We are committed to teaching people how to make healthy lifestyle changes. We believe that everyone has within himself the ability to make these changes. Whether the individual actually takes the actions necessary to bring about these changes is a matter of priorities, commitment, and desire.
Determine Your Priorities and Commitment
Quite often we find that changing one’s behavior is not nearly as difficult as changing one’s priorities. This is not “the chicken or the egg” scenario. Priorities determine behavior – every time. An individual does not become overweight or arthritic or diabetic overnight. Outside of the extremely rare medical case, these conditions are the results of years of improper behavior based on the individual’s priorities. If we focus on the behavior without determining the priorities, the behavior will always revert back.
As health professionals, we are very familiar with the claim that “I simply do not have time to exercise” or “I can’t afford to eat that healthy”. These are not matters of time or money. They are matters of priorities. If we can change the priorities, the behavior will follow.
Know Your Belief Systems
Let’s take this one step further. We understand that an individual’s priorities are determined by his belief system, which is based on past experiences and conscious choice. Here is an example. We have been told for years that eating eggs and butter will raise our cholesterol and lead to heart disease. We believed this because our doctors and the media told us it was so. From the moment we chose to believe it we changed our behavior and avoided eating eggs and butter.
However, we are now being told that, based on current scientific research, dietary cholesterol from eggs and butter has very little, if any, impact on cholesterol levels in the blood, and that the bigger dietary culprits in elevated blood cholesterol levels are trans fats, refined sugars and processed carbohydrates.
The question of which studies or positions you will follow does not depend on which ones are correct. It depends on which ones make the most sense to you. Which ones do you believe? This is often the most difficult concept to grasp because it goes against everything we have been taught with regard to nutrition and health. We have been taught to believe that there is a right way and a wrong way and these rules apply to everyone.
Create an Individualized Strategy
We at In Good Health are suggesting that the standardized, one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective and may even be hazardous to your health. We are all individuals and, as such, are as different on the inside as we are on the outside. As human beings, we are each biochemically and physiologically unique. This is precisely why no single diet or exercise program works for everyone. If there was such a program, we would all be on it and there wouldn’t be several completely different approaches represented on the New York Times best-sellers list every week.
At in Good Health, our goal is to determine which method or approach will work best for you. This depends as much on your biochemical and physiological individuality as it does on your ability and willingness to adhere to our recommendations. It has been our experience that an individual will not follow any nutritional program or method unless it makes sense to the individual. The largest institutions in the world – religions – are based on belief. If you practice any one particular religion you chose that religion because, based on all of the information available to you, it made the most sense to you. James Allen said: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be.”
Tap Into Your Desire/Motivation
We know an individual will not take any actions that go against his belief system. So what do we do about it? If your belief system is not giving you the results you desire, you must change your belief system. This is not an easy task. It requires a willingness and openness to change. It is our job to give you all of the information and guidance necessary to help you to change, but it is ultimately your decision. You must have the desire to change.
Anyone who has ever quit smoking will tell you that they did not quit until they wanted to quit, until they had the desire to quit. Even when they knew smoking was bad for them or their friends and loved ones begged them to quit, it was not enough. They had to reach a point where they wanted better health for themselves and acceptance from their friends and loved ones. They had to desire these things more than the pleasure they got from smoking. Ultimately, they had to make a decision.
How badly do you want to change? What does it mean to you? Imagine yourself on a day sometime in the near future when you are healthier and happier because you have changed your lifestyle. Imagine that you have reached your ideal weight, or you are no longer ashamed of your body, or you have reached your desired level of strength, energy and endurance. How does it feel? Was it worth the commitment you made to yourself? That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Happiness. It’s what we all want, and you can have it if you really, truly want it. It’s a matter of choice.
Make the Decision
Probably the most overlooked step in making a change, is making the decision to change. Everyone has within himself the power to change. While it is true that in light of the variety of circumstances and life situations we find ourselves in it is more difficult for some people to change than it is for others, we all have this power. Many times, the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who does not is that the successful person made the decision to succeed. You can have the best of intentions and make all of the plans necessary to make a change, but until you actually decide to take action nothing will ever come of those intentions and plans.
Priorities. Commitment. Awareness of your belief system. An individualized strategy. And the desire to make it all happen. These are the keys to making a healthy lifestyle change or any change for that matter. Just make the decision!