Health is that fabled place where magic happens. Or so it seems. Yet, most people are unhealthy. As it goes, being obese, diabetic, osteoporotic, short sighted and permanently inflamed with a bad heart and slowly deteriorating cognitive functioning is nowadays so prevalent that it’s virtually the new normal. Is it just me or am I wrong in thinking that the modern health standards are completely upside down? How on earth can it be normal to be ill, and worse yet, to ignorantly shrug it off as inevitable result of living in the modern times?
There are a few misunderstandings or myths in the common knowledge in terms of health. Let’s try and clear up a few of these right now.
- I am healthy until the doctor diagnoses me with an illness.
- I do not need to invest time/effort/money into maintaining and improving my health.
- It’s too difficult/costly/time consuming to get healthy.
I am sure most people think along these lines, at least to some degree. I feel that the modern pandemic of chronic, preventable, lifestyle related diseases is a direct result of people as a collective ignoring a few basic tenets of “rude health”.
Why - Essentially looking after oneself is the job for oneself. It’s not the responsibility of the doctor, surgeon, physio, dietitian, chiropractor, oncologist, personal trainer or even your beauty therapist to keep you ticking over. It’s your job. The quicker you accept the fact that your current predicament, whatever it may be, is brought about by your actions (and inactions) the sooner you can get started on the journey to health. Of course it’s easier to play the victim card and to blame others and to make excuses, but unfortunately that will not get you anywhere, apart from an early grave via the hospital following an unsatisfactory life.
What - If acceptance is the first step, the second must be the objective analysis of the situation you are in. I will make it easier for you and point you in the right direction. Health and healthy living is built on 6 basic aspects of your life.
- Food and Drink
- Prevalent Thoughts
- Sleep and Recovery
- Chemical Load.
That’s it. Everything in your life falls under these categories. One of the best tools of analysis is the “Baseline Assessment”. It’s a simple writing exercise, in which you will explore the positives and negatives in your life. Be warned, though, that a lot of people find themselves becoming resistant and sometimes even resentful when attempting to be honest with themselves. If that is the case with you, then you must explore your motives and decide whether this is right for you or not - either work through it or find another scapegoat.
Learning where you are now and where you want to end up is key in terms of improving anything. Be it your health, wealth, relationships or even sports performance. You can’t get anywhere without clear coordinates.
Sometimes it is necessary to get testing done on specific problem areas. If you have persistent health problems it is a good idea to have hard, numerical data at the baseline so that upon retesting you can see whether you have indeed been improving or not.
How - Start easy and build up to it. You don’t create health in a day but you can destroy it in a day by jumping screaming out of the blocks. When the change is too sudden and too dramatic it becomes unsustainable and the body will rebel. Instead make it a project of say 12 months. You can do measurements and take photos and even record a video at the beginning that illustrates your starting point. Repeat the exact procedure at the end of the project to see how far you have come. The results will be astonishing I am sure.
In terms of the actual process of rectifying your problems and mistakes, enter Biohacking, which is the conscious process by the individual to change the parameters in their life and health. In this process the individual takes responsibility and steps out of the victim mode. Learning and obtaining knowledge is crucial, because you need to make educated decisions on the topics of nutrition, exercise, air, water, light exposure, chemical and toxin exposure, and recovery and meditation. Seeking help from people more knowledgeable than you is a sign of strength, and not an admission of weakness. There is a wealth of collective knowledge in books and on the internet on all of these topics and the industry experts will offer their guidance to those who are willing to receive it. Paying the money for their services is only fair since they have taken the pains to collect the vast amount of data that they have drawn their conclusions from.
Take Home Message - Be honest with yourself, You already know that your life is your responsibility. Analyse, Obtain Knowledge, Act - Enjoy yourself. It’s not difficult.
I will write subsequent articles on all of the above topics and upload them as they are ready.