The choice to live a healthier life is entirely on you. No one can make this decision on your behalf, so being mindful of what we want and being aware of how we want to feel, is crucial for making any decision.
How many times have you said that you want to feel healthier? How many times have you actually made a change in your lifestyle to achieve that goal?
Too many of us simply talk about wanting to be healthy, but we don’t really make anything for that. We create an idea of our future selves in our head and we constantly add little details to that vision, but we never make a step towards making it a reality.
If you want to be healthy, you need to really want it, but you also need to really commit yourself to work towards it.
Start by drinking more water, eating fewer animal products, meditating for 10 minutes every day, cutting out negative people… start by doing something, even if that something feels like it’s not enough.
Little is better than nothing.
Eating for your health.
Eating plant-based doesn’t mean that you will be healthier or skinnier. Sure, it is healthier to eat a vegan cheeseburger instead of the one with dairy cheese in it, but eating junk food and processed sugar is not only harming you, but it is also harming your life. Health doesn’t only come from following a certain diet, it also comes from following certain rules that involve who we hang out with and what we do for a living.
Let me explain the diet part first.
I know that you don’t like rules and don’t want to eat by them, but I am certain that science-based rules are something we should all strive to follow as much as we can.
Science tells us that red meat causes cancer*, that dairy is connected to higher chances of hip fracture *, and that eating one egg per day is equal to smoking 5 cigarettes.* Those are facts and the so-called rules should go something like that:
- Do not eat meat.
- Do not consume dairy.
- Do not eat eggs.
I think those rules are pretty important to be followed, don’t you agree?
They are straight to the point, no sugar-coating or going around it. Short and sweet.
Nowadays, everyone wants to be special and not follow any rules. I am all for questioning certain authorities, but the second you start to question everyone, then we create a problem.
It doesn’t matter how spiritual, enlightened and in tune with yourself you believe to be, you do not have the answers to life. Everything around you was created by people who knew how to work by the rules.
Computers were not made because someone meditated on them, and SpaceX didn’t launch a car towards Mars because their CEO is an enlightened guru. They knew what they were doing and that’s why they succeeded.
When it comes to health and life in general, there are certain rules that work best for us and were tested for decades. Listening to your body and feeding it meat, doesn’t mean that you know your body best, it actually means that you are clueless and not aware of how easily your body tricks you into thinking you need something that is bad for you.
Bodies crave alcohol, cocaine, heroin… would you give in and put that into your body if it craved it? Would you listen to your body if it wanted you to do something bad?
We do need to listen to our bodies, but even bodies get tricked. Bodies get addicted, too, so don’t believe those who tell you that tuning in and listening to what your body craves it the only solution to becoming healthier.
When it comes to food, we need to marry the voice of our body and what science tells us is the healthiest food for us.
It’s good to listen to science now and then and trust those who studied the well-being of humans for decades.
Stay on the right path.
How can you consciously decide to start living healthy?
- You can start by writing a journal (like Bridget Jones) and describing all the healthy choices you have made in the last 24 hours. This will encourage you to eat healthier because you will want to feel impressed when you read back at what you ate. If you are struggling with eating plant-based on a budget, here are my tips to make it work.
- You can put little reminders on your phone, to be reminded every hour or so, to choose health over habits. If you ever find yourself being overwhelmed and thinking about binging on salty chips or sugar cookies, you will have a gentle reminder to go for an apple or an orange instead.
- You can ask your friends and family to daily check-in with you so that you can be reminded by those you love and trust to consume healthier foods and to make healthier choices. Make sure to choose people you trust and not people who are just waiting to tear you apart with their nasty comments.
- You can write little paper reminders and put them around your home so that whenever you see them throughout your day, you can be reminded of the choice that you have made. Decorate your mirrors, light switches and doors with those sweet reminders. Make them colorful, too!
If you need support, you can find people with similar interests on social media, forums, or in communities that are build across following different health teachers.
If you, for example, decide to follow an online program by a plant-based teacher, you will be automatically invited to join a Facebook group or they will create in-person meetings with everyone who is a part of the program. That has always been my experience when following different admirable people on the internet.
Of course, you must remember to take control of your own life and not rely on others to save you from premature death or illness. So many of us want someone to save us, to give us the sign that it is time to change, but mostly we are just doomed to be alone on this journey and all the support that we require is on our shoulders.
If you want to be healthy you must be prepared to invest time, money, and work into it. Health is the most profitable investment you can make, and the hardest one to attain, especially in the world that we live in.
Every day we are bombarded with information about how to live and what to eat, we are manipulated into consuming more and doing less.
Where do those messages come from? From the media, from big industries, from people who prey on those like you and me; on those who want to be healthy and compassionate.
- Health requires work but you don’t need to suffer for it.
- Health requires passion but you don’t need to burn out.
- Health requires commitment but you don’t need to force yourself.
- Health requires money but you don’t need to go broke.
Most of us want to live lives that are long and exciting; we want to spend the next few decades with our loved ones and in the search of the next great adventure, but we cannot do that if we are sick and confined to a bed.
Why argue with science that is showing you what steps to take in order to reach old age with grace and health? Why be stubborn and mindless when the only one who will get the shortest straw is you?
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