You will be challenged on your journey to get healthier and you need to be prepared for these challenges so you are not surprised by them. We’ve divided them into three different categories to help you identify them and deal with them accordingly….
Psychological challenges – There will be signs everywhere promoting an unhealthy lifestyle and we will discover other obstacles and barriers along the way. You will also hear the voices of your friends, family members and co-workers who are “rafting the river” of an unhealthy lifestyle and they will often call you back into the boat and talk about all the benefits of doing so. You may also hear an internal voice telling you it’s better to raft the river than it is to climb the mountain and achieve your goals.
You will have to attack these challenges with a vengeance and overcome them.
The key to winning this challenging battle of the brain is to keep all things in proper perspective. If you’re not focused on your long term commitments and benefits of achieving your goals; you will likely falter and submit to your short term desires. However, if you’ve been reviewing your list of reason of why you want to live a healthier lifestyle the benefits will outweigh the perceived value of eating a extra large sundae or whatever may be tempting you.
Logistical challenges – we live in what’s been labeled as an “obesigenic society”. This is an environment that promotes obesity. We have calorie dense but nutrient poor food available everywhere. This convenient and tasty food is readily available in restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and a vast number of fast food locations with drive thru and home delivery. These foods cause us to quickly “pick up” more calories than we can burn off during the day due to our sedentary, fast paced lifestyles and all the technological advances we have to save us from expending the energy we’re consuming in our food.
We work long hours, have busy recreational schedules and we’re just creatures of convenience. We celebrate holidays, special occasions, conduct meetings and fellowship around unhealthy foods. It’s a culture in need of drastic changes but the chances of this fact changing significantly during your lifetime are a long shot. It takes
WILL POWER and commitment to your dreams and goals to start but it will take SKILL POWER to continue to climb the mountain and not slip and slide backwards. You’ll need to be prepared with healthy options to exist as a mountain climber and to make it fun, exciting and enjoyable to climb. It takes THRILL POWER to press on and develop the long term habits to keep climbing.
Here’s a list of strategies you can use to prepare for logistical challenges:
- Have a healthy snack before going to a cocktail party where healthy food options may be limited.
- Bring healthy snacks and meals to sporting events so you’re not forced to eat at concession stands where finding something healthy is nothing more than a wild goose chase.
- Pack a few healthy snacks in a carry-on bag so you’re not feeling hungry in the airport when you have a long layover and minimal healthy eating options.
- Offer to bring a healthy side dish or meal to potlucks or gatherings centered on food. If you bring something you’ll enjoy your chances of staying on your healthy living plan will be increased dramatically.
Financial challenges – At times you may experience financial challenges requiring you to make an investment in your health goals and dreams. You may have to invest in healthier food options requiring you to decide what you “value” more. If you value your health you’ll invest in your health and if you don’t…you won’t. It’s simple in thought but not necessarily in its application.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t cost a fortune but it is not typically a poor person’s pleasure to invest even smallest amount into their health. Most Americans buy food based on the following factors (in chronological order)…
“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” - A.J.Materi
How do you decide on your food options? How is that plan working for you?
Health has costs associated with achieving it and/or maintaining it but its usually minimal compared to the costs of being unhealthy. When you factor in the costs of lost energy, productivity, doctor visits, medications and other emotional or psychological costs, I think we’d all see the dollar or 99 cents menu in a whole other perspective.
Think about it. What has the dollar menu cost us as a nation? What is the TRUE discount on supersizing a meal or getting the meal combo vs. buying individual meal items a la carte? What are the benefits of buying more whole grains, low fat dairy items, lean protein options, fruits and vegetables vs. chips, cookies, crackers, ice cream, etc.?
Most people know what they should eat, when they should eat it, where it should be eaten and how we should eat it to live healthier lives but we all need to be reminded of WHY we need to do it more often!
eHealth Challenge Tip: Leftovers
Leftover food often finds its way into our mouths rather than the storage containers we intended. Help yourself by choosing a clean-up job away from food (such as washing the dishes) while someone else clears plates and puts away leftovers. Here are a few suggestions for using up your leftovers: Offer some to neighbors, coworkers, and friends—especially cakes and pies. Divide leftovers into healthy meals and freeze for a quick lunch or dinner when you’re in a rush or don’t have time to prepare a meal for the family. Transform your leftovers into other healthy dishes. Be creative and invent new recipes!