“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.”
Picture this: The sun is shining on a late spring afternoon in Texas. My husband, one of our best friends and I are sitting on the patio of a pub, chatting about how my hubby’s 15 mile run had gone that morning. Each of us already has a beverage (a beer for each of them, water with lemon for me) and the waitress brings our food. He gets the burger with fries; she has the fish and chips; and I get the cheese plate. After the waitress walks away, I pull baggies of baby carrots and raw almonds from my purse, and then proceed to eat my makeshift meal with a knife and fork because I asked for my cheese with no bread or crackers.
Kind of strange, right? Let me explain.
The spring that my husband was training for his first Ironman triathlon, I was doing a four week cleanse. Because so much of his weekends was spent training and recovering, I let him pick where he wanted to eat on Sundays after his last workout and he tended to alternate between the pub and one of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants. Neither of those lovely establishments had very many options that fit with the cleanse protocol that I like to do, so I had to find a way to make it work. For four weeks, I ordered whatever on the menu fit my needs and brought baggies of supplemental food so I didn’t go hungry.
Now, I don’t generally encourage taking your own food to a restaurant or other establishment whose business it is to feed you, but sometimes it’s a necessity in order to stay on track with whatever health goals you’ve set for yourself. In addition to being willing to feel awkward because I brought my own food (I mean, really, it’s kind of odd), I was also willing to order whatever was on the menu that fit my needs.
This idea ties directly to Matt’s theme for 2017: Willingness.
When I first found out that this is his theme, I got really excited and asked for an advanced copy of the post. I wanted to read about how he came to realize that willingness is an important state of being because it is something that I regularly discuss with clients, friends, family members, colleagues… pretty much everyone!
You see, it’s not unusual for someone to ask me my thoughts about a particular aspect of nutrition. Maybe they want my thoughts about butter. (Answer: Love it!) Or they’re curious about which protein powder to use. (Answer: Any one that is free of additives, sweeteners and other chemicals is good.) Or they desire regular bowel movements and want to know how to achieve that. (Answer: The solution depends on whether the problem is constipation, diarrhea or both, and what other problems might exist.)
Unfortunately, once people hear my initial suggestions for how to change their eating habits to achieve their stated goals, their reaction can be less than positive. In fact, quite often the response is, “Oh, I can’t do that.” They then proceed to explain to me (and maybe to themselves as well?) why they can’t possibly do what I’ve recommended. Whether it’s increasing the amount of vegetables they eat, giving up gluten or eating mindfully, the reasons for why that is impossible come flowing out.
And this is really sad. It’s sad for them, and sad for me, too, because I want them to feel better. But mostly it’s sad for them because essentially they are saying that they cannot make a change that very likely will help them feel better.
So, today I want to ask: Are you willing to be healthy in 2017?
It’s a new year, and no doubt you have set some health-related goal for yourself, whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more or meditating every day. You probably have great intentions about improving your health this year. Now, are you willing to do what it takes to become healthier?
Look, I’m not saying it’s easy, and it’s not always fun to do what it takes to be healthy. But the fact is that most of us are lucky enough to be able to afford healthy food at the grocery store or in restaurants, if we choose to make it a priority. We have access to a gym, swimming pool, bike, and/or running shoes should we choose to use them. And we probably waste at least some time watching TV or playing on social media; time that could be spent exercising, meditating, doing yoga or managing our stress in some other beneficial way.
Achieving health-related goals is often about what we’re willing to do, rather than what we’re capable of doing.
Going back to my story at the beginning: Did I want to eat cheese, baby carrots and almonds while at the pub? Of course not! Did I feel like I was missing out? Sometimes, but not usually, and if I did, not for very long. I had decided that sticking to my commitment to myself was more important than having free choice from the menu, and I was willing to eat what was available to stay on track.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to make the healthy choice all the time to be healthy. And I’m definitely not saying you have to bring your own carrots to the pub! What I am saying is that you have to be willing to make healthy choices most of the time in order to feel your best.
You can achieve your health goals this year. And you can move closer to feeling the way you want and deserve to feel in your body. Now, are you willing to feed your healthy intentions? I sure hope so!
Sending you warm wishes for a vibrant and triumphant 2017.
Image via Unsplash | This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click and then purchase we will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for reading & supporting Happy Living!