It Starts with Knowledge.
Another new month is here! This means I’m rolling out a new wellness topic that will help you in creating and achieving a healthy and balanced life. This month I’m going to focus on spreading awareness and educating you on chronic health disease, and autoimmune disease. You will learn more about what these diseases are, common signs and symptoms, risks and complications as well as ways to decrease the onset of these chronic health issues as well as ways to manage these conditions while still living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Before diving into all of the yummy wellness content that I have in store for you this month I wanted to address some of the limiting beliefs, misconceptions, myths and downright lies that we all allow to influence the decisions we make when concerning choices regarding our health and wellness. For me, personally, I know before I began to really make health and wellness a priority and my career my ideas regarding what was healthy and what health and wellness actually looked like was a complete mess. Between struggling with a disordered and unhealthy approach to food, poor body image and struggling with unhealthy lifestyle habits I believed that health and wellness was something completely out of my reach and unable for me to attain. It wasn’t until I shifted and changed my mindset and began to peel back the layers of the myths and false ideas that I held onto that I began to see how my lack of knowledge was preventing me from achieving and living my best life. This is what inspired me to take the time to pour a little bit of knowledge into your brain today with this blog.
I’m going to take a huge leap and say that there are some myths and wrong thinking that is holding you captive in your unhealthy patterns and lifestyle and preventing you from reaching your health and wellness goals. Today we are going to expose five of the most common myths associated with health and wellness and put a spotlight on what is true and how you can begin to let go of these beliefs and achieve your best and healthiest self.
Have you ever said or thought this? I know that I did when I was in my early 20’s and I wanted to use this as an excuse to justify my poor eating habits and pitiful lifestyle choices. Yet this myth is so harmful to a couple of reasons. For starters, the habits, practices, and routines that you establish and commit to in the present build upon each other. So if you only eat refined and processed junk food full of fake ingredients and do not include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your daily diet you’re failing to give your body the nutrients it needs to prevent disease and perform at its peak levels. You might be able to get away with it when you’re “young” but as you grow and mature these pesky little habits are going to catch up to you in the form of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, digestive issues etc. Another reason this train of thought is dangerous is the fact that in reality there are more people at increasingly younger ages that are beginning to develop these chronic diseases. The numbers don’t lie in the year 2000 57 million Americans had multiple chronic conditions and over 81 million are expected to have a chronic disease in 2020. While age can be a contributing factor in chronic disease development it’s not the only contributing factor. Lifestyle and wellness habits play a large factor when it comes to developing and contributing to chronic disease development.
Taking the time to properly understand key lifestyle risk factors that contribute to chronic health conditions such as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and tobacco use while learning how to make changes to those unhealthy lifestyle habits to help prevent the onset of chronic health conditions can be beneficial.
Let me be clear when I say preventative health and wellness offers no guarantees and I can’t promise you that if you eat healthy and make healthy changes that you’re never going to struggle with your health or be safe from cancer or certain chronic disease. But I can assure you of this following a healthy lifestyle that is comprised of balanced nutrition, physical activity, and healthy wellness habits is going to give you your best shot at preventing and overcoming a variety of diseases and illness while following an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and poor health habits will increase your risk of developing disease and illness. In other words, preventative health puts the odds in your favor so to speak.
Let me put it to you this way you have your home and you have a door to your home right? On that door, there’s a lock and every night or every time you leave your home you lock that door because you want to protect what is inside. Having a lock on your door doesn’t guarantee that your home is safe from being burglarized or dealing with theft. Why? Because no one can guarantee that or predict potential outcomes. Yet you still have locks on the doors of your home and latches on your windows because it’s better to be safe than sorry and you want to do all you can do to prevent or deter thieves and vandals. I believe we should apply the same type of thinking about health and wellness! Let’s put a lock on the door to protect our health and aim to prevent those unhealthy thieves from coming in and wrecking havoc on our bodies and causing chronic health issues. Protect your health and wellness the same way you do your home because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This is a quite popular misconception that I honestly fell victim to believing for a long time. One of my excuses for not making better choices with my nutrition was that it would cost me too much money. The majority of this thought process came from believing that in order to be healthy I had to shop at specific stores such as Whole Foods and purchase all organic everything and max out my budget to achieve health or that I needed to spend a ton of money at some big fancy gym. What I didn’t realize at the time was that being healthy wasn’t about going to Whole Foods and dropping my “whole paycheck” or joining some ritzy gym I couldn’t afford. Being healthy was about creating simple habits, practices, routines, choices, and behaviors that centered on me becoming more mindful and intentional about what foods I put into my body and how I lived my life.
