When populations are polled about important things in their life, health almost always makes the top five on the list. The other phrase that comes up repeatedly is that they are “worried” about something concerning their health. You know the song; Don’t Worry Be Happy, but can you still be happy if you are worried? My dog Samantha, is a rescue German Shepherd, and she looks worried quite often. I am not sure what she experienced before she rescued me, but I spend a lot of time trying to make her not worry.
It seems that there is a lot less “worry” if their is an action plan. But often when it comes to health, the action plan is more of a bandaid rather than a solution. The undesired outcome of a disease such as heart attack, blindness, disability, or pain still looms. So there is still worry but it is pushed back from the front of our consciousness. There is a lot of wishing for health along with the worry that health is fading. “I wish I didn’t have to take medications” or “I wish I could walk but I am afraid”. These feelings stem from the fact that people do not think they have control of their health. It happened to them and now they have to worry about what will happen next.
If you are thinking, this sounds like me, you are not alone. I liken those thoughts to similar thoughts I have during an Ironman race or an Ultra. ” I wish I would have trained harder”. “Next time I am going to do more weight training”. Those thoughts don’t do me much good in the middle of a race. They don’t make me feel better or do better. They are the potential precursor to giving in and slowing down and accepting an outcome less then what I would have desired. So how do we dig deep? I will be right back with that but first I need to do my morning training run.
Modern medicine would have you believe that the yearly physical or a stress test would take the worry out because your doctor was “following” closely. Following is exactly correct in terms that they are “behind” as the disease or ill health speeds ahead. Now that is something to worry about. This past weekend I attended the International Nutrition in Medicine Conference in Washington, D.C. I heard the stories of two women physicians that developed Multiple Sclerosis very early in their careers. They were given the diagnosis bluntly and told to begin medications and prepare for disability. Talk about worry. But both were unaccepting of the fate given to them, and they took charge changing to a whole foods plant based diet and focusing on decreasing the inflammation in their bodies. They quickly became on offense with regards to their diagnosis and became more healthy despite the diagnosis. The reality is that that diagnosis probably saved them from cardiovascular disease that would take much longer to manifest. Multiple sclerosis and heart disease share many of the same risk factors such as elevated cholesterol and increased inflammation associated with animal foods.
Worry will not lead to happiness and can even be paralyzing with regards to action. On the other hand, if you have a game plan and work your plan, you will be in charge of your health outcome. The plan needs to have specific steps to follow. Use a calendar to set goal dates and then work backwards making achievement steps along the way. Perhaps it is a birthday or wedding date marker. Perhaps signing up for a race or adventure or even an active vacation. Mark the date and then define the steps along the way. Marathon training programs are usually 16 weeks long. That is a good time frame to work back from. We can usually get people off many of their medications in a 16 week time frame with adopting a whole foods plant based diet. The key is to always have a goal. Achieve one and set another. Stay on offense.
If you would like help setting goals for your health or planning the steps to get to your set goals, give us an email. We would be happy to assist you in getting back on offense and obtaining the ultimate prize of health.