Lent is over, now what?
Due to my Catholic roots, I enjoy giving up something that is unhealthy for Lent. If you give up the right thing, it is a healthy change and a good way to test self-control. But, what happens after Lent?
After you are off the hook from your religious requirements, what happens to that unhealthy habit?
Is the habit a vice or an indulgence?
If I can honestly say that my habit is a vice, basically that it takes me away from what is truly important in my life, then it has to go. Sometimes removing yourself for 6 weeks from something just to see the result is well worth it to your overall health.
One thing I will never go without is a clear and healthy nerve system, and neither will my family for that matter. With this, you can and will adapt much better to your lifestyle, vices and all. It doesn’t mean the habits can be ignored. You should minimize as much stress to your body as you can. What I am saying is simply this:
A break from habits is a good thing. However, don’t forget the follow up that must be had to properly asses the damage after AND don’t forget what helps you adapt to these habits.
How bad do you want to be healthy?
Do you think about it when deciding what you will eat this week?
Do you think about it enough to schedule your exercise?
Do you think about it to research healthy living websites?
Do you think about it when you think about what your kids will become?
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just happen. It takes time, it takes commitment, and it takes energy. You can have the life that you want, however it will never be easy. It will take work, and it will not get easier as time goes on. Being healthy is a commitment to a life that you dream of, and a letting go of the life that you have.
I really enjoy exercise. Not too many people can say that. Exercise to most people is a chore, something they have to do to lose weight, or fit in that outfit they bought for the wedding next month. So, because it is a chore, then that means they feel like they have to reward themselves. I see this all the time at the gym I go to, however also in my practice. Everyone wants the REWARD.
Just last week I observed someone workout for about 15 minutes, and then proceed to leave the gym, proceeding straight to the fast food restaurant right across the parking lot. I guess this was their “reward” for showing up. The obvious problem with this behavior is that the food they are consuming post workout is absolutely going to negate any of the work that they just performed. The not so obvious problem, is that this creates a habit, a bad habit that is set in stone by the satisfaction of the greasy reward, and feeling of fullness.
Habits need to be kept in check at all times if you are to take your health to the next level. My suggestion to this individual would be the following: Re-define what your reward will be for working out. Obviously the feeling of doing something good for yourself is not satisfying enough, so find something else for now. A different, healthier reward system such as: Workout 10 days in a row and get a manicure right after the 10th workout. Maybe just taking a drive to your favorite spot in the park, just to sit there and watch the river flow. A little time alone to think. You might just come up with something worthwhile…like a better reward of your own!
Here’s my reward to you for making it a habit of checking out my blog:
No-cost monthly newsletter. Click on: http://lists.nowyouknow.com/?id=5277 This will also keep you abreast of any workshops that we have, or speaking engagements in the community. Of course you can always opt-out at any time. These newsletters are researched, and full of very helpful information so that you can make all of your health choices with as much information possible.
Check your habits, and see your health take on a new dimension!
Matthew M Mix, DC