incorporate into your routine. Crockpots are a wonderful invention! Right now, the seasons have changed to cooler weather making it perfect for a root vegetable dish. Or make quinoa, sweet potatoes, and avocado meal.
Many of you (yes, even runners **shudder**) still drink soda and/or diet soda. And in case you think you can “just burn it off”, you can’t. Those toxins damage your body. If there is one thing you can start doing today, like RIGHT now, is to simply commit to drink only water. Get in the healthy habit of carrying a reusable water bottle around with you everywhere. And I do mean practically everywhere. Okay, okay, I know most of you drink coffee. If you must drink coffee, make it black or use a plant-based milk but DO NOT ADD SUGAR! And only drink one cup in the morning. None of this drinking 10 cups a day bad habit.
Have a good attitude!
It always surprises me (and it shouldn’t) how many parents talk sarcastically about exercise and eating healthy. Children learn what your habits. If you talk negatively and have a poor attitude about wellness, don’t be surprised if your kids will too. Yesterday, I heard a well respected faith leader talk about he hates exercise and running. Tell that to someone who doesn’t have legs due to war, accident or other. I bet they will gladly trade your place! Be mindful of what you say. Little ears are listening and watching.
In closing, remember we are eating food-like products today, real food is getting pushed to the wayside. Start a personal revolution within your own family by deciding, committing and taking action to eat real food. The holiday’s are quickly approaching (I know you don’t need a reminder!) and instead of the looming January 1st resolutions due date, start right now. Use these six simple steps to start your personal healthy living resolution today!
photo credit: Mannia&Titta