Have you ever uttered any of these responses when asked about making a health change? The name of this blog is for the statements I have heard time and time again when working with a new physical therapy patient or a health coaching client about health and habit changes. I want to ease your mind, empower your ability to choose differently, and help you to reframe what in life is truly hard…truly time-consuming…and truly costly.
It’s too hard
Any quality mentor or friend will tell you that the things in life worth doing or succeeding at are not always the easiest. I have to quote my favorite movie, A League of Their Own, as Tom Hank’s character puts it oh so well! “It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard ... is what makes it great." If choosing to live a healthy lifestyle and reaping the benefits of that was always easy and simple, then you wouldn’t be reading this blog or searching for ways to be healthier. But anything worthwhile such as building a great family, a career, or a skill takes education, guidance, and time. It does not mean to give up! It means to equip yourself so that the perhaps daunting thought of “being healthy” becomes part of your everyday habits and routines- instead of a lofty goal you feel you can never achieve. What is hard is what the outcome could be if you never give yourself the chance. What is hard is coping with chronic illness or pain, missing out on life events, or those of close family members or friends. What is hard is regretting the quality of life you could have had, but did not take the leap for! And the sweetness of success is so much better when you know you did the work to make it happen!
It’s too time-consuming
Does it take me more time to make a meal at home than it does to go through a fast food drive thru line? Yes. That is true. But, the overall process of picking out somewhere to pick up food from, driving to the “restaurant,” waiting for food, and bringing it home is not always quicker, simpler, or more relaxing. Especially as your habits about cooking and eating begin to change, you begin to crave home-cooked meals and are eased by the facts that you feel better, look better, and don’t have to go out anywhere after a long day. Meal and budget planning, grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking do all take time initially. However, once a personal or family system is established, you have a regular grocery list that fits the budget, and your main “go-to” meals are established- you are setup for a seamless week of healthy meals! Quick and processed foods that you warm-up at home won’t help either. With all the sugar, chemical additives, and lack of nutrition, you will soon become lethargic and not feel well enough to use this “extra time” you have created by utilizing such food products.
We also all know it feels good when we make time to exercise, but it can still be hard to “fit in” among the business of the lives we live. What would happen if instead you considered a morning exercise routine as a way to make your time more effective during the day? You still spend an hour at the gym, but what if the 8 hours at work and evening with family or friends following were more effective, you felt better, and you accomplished more during those hours? Health habits can actually be a tool to get more out of your time, not less! Where you put your time is how you make your priority list. For me, that is my faith, family, health, and career. Where do you invest your time? Because what is time-consuming is checking your blood sugar multiple times a day because you developed Type II Diabetes early in life. What is time-consuming is spending hours each week to go to appointments for chronic illnesses that could have been eased or prevented by lifestyle habits. What is time-consuming is the attention and anxiety in our minds concerning our health issues! Choose now. Our gift of life will continue to pass. How will you spend it?
It costs too much
Time Magazine notes, Americans filled 4.3 billion prescriptions and doled out nearly $374 billion on medicine in 2014, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Surgical interventions such as an angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery, gallbladder removal, and orthopedic surgeries costs thousands of dollars! The American Diabetes Association reports that the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity. These are high-stake costs!
There are absolutely times where medication and surgery are needed. They are a great gift and life-saving. However, the goal should be conservative treatment and lifestyle change first. Medication with potential for addiction or extensive side-effects should be used for very particular circumstances and with great responsibility. Surgery should be a last resort for conditions that are not healed with conservative medical management such as diet, exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic care, or other healthcare professionals. It doesn’t always need to get to the point of invasive intervention! But we are grateful that it is there if we need it.
Choose to invest in your health, your family, and your future with preventative care! We cannot control what comes our way in life, but we can cherish the gift of life and our bodies by taking care of them. Because what is costly is the consequences if we don’t!
Dr. Jillian Stecklein, PT, DPT
Full Potential Consulting LLC, Co-Owner
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