Let’s get this straight health isn’t about where you shop or how much money you spend on your groceries. It’s not about how posh your gym is and how much time you spend there. Health is about your overall lifestyle. Making better choices such as drinking more water, cutting out sodas, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, visit the doctor for annual exams and health screenings, managing a healthy weight, monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol. These are the habits and practices that make up a healthy lifestyle. You can choose healthy options at any grocery store that you shop at that are comprised of whole, minimally processed foods and stick to a budget. In reality, purchasing the more refined processed foods is what is costing you the most money, to begin with. Can’t afford the gym? That’s fine you can do at home workouts or visit a local park and workout there. Expand your mind and shift your mindset to realize health is more than just what grocery store you shop at or what gym you’re a member of while the foods you eat and properly exercising is important another huge component or part of health is what you’re doing on a daily basis that supports your general health and well-being.
How many times have you looked at a “fit” or “lean” person and thought wow that’s what health looks like? But I warn you to not be fooled by the external presentation. Appearances can be deceiving. Just because a person “looks” the part doesn’t mean they act the part or live the part behind closed doors. Let’s step away from the need to evaluate the health and well-being of a person based solely upon their aesthetic presentation and instead look at the actions and habits that truly lead a person to health. While I don’t feel there is anything inherently wrong with a person seeking to improve their appearance I do believe there is something wrong with the extreme measures taken to get there that are often times unhealthy. From restrictive diets that contribute to unhealthy relationships with food, consuming a diet high in refined and processed foods, eating disorders, falling out of sync with your body’s natural hunger and satiety cues, excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco and drug abuse are all unhealthy habits that a person that fits the presentation of health and wellness may practice in their daily lives.
I encourage you to take a step back from focusing on if you “look” healthy and instead look for clues that you ARE healthy. Getting yearly physicals that evaluate your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, test your body fat %, get blood panels done, and in some cases perform hormone panels. These are the best indicators of your health and will guide you in determining if there are changes you need to make in order to improve your overall health and well-being.
I am positive that busy moms and professionals alike can relate to this. There doesn’t feel like enough hours in the day in order to accomplish all that you need to and you don’t have the time or the patience to have one more thing added to your plate. I beg you to reconsider your mindset and approach. Just like health doesn’t have to be expensive, health also doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Furthermore, your health is super important as a mom, your little ones need you performing at your absolute best because you are the center of their world and the glue that holds the family together you owe it to yourself to begin prioritizing your health. And for all you boss babes out there guess what you have a company, or a team depending on you to keep things flowing, your business or your career deserves to have you firing on all cylinders and at your healthiest. Prioritizing your health isn’t a selfish thing it’s a necessary thing.
I also want you to understand that health doesn’t have to be about time. Health is all about behaviors, habits, choices, routines, and practices done on a consistent basis. It could be as simple as starting with the small stuff first and adding more vegetables to each one of your meals or reserving 30 minutes in the morning to get in a quick and effective at home workout, or cutting soda from your diet and drinking more water. Start with the simple and basic habits and build onto them as you are ready. I know you will discover how simple and easy it is to make being healthy apart of your daily lifestyle.
So What Now?
Now that we’ve debunked the myths and discussed how in reality all of these ideas and beliefs are just ways to prevent you from accomplishing your goals. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave you with some simple and basic tips you can begin implementing today to lead you towards creating a healthier you.
Evaluate & Assess
Take the time to look into your current lifestyle habits and practices and start creating and mapping out some realistic and simple goals. What is your current schedule like? Do you have a routine in place? Where are you currently regarding your health? What are your health goals? Perhaps you need to schedule an annual with your doctor and have a thorough physical. Take the time to really seek to understand where you are, where you want to be and what you need to do to get there.
Once you have a game plan and know what you need to do begin creating and implementing healthy habits. Start slowly adding those healthy habits and routines into your daily life. It doesn’t have to be drastic just something simple such as swapping soda for water, cutting back on sweets, exercising 2 times a week, adding vegetables at each meal. Keep it simple and light don’t add anything complex in the beginning when you’re not ready, stick to the simple easy stuff and work your way up to the more complex habits. Focus on building that consistency and discipline muscle!
Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
As you become stronger and better able to execute these healthy habits, routines, behaviors, and practices each day make sure that you’re continuing your journey of growth and evolution by constantly evaluating and assessing where you are. Look for opportunities to improve and build onto your healthy habits and routines. I want you to understand that health is not a destination it’s a journey and when you are looking to create lasting changes to your health and wellness it will come with a few ups and downs, as well as a few trials and errors. What is most important is that you continue on with the journey. Learn from those mistakes and push forward. Truly, the keys to a healthy and balanced life aren’t perfection it’s persistence and resilience.
Ready to Defy Aging?
Are you ready to take charge of the aging process and change your entire mindset towards how you age? Are you seeking to make healthy but easily maintainable changes in your daily life that will improve your skin health, fitness, nutrition, and overall well-being? I encourage you to sign up for my 3-week Anti-Aging challenge which starts November the 1st. This is where you will get the opportunity to experience all that I offer as a wellness coach for FREE. Don’t miss out on this opportunity spaces are limited and I will only be accepting 7 people to participate in this challenge. Follow the link and fill out the form before all spaces are taken.
1. Hitti, Miranda Chronic Illness in Middle Age: May 31, 2005