It may surprise you to learn that this holistic health coach used to live by the “everything is going to kill you so why bother” mentality. I used to joke about that as I ate food that wasn’t really food, when I would light up a cigarette, when I’d get the generic dollar store skin care and cleaning products, when I would not question any medication my doctor would prescribe or recommend to me, when I would get 4 hours of sleep a night. I threw up the white flag before I even considered trying and didn’t even think about being proactive.
I threw up the white flag before I even considered trying and didn’t even think about being proactive.
That is, until the day a BIG check came in to be cashed.
My live hard, die young mentality went out the window the day that the long-term repercussions really stared me right back in the eyes.
Now I am not writing this to scare you, and by no means am I implying anyone needs to be perfect all the time. What I am saying is that over time, each one of those tick marks we put on our health, they add up.
Over time, each one of those tick marks we put on our health, they add up @ashliepappas
It may not be something that immediately ends in death, it might look quite a bit different. For me it sure did. For me it looked like me in what should have been the healthiest time of my life, barely able to function. Both physiologically and mentally. Mainly because I hadn’t been the least bit proactive. It felt like waking up with a varying amount of gas each day in my tank and no gas station in sight. My autonomic nervous system was not functioning as it should at all.
Over the years, there have been some less than healthy choices I’ve made that were totally worth it, but most of them, most of them really didn’t matter either way. It was either me being lazy, cheap, impulsive, or just uninformed.
The human body is a miracle. So many variables functioning at a level of technology humanity can’t even fully understand. Ironically, it isn’t that complex to maintain and be proactive. It isn’t easy these days with so many temptations and quick fixes that sabotage our health, but it is simple. Give our body the nourishment, nutrients, nurturing, and stimulation (or lack thereof) that it needs.
I was born with a genetic predisposition to disease. However, there was some catalyst along the way that flipped that gene on. It sure hadn’t been fully active the first 30 years of my life. I am not 100% sure which factor was straw that broke the camel’s back, neither are my doctors. There have been a lot of contributing factors over the years. The bottom line is that there is cause and effect and year after year, I had piled on a laundry list of factors that were recipe for physiological and psychological disaster.
Today, I am by no means perfect. I am however, mindful that each action I take has the potential to benefit my health, or take away from it. I still have a couple vices, but I don’t sabotage my health Tonya Harding style any more.
Today, I have the gift of knowledge and experience. I can teach my children that their decisions now will follow them throughout life. That habits are harder to break as the years pass. That if they neglect their body or emotional needs today, that the repercussions may come way later in life. That being proactive is a lot easier than being reactive. That the idea that “It won’t happen to me” is a valid point, until it does happen. And who knows what that may look like.
I am very fortunate that I did learn to advocate for myself, that I didn’t get really sick until after I was sober, after I had embraced a much healthier lifestyle. Some people aren’t so fortunate. Patience and persistence is key.
10 Ways to Help Keep Your Health Out of “Debt”:
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Find an outlet for stress (meditation is great)
- Reduce toxic load (both in food and environment)
- Only use medications when absolutely necessary
- Be physically active
- Get proper nutrition
- Have a healthy support system
- Challenge your mind
- Be mindful (and kind) with your self-talk
- Listen to your body!
If you aren’t quite sure if and where you are making debits against future health, take the Weakest Wellness Link quiz to find out your most immediate area of concern.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about being proactive? Share in the comments below!
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