By Sierra Kovash
I recently started trying to lose weight and get my body and mind fit again. It is proven that physical activity can help with some of the symptoms of mental illness, as well as ward off all kinds of physical ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure just to name a few. Between my personal weight loss goals and constant attention to my own mental health, I know I stand to gain a lot from introducing some healthier habits back into my life.
Taking that first step into a “better you” is extremely hard. Sugar is addictive, and if you are part of the 65% of Americans that are overweight or obese (raises hand), you probably turn to food for just about everything – celebrating, mourning, anxiety, boredom, the list goes on. I am with you, I know. I absolutely love food, ALL of it, sweet, savory, soda, alcohol, red meat, bread… speaking of… I’m craving pizza. Okay, okay, focus.
So how do you get motivated? Well, that is tricky. Everyone gets motivated to get healthy differently. Some people take their health seriously, some take a laissez-fair attitude towards it, and for some folks it takes a medical scare to get them motivated about their health. For me, it is more of a cautionary tale type situation. Most of my family has diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. My grandfather died in his sleep at 65 due to a heart attack, my mother had a heart attack at 45, and my uncle was diagnosed with type-two diabetes at 40. If you are like me, you are thinking, ‘Sheesh that’s young!’
I have a 5-year-old who is the light of my life, and I have a million other things on my plate every day. Most of the time my health is the last thing on my mind. I see my body as a tool just to get me from point A to point B, and I utilize it as such. That isn’t heathy, though. You can’t just run and run and run and never run maintenance on your tools, or they will wear out. I had a very wise friend say to me, “You change the oil in a car, don’t you?” Our bodies are just like our cars, they need to be taken care of, or they will fall apart.
I truly am the last person who should be giving health advice, because I fail often and I am defiantly not the picture of perfect health right now. I do know one thing though: the path to improvement really is one step at a time. One less Oreo, one less cigarette a day, one more glass of water. With these little steps, you can work into bigger changes and eventually reach your goals.
Spring is the perfect time to make a better you; it starts to warm up and the world is anew. If you decide to take that first step, I know you can do it! Stick with it and don’t give up when you fall.
“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” ~ Joyce Meyer