Healthy Lifestyle Starter Kit: Changes and Challenges

By Justinne Lou Go, RND

 

BEING a dietitian, I deal with different kinds of people and have heard all the possible excuses (yes, excuses not reasons) that keep a person from getting started or staying on a healthy lifestyle.

“Too busy to exercise.”

“My family doesn’t eat healthy.”

“Chewing is tiring!”

“Healthy eating is expensive!”

“I don’t eat vegetables.”

No matter how legitimate an excuse may sound though, it’s always a matter of mindset and order of priorities. We always have a choice!

I’ve mentioned in my previous article a few weeks ago that deciding to commit to a healthy lifestyle comes with inevitable changes and we know that dealing with and accepting change is not always easy. Well, that’s exactly the first step of getting into a healthy lifestyle — knowing and accepting that change needs to happen, whether in some or all aspects of one’s life. Now, what if you have no issues with the changes you have to go through, but the people (family and friends) around you do? Or your circumstances just don’t seem to work for you, like the whole world is conspiring against your conversion to the lighter side?

I think the most often cited obstacles to achieving one’s health goals could be found in three areas of our lives:

1. Environment

This may be the greatest challenge because it is the hardest to change, what with all the fast food, convenience stores and buffet promos everywhere. However, this doesn’t mean it is impossible to live a healthy lifestyle. If you can’t beat ‘em, show ‘em… That it can be done. Change always starts with ourselves and when people see how this works for us, others will be inspired or moved to make their own changes. You don’t have to go with the flow, the flow will come from you.

Your diet and lifestyle are part of your health decisions.

2. People

In any endeavor, there will always be opposition, because that’s just life. We can’t all just always agree to each other. We can’t always expect that the people who are most likely to support us will do so. Case in point, when your own family and friends react negatively to your health decisions. And most definitely, your diet and lifestyle are part of your health decisions.

It’s not that we should force our family and friends to eat whatever we’re eating because we know it’s good for them, but it’s a matter of good communication. Good communication brings both parties to an understanding of the changes involved, the support needed, and hopefully the support you need will come in one way or another.

Change always starts with ourselves…

3. Work

Aside from workload and schedules that may keep us from eating our meals regularly or getting the exercise we need for the day, the nature of work one has can be a big factor. This goes for those who have jobs that actually require them to be sedentary — just sitting — all day. A doctor I worked with in Manila, Dr. Rolando Balburias, constantly mentions that sitting is next to smoking in being a killer.

We have now identified the challenges of living a healthy lifestyle; this, not to be daunted, but rather to be aware and to be on guard. Because, the first step to solving a problem is identifying the problem. Keep posted for next week’s article where I will be giving you the weapons against health destruction for you to combat the challenges enumerated.

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