When something is important enough you will do it even if the odds are not in your favor. Elon Musk
Meet Koren Knoetal and her faithful dog Jintu Jab.
Koren represents my patients, maybe a composite of several qualities in one character.
My hope is through her lens I can explain to you the joys and sorrows of tackling health issues.
In this graphic, Koren has struggled with her weight all her life.
She is looking at the social media post of a friend of hers and realizes here is a diet that needs to try.
We look to someone who has achieved what we could only wish for.
What we see is the result.
What we do not see is the journey.
People make a journey to get to the result.
We rarely see that and if you knew how they got there you may decide it is not for you.
Yes some folks are wired to look thin but they are hardly fit.
Whether you are heavy or thin, fitness is a journey.
The problem with making a journey is we forget that to get unhealthy we made a journey too.
We chose to eat a certain way, live a certain way, work a certain way.
When we try to change, we change just one thing in all of the contributors of our ill health. And in this world of our naturally delicate psyches we are told just make one change. We are told “you can have disordered eating or an eating disorder.” All of this maybe true but creating the right awareness and educating yourself will resolve so many of these problems.
If history of individuals can be reviewed, no one makes just one change . They wake up with a new decision and implement several changes that will support their decision.
Koren is latching on to one little bit of information.
The world we live in is always talking about our nutrition and yet we get it all wrong. As human beings we can eat just about anything and therefore our nutrition advice does not apply to all of human kind.
Every patient of mine who has tackled this issue of health and wellness have tackled their whole journey to health and wellness.
Here are the components of a health journey
- What movements do you like- I hate running. How about you?Do you love dancing? Do you love to lift weights, do you love the long strolls in nature, or do you walk your dog?
- Do you take a moment to listen to your thoughts?
- Do you look at your meals as something that nourishes rather than a convenience of grab and go?
- Do you have flexible hours (most of us these days should with working from home and removing the commuting)
- Do you associate with people who value health over short term pleasure of food?
- Do you let the whole body rest each day ?
The components of a successful health journey continued..
The mind is never set, it is a moldable and you can shape it, but you have to decide what shape, before you begin to mold it.
Mind Set: This is crucial.
Do you want what you think you want?
A lot of people desire to look fabulous. They know why they carry the extra weight.
It maybe the toxic relationship or the toxic job , or the lack of time management, or it maybe the company you keep.
Are you willing to tackle the issues that you use as an excuse or find a way around it?
I remember a consult I had once. The woman said “I am so tired of being so tired and in constant pain-I really need help. However I am not willing to change what I eat or how much I drink.”
Here is the truth, did she want her health? No, she liked the idea. What was more important is that she could go on these cruises and eat and drink what she wanted even if she felt awful in the long run. Most of us are in this boat of instant gratification.
The environment around us has made it such that this only gets worse with things like Amazon dropping packages in seconds.
So truly remove the external stress of what influences your desire.
What do you really want?
Do you want to stay healthy and look health if so the next steps are for you.
First decide why is health important for you?
Not goals of losing so many pounds but the state of health.
Goals unfortunately can be hit, then the process stops, or missed then you give up or goals change then the direction is lost. However if there is a purpose or reason for you to be healthy, example , I need to donate a kidney to my kid or I want to see my kids graduate, what ever it may be that gets you into a long term journey that works.
Next very important is your environment
Koren, is somewhat set to fail in her goal. Why?
She has some previous notions about weight loss that may not be serving her.
“Starving” is different from fasting.
Going with intuition is good when it comes to eating. Most of us eat because we “felt” like it, be it stress, joy, sight of food etc. Rarely do we eat because we are hungry.
So here is Koren’s day, drinking water to overcome her hunger.
Hanging around friends who have a weight issue like she does ( studies show if your friends are obese, likely hood you will be too).
Her job is draining her, then she is too tired and wired to sleep so she wakes up and has access to food that is comforting but not nourishing.
Any change she makes cannot last unless, she either has an awareness of the stumbling blocks or she decides to tackle them.
So here is a checklist for those of you who truly want to succeed in this health journey:
A man has many desires and sick man has only one.
- Purpose- like Simon Sinek says “start with your why” and let it be a strong one.
- Identify what has been creating your journey away from wellness, — stress, family , friends or lack of…
- Look at your environment, what needs to go? What needs to come in?
- Identify what you will do for yourself on a regular basis- dance or meditate or write or paint or get a massage, or learn simple cooking, you get the point, anything that will make you take that first step in the right direction. Connect to your joy. It is impossible to do anything constructive in a stressful state, other than survive .
- Make the changes that will support your new habits. Clean out the fridge and pantry. Make a shopping list. Eat before you go shopping. Zoom with your friends rather than meet them. Create new friends at a local YMCA or Gym.
- I sleep in my gym clothes. So when I wake up I am ready. This works for me. Find out what works for you.
- Create a routine, and be aware you will have excuses. It’s okay to fail and start again.
- Remember your purpose.
Learn to enjoy the journey and forget the destination, because that will change, as when the journey is amazing the destination will keep evolving.
dR.Chellam works for Parsley health, though none of the content here is approved by Parsley, and is her own observation, experience, and readings, from the practice of medicine.
Her other company Holistic ICON is dedicated to teaching patients about various disease conditions and how to find healing opportunities. Check out the classes available here