Living a healthy lifestyle is not something that happens accidentally. It is an intentional way of life that yields many benefits for those who choose to follow that path. Take a moment to reflect on your motivation for following a healthy lifestyle. Ask yourself:
What motivates me to be healthy?
What benefits will I see as a result?
Why eat nutritious foods?
From the perspective of a dietician, most people fall into one (or more) of the three categories below.
Reaching specific goals
People who are motivated by a specific goal typically want to lose weight, tone up, run a 5k, compete in a competition, look their best for a special event, or other specific end goal. They will try the most extreme diets, they may not be making healthy lifestyle changes. They want to reach a specific goal but may not continue with the changes after the goal is met. Ideally, once they have met their goal, they will make new goals and keep striving for something. I once had a client tell me that I always have something up my sleeve. As a dietitian and personal trainer, you always want to see people improve and make health a way of life.
Managing disease and doing damage control
People who are managing disease have had some sort of wake-up call. They may have been told by their doctor that they are at high risk for one of many health issues or waited too long and were diagnosed with a disease. The good thing about many diseases is that nutrition and a healthy lifestyle play a huge part in management and minimizing complications. For example, diabetes, heart disease, congestive heart failure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, kidney problems, GI issues, alcoholic cirrhosis, and more can be improved with a lifestyle change. These people are motivated to make changes and realize they are what they eat. This is where lifestyle changes are extremely important.
People who make lifestyle changes for prevention realized early on that what you eat and how you live today impacts you later in life. I fell into the prevention category. Watching my mom fight breast cancer, I realized at a young age that nutrition played a huge part in fighting disease. She was in remission after winning the battle against breast cancer and was then diagnosed with bone cancer. She was told she didn’t have much longer to live. What did she do? She fought like hell, changed her diet and lifestyle completely. What was the result? She lived for years after the doctors said she would. Although she isn’t here today, I couldn’t feel more blessed and grateful for the extra years we had with her. Maybe it wasn’t all attributed to the lifestyle changes, but this played a huge part in her surviving longer than anyone said she would.
Maybe your story isn’t exactly the same as mine, but you know someone that has a preventable disease. Why wouldn’t you do everything you can today to make sure you live to see your kids have kids or grow old with the people you care about?
GET INFORMED! Find out what you need to do to live a lifestyle that will significantly decrease your risk of preventable diseases.