Reason #5 Why You're Stuck: You Treat Health Debt Like Credit Card Debt
Updated: Jan 8
Are you borrowing from your future health to pay for your current lifestyle?
Is your body wracking up expenses--pains, excess weight, digestive woes, etc.?
If you're mistreating it a bit, or putting as little effort into your health as possible, this post is for you.
If you read my last post about goals vs. wishes where I talked about how every behavior has a positive or negative effect on our health, you may be left with a question such as: So are saying I should never…have a glass of wine, eat a pizza, enjoy dessert, binge watch TV, stay up late, etc.
Nope, not saying that at all.
Life is full of simple pleasures like a piece of cake, a beer, and a night staying up way too late talking with friends.
Simple pleasures like these add richness to our existence. They are the moments we mark that make life meaningful.
However, the idea I want to leave you with here is to overcome the illusion of the “minimum effective dose.”
PLAYING THE GAME OF HEALTH TO WIN, VS PLAYING TO NOT LOSE
An unspoken mentality I’ve observed in many people as they approach the change process is this:
“What’s the least amount of work I have to do to get the maximum change?” Or, stated another way: “What extra little tweak can I make, (without changing the major factors that resulted in my current health situation), that will bring about big change?
You probably guessed it. That’s not going to work.
Think of if this way, if you’re dramatically in financial debt, and looking to get out of it, each little spending choice you make has larger ramifications for how fast you can be free of debt.
Yet, so many people approach their health with the “minimum monthly payment” mindset and wonder why they seem to remain mostly in the same situation.
If you want to get out of health debt, the reality is you have to make larger “monthly payments” in the form of (sometimes dramatically) improved habits across a whole host of behaviors, over a long period of time.
The more health debt you’re in, the tougher the change process will likely be.
EXHALE...HOW DID THE LAST PARAGRAPH MAKE YOU FEEL?
Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Angry? Aimless? Hopeless? Numb?
Whatever you felt it probably wasn’t excited. No one has ever celebrated when I pointed out that perspective.
Why? Because telling a busy, probably stressed person they have A LOT more work to do is usually not welcome news.
But hang on; I won’t leave you there.
Back in 2003 (at age 27), I thought my healthiest days were behind me. I had my own overwhelmed period of months when I was trying to overcome a degenerating joint condition and a weak immune system.
The breadth of what I learned about health and all the ways I had been compromising it, felt almost impossible to overcome.
But with time, after the emotion of overwhelm passed, I found myself in a more logical state:
“Well, I still have a life to live. I might as well try to start replacing these bad habits and see how much I can improve…or this is only going to get worse.”
The short version of my story is that I was fortunate to find a group of different mentors (some virtual, some in person) who gave it to me straight, showed me the path to walk, and pointed out what I needed to do to change the trajectory of my health.
I followed them, and it changed me forever. Without them, you wouldn’t be reading this. I wouldn’t have found my passion, become a Personal Trainer, a Health Coach, and now a Life Coach.
Was it easy? No way!
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
When was the last time someone gave it to you straight?
When was the last time someone sat you down and asked better questions, hard questions?
When was the last time someone helped you engineer a better way than making minimum effort on your health?
I didn’t get set on a path to quick healing, but I did get on the right path and currently enjoy a state of health that is the envy of most people.
I did it, and so can you. You can hear a bit more of my story in this presentation.
BE THE EXCEPTION
Forget easy. Go for difficult.
Yeah, you’ll have to make some sacrifices, but “difficult” thins the herd and makes the circle of those you run with much richer.
Difficult makes success taste that much sweeter.
Difficult separates the talkers from the doers. It separates people who watch TV to escape their own lives, from the people who choose to live their own.
Difficult separates those who get the most out of life, from those who look back with regret.
As Jim Rohn said, “You’re going to suffer the pain or discipline, or the pain of regret.” The good news is you get to choose.
Go for discipline!
It’s much more rewarding than playing to not lose.
You can enjoy so much more health than you are now. I would know.
You can do it…and if you need me I’m here to help!
Here's to a life free of health debt,
PS. If you need an empathic health coach who can help you think through all the moving parts of your life, reach out. Maybe you can be our next amazing transformation story.