I came across an article of HuffPo the other week titled "4 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Our Health" that got me thinking about lies I've told myself and lies or myths that most of us have heard or said ourselves.
The four lies:
1. "I'll get what my mom had no matter what I do."
2. "I don't need a physical; I feel fine."
3. "Everything in moderation."
4. "I have no time to exercise."
We know #1 is not true. Our health is largely in our hands and within our control. We're not all helpless victims. As Dr. Essy always says, "genes load the gun but diet pulls the trigger." Most Western diseases can be prevented, reversed and avoided if we just eat right.
One point I always like to make when I'm speaking at conferences: We inherit eating habits from our parents along with their genes. Sometimes it's those passed down habits and practices that are more deadly than the genes themselves. It's hard to break the mold, but so worth it.
Eat right. Let the meal plans help you.
Meanwhile #2 sounded an alarm in my head. I've worked with hundreds of people who "felt fine" until they had a heart attack or other health event "out of the blue." Plenty of people have come to me saying they feel great. They are perfectly healthy so why should they change their diet? Only to go for blood work and be startled by how bad their numbers really were.
A comment I hear frequently from our meal plan users is, "I never knew how sick I was until I knew what it was like to feel well and thrive."
After I went plant-based, and all my aches and pains, gas, digestive issues, migraines, fatigue, mental fog, energy crashes and heart burn went away, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe I lived with those annoyances, or that I thought those unpleasantries were "normal" and I was "fine." I had no idea I didn't have to live without those things! Once I knew what it was like to feel great, not just good or okay, I wanted to keep that!
Moderation is a myth -- a lie we tell ourselves to justify poor choices. When are we ever telling ourselves, "Go ahead, have more asparagus, everything in moderation!" Normally we use "moderation" to justify that extra drink, or piece of cake, or pit stop at our favorite fast food joint. "Moderation" is what kills most of us. It gives us a false sense of security.
The concept of "everything in moderation" is great in theory, but there are just so many ways it can go wrong -- and it does.
And funny how no one ever talks about "moderation" when it comes to heroin or arsenic ;)
Jeff Novick wrote a great blog post for Engine 2 on the Myth of Moderation. (You can read part 1)
Lastly, #4. GUILTY! The truth (which I don't want to hear either) is that we all have time to exercise, no matter how busy, tired or stressed out we are. What I came to accept is that while I'm too busy to schedule an hour at the gym, I'm not too busy to take the stairs. I'm also not too busy to add lots of 5-minute bursts of exercise in my day. (Remember my past newsletter about moving your bod on commercial break?) In my new book, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, I include all my little short exercises that take just a few minutes and you can do in your home without fancy equipment. I often do a lot of the movements while I'm waiting for something to simmer! All these 1, 2 and 5-minutes bursts really add up!
For add'l reading:
Exercise Excuse Busters! (You've said it, Here's how it's Not True!)