Your Health Commitment
by Phil Cameron
As I was talking with Angie about this month’s article in Bozeman Magazine, she told me there was a special wedding section. As it happens, I’m also getting married this April to Katy, the love of my life. I started to think about what weddings really mean, and to me weddings are really a symbol of commitment. Unfortunately, we all know that our society has seen a drastic increase in divorces, infidelity, and other deviances from our vows and commitments we have taken.
Have you ever taken a vow or made a commitment to yourself? It is not easy to make a commitment and stick to it through thick and thin. It is human nature to want to indulge or to try and cheat the system to get what we want. It is like trying to lose 20 pounds and still eating a pint of ice cream every night. We all want to have our cake and eat it too, but at what cost to our wellbeing?
We all have a body and we all have needs to make sure that our body functions. Interestingly enough, however, we often have choices to make about how effectively and efficiently we want our bodies to function. As with most things in life, we often have different opinions and different philosophies on how we should address our health. Some people view their bodies as a temple while others view it like a tent!
The reality is every choice we make does have an effect on our body. If we choose to go to bed early, we wake up feeling refreshed with more energy. If we choose to stay up late, we have less energy the next day and feel tired. But, we made the choice! I often hear patients tell me that they didn’t have any choices when it came to their health and lifestyle due to money or responsibilities, but remember we made choices about those too. We often get stuck because we have gotten ourselves to a point where we are reactionary instead of being intentional.
So, are you ready to make a commitment to yourself and your health? Most Americans are one healthcare crisis away from financial ruin. That’s a scary thought! A trip to the hospital that requires evaluation, diagnostic imaging, and surgical intervention, can ruin a person financially. This is a tragic reality of our society, but it happens more often than you think. The problem is as a society we are very reactionary and not good at being prepared.
When it comes to our health, we don’t get a day off. Everyday our heart needs to beat, our lungs need to breathe, our cells need to work and our brains need to fire. That means each day we need to be prepared to eat well, move well and think well! That is the formula for health.
Eating well is a choice that takes a little bit of knowledge and a lot of awareness. Our food sources are often contaminated with many chemicals that are used as preservatives or grown with many pesticides and chemicals, not to mention the amount of sugar (a powdery, white, overly refined substance) that is added to many foods. Hydrogenated oils that act like plastics in the body and individual food sensitivities can also be very challenging to an individual’s health.
The human body was made to move. The more we move, the stronger we become. Moving well and moving often are vitally important to removing waste products from our body and stimulating nerve pathways that keep our brain and body working optimally. The latest slogan we are all getting used to hearing is “sitting is the new smoking.” It is absolutely true! Many people have finally taken to heart how terrible smoking is for your health, so now it’s time to embrace how bad a sedentary lifestyle is for your health and get moving everyday anyway you want.
Emotional health has a long history of being taboo in our culture, but in the last few years, it’s importance has really come to light and is being addressed more and more. We are all aware of the tragedies around us due to mentally ill individuals. Keeping our own minds healthy and free from negative thoughts that lead to negative actions will help all of us in society live better together. Mental health takes work. Learning and using techniques like mindfulness, meditation, journaling, and reading books and listening to lectures on ways to reduce stress and to be more self-aware will keep our minds sharp and working at high speed.
Commitments are never easy and they always require sacrifice. Making sacrifices for the betterment of the whole is a very noble philosophy. Whether it’s the sacrifice for the betterment of the relationship and the marriage or the sacrifice for the betterment of the individual, if it creates a better outcome than it is very worthwhile. We all make choices everyday. Given the opportunity, I think most people would make the choice to live a better, higher-quality of life. The choice is yours to make. If you are willing to make a commitment to others, please also consider the commitment you are willing to make for yourself. A healthier you will enhance your relationships with others and hopefully you can also be a role model for others to live healthier lives, so our community, country, and world can all be healthier, more natural, and more optimal places to live.