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Take Responsibility for Your Health

Take Responsibility for Your Health

You can make any excuse in the world when it comes to your health, but there is nobody tying you down and force-feeding you chocolate chip cookies. You decide what food you put in your mouth. You decide whether or not to go to bed early versus watching series, and you decide whether to workout or not. As a life-long binge eater, I know what it is like to feel like you do not have any control around food, but the truth is, nobody is forcing my hand to reach for the food cupboard.

The only reason you still carry on with bad habits or eat foods that are high in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and chemicals is because you allow yourself to.

There are things in life we cannot control, such as developing an illness, but you can control your lifestyle and decisions around food and greatly reduce your chances of developing heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, inflammation, etc.

If you struggle to lose fat, you know that there are probably things that you are doing wrong that are getting in your way of being successful and becoming as healthy as you can be. If you have problems with high insulin, choosing to eat carbohydrates and sugar is not exactly ideal, but it is a decision.

Identify your excuses, and then work out how you are going to take back control. If you regularly use going to social events and not having control over what food is served as an excuse for why you struggle to stick to your healthy diet, then put some healthy snacks in your car or bag, or eat just before you go. If you make sure that you are always prepared, you will not go hungry or be able to use it as an excuse to eat junk food when not doing so is a goal you have set for yourself.

If you eat unhealthy things because you do not want to offend someone, remember that they might feel offended for a few minutes, but will probably get over it and get used to it over time. You, on the other hand, could end up feeling the negative effects for much longer, especially if you are allergic or intolerant to gluten or dairy, and what you eat contains it.

Eventually, they will stop offering you unhealthy foods and accept it. It might be painfully uncomfortable for you to say no in the beginning, but just push through and people will start to accept the new, healthy you.

If you do want to indulge at a party, you can do so. It is your choice. Just do not say you could not help it or that you had no choice but to eat it. You are 100% responsible for the food you eat. If you want to eat a cupcake and you know it is high in sugar, but you also know it will be delicious and completely worth it, then you can eat it. You do not have to feel bad about it.

When you are diagnosed with a condition or illness, that is something you cannot control, but you can decide how you will live with it going forward. You can just listen to what your doctor says, or you can hear what your doctor is saying, take it into consideration, and start doing your own research on what you can do in terms of diet and lifestyle to improve your symptoms or quality of life. Perhaps you can even get rid of them completely.

Educating yourself on your condition or illness is your responsibility. Living in order to manage the condition is also your responsibility. If you were diagnosed with emphysema due to years of smoking, it is your responsibility to stop smoking to avoid making things worse. And if you are smoking, but still seem healthy, you know that it is your responsibility to stop smoking, so that you can protect the health of your lungs.

Make two lists. On one, write down all of the things that you are doing, and that are in your control of, that you should stop doing. On the other list, write down everything you can start doing to improve your health. How can you take control of your health? How should you take responsibility?

You do not have to change everything on the list at once, but start changing things one at a time as you become a responsible adult who makes decisions that benefit their health. 

Also, become aware of the way you talk to yourself. If you keep telling yourself “I need this (insert treat name here)”, then you lose your power. It implies that you have to have it, when you actually just want to have it. You feel more powerless against your craving.

By changing the way you talk about temptation and indulgences, and simply changing the word need to want, you are developing a more empowering mindset. If you then choose to eat the cupcake or pizza, it is because you wanted to. Own your decision.

Stop allowing yourself to do the self-sabotaging habits that you actually really want to stop doing. Know that you are in control, you are responsible, and that you can change your behaviour if you really wanted to. By this I am not saying that it is easy at all.

For some, they only need to make the decision not to eat sugar again once, and will be disciplined in that aspect for the rest of their lives. For the more normal people, any change, especially when it comes to diet and lifestyle, is difficult. Keep reminding yourself that you have a choice and that you are responsible for your health. It will become easier, and after a while, it will become second nature.

You can choose to make decisions that will bring you a lot of pleasure in the moment, but will cause you, your family, and your friends misfortune in the future, or you can make choices that benefit your present and future health and happiness.

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