When it comes down to it, it's just plain ole common sense that can teach us how to be healthy and stay fit. Truly, we just have to calm down, get rid of the constant current-fad static that only confuses, and think back 40-50 years at what history shows us! If you weren't alive then, I'll be happy to describe it :)
First, people MOVED! It was part of our everyday lives. We were all active, adults and kids. We worked in our yards, played with our friends, and engaged in sports. As a kid, I was on my bike or walking to a friend's house every weekend and sometimes during the week. We weren't sitting in front of a computer, or glued to video screens or tv. I did enjoy though watching cartoons on Saturday mornings and Dark Shadows after school (addicted!) Click on the link.
2nd, we FED OURSELVES! We ate 3 meals a day with snacks in between. We ate REAL food that was mostly home-cooked and families sat down together for dinner in the evening. My mom sent my brothers and I off to school in the morning with a stomach full of eggs, bacon and toast (or oatmeal and juice) and she packed our school lunches every day (a routine I continued with my own kids). We didn't have the enormous array of processed foods that we have today--the aisles upon aisles of chips, crackers, bars, boxed and frozen dishes. And the processed foods we did have back then was healthy compared to today's offerings which are packed with artificial ingredients, lots of soy and corn, fillers, flavors, colors and devoid of live vital enzymes and natural vitamins and minerals, and all designed to be as cheap as possible, thus keeping food manufacturer's profits high. Our body's Metabolic system knows what to do with the REAL stuff--but the fake? It's confused! And dysfunction follows, causing a cascade of unfortunate events leading to disease.
3rd, SUGAR wasn't KING!
We had treats for sure, my mom fixed dessert a few times a week--of course you couldn't have it unless you ate your dinner! But there wasn't the abundance of sodas, energy drinks, flavored waters, artificial sugar, cookies, cakes, and bars in our cupboard and refrigerator. Today we're inundated with these sugary calories every time we turn around, whether at home, the office or the grocery checkout line. Not only does eating sweets constantly destabilize our blood sugar--leading to inflammation, fatigue, dehydration, insomnia, lowered immune system, and higher risk of chronic diseases--but it piles on the weight. One soda per day for 365 days per year adds up to a 15 pound weight gain yearly--that's one big reason people consistently gain weight over time--too many calories, mostly from sugary sources, and we're NOT MOVING. Less than 50% of Americans exercise 3x per week for 30 mins, and more importantly most people are not active at all during the day.
Back in the 60s and 70s, "Diets" were pretty unheard of and obesity was extremely rare. Diabetes was something you might occasional find in an older person and Heart Disease was also uncommon--I knew more about it because I had it in my family. You never heard about someone being on medication for cholesterol or blood pressure. And Cancer was never a childhood disease and only touched a very small number of adult lives. Now these chronic diseases are epidemics, and sadly most of them are called "lifestyle diseases" because lifestyle factors far outweigh any genetic factor when it comes to determining risk to the individual.
So why is it so hard to just take this practical common sense to heart and start making head way? Well, it depends on how comfortable you've become with your status quo, how well you can "rock the boat" and manage living with a little discomfort for a short while as your brain gets rewired to think and feel differently. Changing habits that have developed over a lifetime is never the easiest thing, but it is the only thing you can do to make a 180 degree change in the direction you want to go. There are truly no quick fixes that won't boomerang back on you, no supplement, shot or pill that's going to create long-lasting change. Creating new healthier patterns of behavior takes your desire, your brain, your will and your daily commitment. Once you start though, it gets a lot easier as momentum builds and that starts to propel you a little faster towards your goal--but you've got to BEGIN, and there's no better time than NOW!
What has changed in our culture is EVERYTHING. We move less, we eat more and more that isn't REAL, and we consume far too many sugary calories. We could add to this an overload of unmanaged stress that hampers our ability emotional, mentally and physical to take true ownership of our bodies and lives, and practice self-love and care.. These are the areas I work on with my clients as a Wellness and Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer--it's a 360 approach to lifetime health and wholeness. Just reach out if you need help creating the healthy life that you really want--for you, for the people you love. My work is my passion and I want the very best for your life! Contact me here
Try to keep thing 1, thing 2 and thing 3 in your mind this week and begin to act on good, practical common sense advice from the past that will create a much healthier future!
Be Well! Carol