Change is something that most of us have trouble accepting or managing. Even though you may not like it, you cannot prevent change. From the womb to the tomb, our bodies are in a constant state of flux – physically, psychologically, nutritionally and emotionally.
Think back to early childhood, adolescence, puberty and young adulthood, with all of the changes that occurred. These changes continue as we proceed through our 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.
As we go through these changes, we need to work hard to maintain our body’s natural design. This begins with refusing to accept mediocrity when it comes to our health. Our goal should be to achieve optimal health for ourselves, just like we strive to do for our children.
To achieve optimal health, we need to get out of autopilot mode when it comes to maintaining our bodies. We can do this by acquiring knowledge, eliminating unhealthy habits and seeking the help we need to make positive changes in our lives.
For 20 years, I’ve watched this happen up close. People who are fed up with the way they feel and function finally draw a line in the sand.
They’re usually sick or in pain. Maybe they have type II diabetes, a bulging disk or osteoporosis. Maybe they’re overweight and always tired or stressed.
They bring me their blood tests, x-rays and MRIs and say, “I don’t know what I should do. I’m on three medications and nothing is working. I want to make a change. Please help me.”
This is something I never take for granted. I can’t imagine feeling anything but love, support and empathy for someone who is in a state of such distress, yet finds the energy and motivation to make a change. Handing off ownership of something as complicated as a disease or illness to someone who treats these conditions for a living requires a tremendous leap of faith.
Once you make the decision to make a change and achieve optimal health, the first step is to establish attainable expectations.
I’m 5-foot-8. Playing for the Knicks is not an attainable expectation.
We need to be realistic. We shouldn’t sell ourselves short, but our goals and expectations need to be attainable.
Most of these expectations, whether they involve losing weight, reducing pain or stress, or lowering your blood pressure, are byproducts of a wellness lifestyle.
We also need to understand what influences our decisions. Our behaviors, addictions, relationships, perceptions and expectations of others, how we communicate, and the man-made environment around us all influence our decisions, which affect our ability to live a wellness lifestyle.
This will help us fill our lives with things that are important and start to deflect those that are unimportant or unhealthy.
I tell my kids to deflect all the time. For example:
Just because society and advertising tell you to eat a certain way, that doesn’t mean you have to. Deflect.
Just because society judges me with a scale and a mirror, that doesn’t mean I have to judge myself or others that way. Deflect.
Just because society expects you to multitask for 20 hours every day, that doesn’t mean you have to. Deflect.
Just because society says you should exercise a certain way, that doesn’t mean you have to. Deflect.
Deflection requires self-control and knowledge. After all, this is a complex life we’re living.
We can’t predict what uncontrolled stressors will enter our lives each day – from car accidents to someone getting sick or even dying. Our job is to understand that we’re empowered with the conviction to deflect things that keep us from maintaining our body’s natural design and living a wellness lifestyle.
We have control over what we put in our bodies and what we do with our bodies. We have control over our relationships. That’s why we need to detoxify by removing toxic foods and toxic relationships from our lives.
The key is to have a written plan. Any idea can float through the air, but a wellness lifestyle can only be achieved with a written plan, developed in partnership with a wellness expert who can help you find the right path forward.
This is the first in a series of posts about change and transformation. I encourage you to listen to my By Design radio show, where I’ve begun discussing this important topic and will continue to do so Saturdays at 11:20 am on Tandem Radio.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.