When evolving on a healthy program it is important not to get ahead of yourself. If you have a major illness or “disease” condition, you may be forced to jump on the wagon pretty quickly. I’m talking about the average person. The guy who wants to drop a few pounds. The girl who wants more energy to enjoy life again. Everyday Americans. A good, health based lifestyle is the end goal but how do we get there? Is it possible that we are BEING unhealthy trying to get healthy?
It is not very safe for your mind or your body to just cold-turkey everything. It took quite a while to get unhealthy. I know it is tempting to stress out and go overboard trying to “Achieve” your goal of health. I believe however, in finding what I call “The Sweet Spot.” What is the sweet spot?
You need to find that line between truly accepting where you are with your health while still wanting to move forward. We can’t make much progress without accepting where we are currently. This is the problem with our economic system right now as well but that is another story =) For some older people, this may mean a year of making changes before achieving what you want. It depends how long you have been choosing unhealthy habits. It also really comes down to what choices YOU are WILLING to make now. Some people may implement these changes over the course of a few months. For others it may take years. For others still, they just never quite get around to it. We need to make our health a priority if we are going to change. But don’t feel bad about what you are NOT doing. Feel GOOD about what you are doing for yourself. If you just cut out drinking soda last week altogether, don’t feel bad because you still eat gluten. Give yourself a window to achieve your goals. So I will quickly outline some general tips on making these changes a lot more manageable. In America, it is hard for some of us (me) to not look at everything as a FINISH LINE or something to check off our TO-DO-LIST. Well I will tell you something. Health is not a “to-do list.” It is an evolution. It doesn’t “end.” So the best strategy would appear to be happy that you have the opportunity to evolve physically, emotionally, and spiritually while we spend time on this planet.
1. Create an outline of your goals: This may include goals for weight loss, detoxification, better energy, longer life, fitness, whatever. This could be emotional or spiritual health as well. Your goals may even just be a sharper brain or a less risk of developing a health condition later in life.
2. Create a realistic plan of things you can do to help you achieve these goals. This may include changing your diet, exercising more, getting more sun and fresh air, drinking more water, having a spiritual practice, undergoing a detoxification program, seeing a therapist, etc. Each of these topics can be further split up if you want to make a detailed plan. Realize that when we put our thoughts to paper, they often stay on paper =)
3. Pick something to start working on. If you try to do it all at once, odds are that you will overwhelm yourself and not want to do any of it. There are very complex issues in health but from experience it would seem that the basics are the most important. What you breathe, eat, and drink have a huge impact on everything. It will be nearly impossible to “detox” your body or evolve a sharp brain or a good spiritual practice if we are still doing the things that clog those systems. A good first step for most American’s might be to cut out all of the junk food and drinks and start working towards a whole-foods based diet. This means drinking clean water instead of pop, coffee, beer, and pasteurized dairy products. Maybe your diet is locked in already. Maybe you want to focus on spiritual health.
4. Recruit the advice of an expert. Not somebody to tell you what to do. Somebody to help you design a plan. If this involves spending a lot of money on supplements and drugs you may want to reconsider your choice.
5. STICK WITH IT! Lifestyle changes always work, we just need to stick with them. Reevaluate your progress every so often to see where you are. Don’t make this an everyday thing. Maybe work 3 months on your diet and check on the changes you have made? If you are satisfied with your diet; maybe move on to detoxification. Maybe move on to developing a spiritual practice. Whatever you want. There is no wrong way to do this. The point is to keep moving forward, listening to our body, and evolving to become the best “US” we can be.
Remember, health is an evolution. It is not an end-point. By realizing and accepting this fact it is easier to mellow out on our desires and goals. It really is possible to be healthy at any age and overcome challenges. We are all in this together. By healing ourselves, we give others permission to heal as well.