Your life is something you’d do anything for. If someone held a gun to your head and threatened your life, wouldn’t you do anything to save yourself? Why then is it that we justify poor eating habits and inactivity? There’s got to be a perfectly good explanation for this, right? Let’s delve into the irony of why we’d do anything to save our lives…except make healthy choices.
An assumption that stops some people from pursuing healthier living is that being healthy is inconvenient: that it is something that just “happens” for some people without any effort while they themselves seem to have to bend over backwards to eat well and exercise. Why is there such a difference between people when it comes to making healthy choices?
The core reason for this difference is all in how you look at things.
Example 1: Healthy folks tend not to take their health for granted. Unhealthy folks tend to live in denial and turn a blind eye as they make poor decisions (i.e. “Sure, I shouldn’t eat this donut, but the donut shop is conveniently on my way to work/my house.”). Uhm yeah. That excuse is about as lame as saying that you don’t eat healthy because life is too short and you just want to eat whatever you want and not “worry” about it. Would you rather “worry” about getting diabetes? Heart disease? Fatty liver? Looking awful in your favorite pair of jeans? You don’t have to “worry” about eating healthy food. You can choose to eat nutritious food that tastes great if you inconvenience yourself with a little more planning. The time you take to eat healthier is less inconvenient than all of the consequences I just listed if you don’t.
Example 2: Healthy folks tend to make movement a priority and include healthy lifestyle behaviors into their daily activities. Unhealthy folks don’t bother.
Choosing activities that get your body moving rather than often being sedentary definitely requires more physical effort. The benefit: it feels good if you do it regularly! Furthermore, you’ve all heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” It’s true. Use it. Go for a walk sometimes instead of sitting around. Choose active recreational activities: bowling, dancing, golfing, hiking, walking on the beach collecting beach glass, gardening…there are so many options even if you aren’t in shape. Exercise helps you reduce stress, improve your health and build your confidence. Isn’t that worth the “inconvenience”?
Example 3: Healthy folks tend to prepare their own meals. Unhealthy folks tend to eat out more. Yes, when you cook at home you have to grocery shop, prepare the meal and clean up afterward, but most dining out doesn’t save you much time. Instead of doing it yourself, you have to wait to order your food, wait to receive your meal, and wait again to pay the bill. You really aren’t saving yourself time especially when you consider the years you are taking off of your life by eating poorly. Plenty of health food stores offer cooking classes that are either free or inexpensive. If you don’t know how to cook, do something about it. You will save yourself plenty of money when you do your own cooking.
So really, making decisions that lead to ill health may be more convenient in some respects, but greatly more inconvenient in others. Waiting to see doctors because you get sick more often, having to take time off of work to nurse your health back and waiting in restaurants are all ways that not choosing healthier living is more inconvenient. Taking extra time to shop for clothes, decide what to wear, and second guess yourself is all pretty inconvenient as well.
Not feeling good in your own skin, not being able to participate in activities you would enjoy if you were fit, not being able to play with your kids or your partner because you are too out of shape and lack energy, and not being able to comfortably put on your shoes…that’s not only inconvenient: it just plain sucks.
Life is too short to not “inconvenience” yourself in ways that improve your health and improve your quality of life.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t assume you can’t do it. You can choose health in small, easy ways every day as I mentioned. If you need help taking the next steps, help is right here.