Adapted from Method Aesthetics & Wellness (methodspa.com)
If I ask you the question ‘What’s your health worth?’ I’m guessing you have some kind of pat answer ready. Like: ‘A lot.’ But if I were to push you on it, to get you to really explore the question, what would you come up with?
Get a sheet of paper and write down all the things your health allows you to do. Then price it out. For example: every day that you are healthy, you get to earn x amount of dollars from your job or work. This one may be the easiest to calculate. Now write down the other things that make your life worth living, like ‘enjoy your hobbies, play with your kids, grandkids or pets, be intimate with your partner, get dressed by yourself, make your own meals, etc.’ What are those things worth to you?
Don’t be surprised if many items your health allows you to do are way more valuable than what you earn from your paycheck. In fact, it may be very difficult to put a price tag on many of the items on your list. Some of them might even be priceless.
So, if your health is such an important commodity, why, then, do you not value it? And by ‘value it,’ I mean honor it; by ‘value it’ I mean DO something to take care of it. Why do you think things like: I can’t afford to eat healthy food? (Bunk.) I can’t afford to join a gym. (That is NOT the only venue for exercise.) I can’t afford to waste my time taking the steps, instead of the escalator.
Looking at the economics of this argument for a moment, health care costs in North America are rising astronomically. Why? Because Baby Boomers are getting older, and younger generations are being diagnosed with diseases that used to hallmark senior years. But up to 90% of the risk factors associated with diseases that we blame on aging (cancer, diabetes, heart disease) are related to nutrition and lifestyle choices you make EVERY SINGLE DAY and are entirely under your control. And let me ask you: do you have to wait until you have a diagnosis before you value your health? Please take a moment and sit with that one, and be honest with yourself. Because, too often, it’s the way it happens.
Learning new skills – including what foods and nutrients are essential for you personally – takes effort. Moving your body takes effort. Getting up off the couch to get to bed on time, ironically, takes effort. (Have you ever missed that *sweet spot* when you should have made your way to the bedroom, and then the very thought of getting ready for bed keeps you glued to the couch?) Of course, if you would eat more nutritious food, move your body more and hit the sheets in time to get your beauty rest, you’d have more energy. Sometimes even the thought of getting started can be exhausting.
The secret is to take baby steps in the right direction and not to beat yourself up when you don’t. Start with one small thing that easily fits in your life style, make that a habit, then pick another thing to improve, like take the steps instead of the escalator. If you’re that badly out of shape, start by taking the steps on Fridays, and then do it Thursdays and Fridays, etc. It can be a struggle at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will get.