Help yourself

No, I’m not talking about getting seconds at dinner. I’m talking about learning how to live better, healthier lives. I had a conversation recently with a friend who said she wished she realized sooner how much bad she was doing to her body with the food choices she made. Now she’s making a lot of changes to correct a health issue. She lives with extended family and is being met with a good bit of resistance. I’ve experienced the same thing. It’s not easy.

During our conversation, I said “It’s sad that we wait until we’re sick to take care of ourselves.” And this is very true. We grow up and do whatever we want as far as how we eat, whether we exercise, being proactive with our health. The United States is often touted as the fattest country on the planet. While we try to prevent body-image issues, we still have a tendency to put shame and blame on people who are not perfectly healthy. And the truth is that we don’t eat right, don’t exercise enough, eat and drink things that are bad for us, allow our government to go along unchecked with what they do to our food production and we take no responsibility for our own health.

Let me say it again: we do no take responsibility for our own health! Not until we get sick and realize what we’ve been doing to ourselves. We learn how to choose foods and how to treat our bodies by what we see our parents and the people around us doing. We all need to set better examples for the children around us. The adults, too. How can we expect our kids to eat right and stay healthy when we don’t show them that it’s an option?

Exploring healthy lifestyle choices is just as important as exploring career choices. Do something good for yourself. When you do, others see it and want to do good for themselves. It pays itself forward. There are two quotes that are fitting for this topic. The first is from the Bible: Physician, heal thyself. The other is from Greek philosopher Socrates: know thyself.

You cannot heal yourself if you don’t know what your body is doing. Know what you do to your body, know what your body can handle and do everything you can to make yourself the best possible version of yourself. Help yourself.

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