If anything is true, it is that health should be number one, because without it, nothing in life is fun or enjoyable.
And while many may agree that health is indeed number one, or should be placed as a priority, the reality is that many don’t quite make it as much of a priority as they should.
While I hear people often comment about how their health is incredibly important, when it comes to actually making it a priority, they are sorely lacking. Perhaps for these people “making it a priority” means taking the medicine their doctor gave them and relying on frequent doctor visits is their idea of taking care of themselves.
It’s always easier to say than actually put forth the effort… but in the end, our actions clearly show otherwise.
Most people think they eat somewhat healthy – but their diet and shopping habits, weight and health tell an entirely different story.
Those who smoke are probably aware that it’s harmful to their health – and although kicking the habit would be a better move, they take greater pleasure and comfort in smoking and place that comfort over better health by kicking the habit.
Exercise is important and we know that 20-30 minutes of working out each day can do wonders for the body – but yet most people would probably tell you they don’t have time because they work too many hours.
Eating out is not only expensive, it’s damaging to our health – the concept of home cooked meals with local organic produce is expensive and not feasible. Yet people find plenty of money for take out pizza, and a car payment and a smartphone are almost the norm for most.
I’m far from being perfect myself, and I don’t nearly expect others to be all that perfect either, but there is a huge gap our priorities and our actions. Staying healthy requires constant effort – and sometimes that effort requires far greater commitment in the face of pleasure and convenience.
We have to believe that our actions can truly make a relatively huge impact. This being done through daily actions, no matter what may be more acceptable, easy, convenient, or even less in price.
We need to make that a most, if not ALL of the time. Not just when it’s convenient. You will never be able to do it 100% of the time, but it should be one of your main priorities if not your top priority. Without your health, you have nothing else.
With busy families, jobs, extra curricular activities and constant adversities, it’s sometimes it’s easy to just accept what is the norm, and do what seems to be easier in terms of taking care of ourselves and families. Society, for the most part, doesn’t help either – it’s almost as if it has become common to accept what is given, and not even attempt to do any more – because really, what is the point?!
While it might not always be easy, it is possible. Even with kids, jobs, and mainstream commercialism, you are your own driver.
#1 – Avoid saying that you don’t have time.
I haven’t quite understood when people mention that they had boxed mac and cheese for dinner because they didn’t have time to cook.. or they drove through the fast food window for their kids because they had a long day at work, because it takes the same amount of time to make something out of a box as it does to make it homemade.
I agree that kids activities can be brutal on your scheduling – we have kids. We both work. It’s hard ya’ll – it really is. But.. it’s not impossible. I get tired just like the next person. My kids are in activities every, day, of, the, week. Sometimes I just want to take a break too.
If you can’t find time to shop, then rely on organic pantry staples to whip out a fast dinner, or devices like an Instant Pot to allow yourself time to make a one-pot meal that’s healthier than take out or processed food. Learn how to think ahead – in most cases the problem is not lack of time but lack of organization.
#2 – Avoid buying unhealthy foods.
When you buy unhealthy foods they make their way into your home, where they are more readily available. Although they can be tempting, especially with store sales, find a way to pass up those items for better choices, even if it’s not the societal norm.
#3 – Spend on your health.
Considering how many people say health is their priority but rarely follow through, it’s no surprise that in America, we spend the smallest percentage of our paycheck on our health – organic food, supplements and fitness coaching or regular exercise. Many of my personal friends consider a smartphone and a car payment essential, Halloween candy and costumes a priority, but when it comes to dishing out $25-$50 per week for a local CSA share, or $10 a gallon for Raw Milk .. the common response is “why would you?”
Or, “there are so many hours in a day.”
Or, “I can’t seem to find the time.”
Listening to friends and family of mine tell us that spending money on essential oils for their health is not in their budget.. while the same friends and family dish out money to eat lunch at Red Robin, buy Target Cartwheel Halloween gear for their kids, spending huge fortunes on grand birthday parties for their kids, or dumping $25 – $50 for a trip to MOD pizza and mentioning that it’s pretty economical – is it?
I guess maybe for some, it’s a drop in the bucket. While $25 – $50 seems trivial to some, it’s a huge bag of local produce that could feed a family of 7 for a week – it means 7 days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner – nourishing food that takes a little extra effort to cook up.
I get it – perhaps priorities are in the wrong place? Who knows.
In the U.S., we spend more on health care than any other nation, yet the number of people that are sick and ill is far greater than any other country.
Eating healthy is not necessarily all that expensive. In fact, eating organic, raw, whole foods is actually quite affordable. It’s our unwillingness to invest in our health to take our health to new levels. Spending on our health and wellness is far greater a priority than any car payment or vacation.
If anything, it teaches your children that their health is more important than material things that dissipate after a few days – and there is no greater way to teach them self worth than to show them the importance of life priorities.
#4 – Learn how to turn things down.
Learning how to say no is far more challenging than we may think. While there are times that saying yes may make more sense, learning how to say no is the only way we can truly make our health our utmost priority. The same practical tip goes for our finances too – learning how to say no can be an effective way to avoid spending on things we don’t need, also.
Turning away those choices that are not in line with our priorities may not always be convenient, and it might require deviating from the norm, but it’s essential.
Health is optimal, well being that contributes to the quality of life – it’s much deeper than freedom from disease and illness, although freedom of disease is essential to good health. (see here)
In the end, you may think that it is impossible to make health any more of a priority than it already is – especially given that work, religion, friends and family – but there is no better time than now to put your health first. Finding ways to make diligent efforts to really put those things above all else, because when you are healthy, every other area of your life is more enjoyable for all of those people that spend time around you.
Looking back at health and diet changes we made several years ago I can successfully say that there is no greater feeling than to see my husband happy – to see him finally be in a place that allows him to feel much better about himself, and the direction he is going in his life.
It required so much effort, and sacrifice in the face of adversity, a commitment like no other. It required us to give up many of the things we loved – in the end, it was all worth every bit of that to see him living for a greater purpose than what he was living for before.