Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

photoYesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk: 

I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish

No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it?

It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall apart. You are not so vital to everyone else that they can’t cope with you spending some extra effort on yourself.

In fact, modeling healthy behavior is really quite positive. Plus, you will likely be a much happier, pleasant person in the world. I think you’ll find you are more fulfilled, generous, and compassionate when you are also feeling healthy.

I don’t have time to work on my health

I admit that we only have so much time, but I also think that what we do with it reflects our priorities. If you spend no time on your health, then you will be unhealthy. Period.

How much time do you actually waste not feeling good? How often does fatigue, stomach pain, stress, panic, negative thoughts, headaches slow you down? When I exercise, I don’t miss that amount of time because everything else I do that day is better and more productive. I think healthy people actually have more time, because they can focus and attend to their lives.

Parents tell me this a lot, and I do understand. However, if you don’t prioritize your health, neither will your kids. What you do, not what you say, has the most impact. Do you want your children to be unhealthy? Really think about what you are modeling, and then reassess if you have time.

It costs too much to be healthy

The truth is, there are a billion and one ways to improve your health. So start with the things that are free.

I really believe it costs more in lost productivity, opportunity, and potential to be unhealthy. It costs more to undo poor health than it does to proactively be healthy.

We need to shift our perspective to see that eating quality real foods, seeking help for emotional health, making the time to engage in enjoyable exercise, connecting with others, are actually part of our long-term financial strategy.

I’ve heard that you can either budget for quality food or you can budget for medicine to undo your poor quality food. What do you want to do?

It’s hard to make changes

Well, maybe, but I think it’s more uncomfortable. Doing things that are unfamiliar feels a little weird. But so what?

You can handle feelings that come up when doing something new. Your old habits are causing feelings too, by the way.

I think it’s scarier to get to a point in life where we regret not being brave and bold enough to make positive changes than it is to weather the discomfort of trying something new.

Plus, there is support. There are many people actively pursuing a healthier life, often by being wise enough and brave enough to get encouragement and guidance.

I have many people in my life who are devoted in various ways to their health. Being positively influenced and inspired by them makes my own journey easier and more enjoyable. Probably the best thing you can do for your health is to keep healthy company.

This is your life. What do you want to do with it? How do you want to feel in your body? What excuses are holding you back?


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