Once we’ve realized that our health is diminishing and we have an understanding of why, the next critical step is to take action. I find that this is where many people encounter a great deal of difficulty. Even if they know what to do, they either can’t get started or can’t sustain their new healthy behaviors.
Let’s say someone finds they have a sensitivity to wheat and sugar which causes inflammation of the bowel. The solution is easy. All they need to do is remove wheat and sugar from their diet and the problem is solved. Easier said than done.
We have 3 addictions to our unhealthy life that can work against us when we are attempting to make healthy lifestyle changes. In the example above, sugar and wheat are the main ingredients in the American processed food diet. Everyone we know eats and serves these wheat and sugar filled foods. This creates a cultural addiction to continue this behavior, even if we know it’s not good for us. Just ask a parent who’s trying to keep sugar out of their child’s diet at the next birthday party. This first obstacle, cultural addiction, can be an extremely difficult to overcome.
The next problem we have is the physiological addiction to unhealthy foods. A patient asked me, “Why do they put so much sugar in our foods?” I can assure you, it’s no mistake. The producers of these foods, and I use that term loosely, know that sugar is addictive and they want you addicted to their product. Studies suggest that sugar is more addictive than heroin and cocaine.
The next major addiction to overcome is the addiction to our own habits. Change, of any kind, seems to be one of the most difficult endeavors for us humans. Repeated habitual thoughts and actions become hard wired in the brain. The constant bombardment of advertisements asserts its influence beginning in early childhood and continues throughout our lives.
So what does all this mean? Healthy lifestyle changes don’t just happen without motivation. That brings us to our third of 5 Steps to Creating a Healthy Lifestyle… Aspiration. One must aspire to change the pendulum and create health. You’ve got to want it. Tune in next time and we’ll show you how to get there!