Is Your Health Optimal or Optional?




    He stood naked in front of the mirror taking stock of his body and the years of neglect that were reflected back to him.  How did this happen?  His body that was once fit and strong seemed to be playing some sort of cruel trick on him.  Years of late nights, drive-thru windows and no more physical activity than frantically looking for his car keys every morning had left him looking much older than he actually was.  He made the decision that he would start working out again (after all he HAD a gym membership if he could just remember at which gym and where it was) and get in shape.  No more of this, he thought to himself as he looked at his stomach… from now on it's nothing but treadmills and protein shakes.  Things were going to change and change for the BETTER!

    The next morning his hand reached out from underneath the comforter to turn off the godforsaken alarm clock that had just interrupted what was possibly the best sleep he had ever had.  He reluctantly got out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee and start the morning ritual of waking up… today though it was about an hour earlier than usual.  Today was the day that he was going to start to change his life.  But then the inertia of the past decade started to take hold.  He started to think about just how warm and comfortable his bed was.  He remembered that the gym was a little more crowded at this time of the day than he preferred.  He started thinking about how just the day before he decided he was going to start getting back in shape and making healthier choices…then he decided that yesterdays decision to start… WAS a step in the right direction and that maybe he didn't REALLY need to go to the gym TODAY.  What's one more day right?  

    I"ll tell you what "one more day" is… One more day quickly turns into another 10 years. One more day is how we gently tell ourselves that we are not worth the effort of putting on our gym clothes and doing something good for us.  One more day is how we trade the life we want for the life we've found ourselves living.  One more day is a choice we make… and just like all choices, they can either bring us closer to what we want or just a little bit further away.  We are a sum of our choices.  What we choose to eat, what we choose to drink, what we choose to do with our time.  Everything is a choice and it is all cumulative.  There are thousands of books and magazine articles selling us on the idea that there are just 5 secret tricks to six-pack abs… that we are just 3 good meals away from our swimsuit body, that it's not YOUR fault your are overweight and out of shape.  Our culture of blame and quick fixes is always right there with the simple solution and the person to blame. It's not your fault that there is sugar in everything, it's not your fault they sell soda by the gallon. Whatever it is… it's not your fault.  Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if the "5 simple tricks" were true or that "quick fixes and blame" were the answer?  Everyone would be supermodels and the publishing industry that packages those lies would collapse in on itself like a dying star.  But those things DON'T work, they are NOT true. We desperately want to believe that if we do 20 crunches 3 times a week and switch to whole grain bread for our sandwiches that's all we need to do.  We like for our fitness advice to be sugar coated just like everything else we consume.  The reality is, it's a daily commitment.  It's a commitment you make to yourself over and over every day in fact.  It starts the minute you wake up… will you get out of bed and get moving or will you reach for your iPad and Facebook and Pinterest until you are running late for work? Will you pack a healthy lunch or will you wait until you are starving (and twicthy from the fluorescent light over your cubicle) and wander out to whatever place offers you the most "food" for the lowest price?  Will you come home and go for a walk, a run or a bike ride… or will you sit down in front of the TV because you've "had a hard day" and the Real Housewives are on?


    At the end of "one more day" it's up to us what we do.  It's up to us to be an advocate for ourselves, our health and our bodies.  We only get this one life and this one body, what we do with it is up to us.  Each one of us has the EXACT same number of hours in the day… nobody has more or less than 24 hours.  It's the choices we make within each of those 24 hours that make the difference.  How do YOU want to see yourself in the mirror… one more day?

Posted on November 16, 2013 .