Are you healthy? Is your body running at optimal levels? Are you at a good weight and have energy for all your activities? Or are you like everyone else? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, reports that as of 2012 about half the population of the USA has at least one chronic illness, and 25% has two or more chronic illnesses. (Source) That number continues to grow at an alarming rate.
The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics defines a chronic disease as an illness lasting for three months or more. They state that 88% of Americans over 65 have at least one chronic health condition. (Source) Now remember, that chronic health conditions don’t just appear overnight. The issues typically develop over years of poor eating, smoking and lack of movement, fitness and sleep as well as being in the state of constant stress. If that many Americans over 65 have a chronic illness it is logical to conclude that as many younger Americans are living with the beginnings of a chronic health condition even if they have no symptoms, or don’t realize the symptoms they are feeling are signs of chronic illness developing. Are you one of them?
As I have been chatting with women 35 and older, many will tell me they are feeling fine. Yet as I ask a few more questions I find that they are taking medication for one reason or another. “Oh that, it is just for….” Inevitably it is a chronic illness such as arthritis, cholesterol, acid reflux, depression, fatigue and more.
Ding. Ding. Ding. It hit me.
What we feel…many chronic illnesses are so normal that we now consider it healthy or at least an inevitable part of aging. It is what it is.
That is sad. It can make one feel hopeless. But hope isn’t lost.
Our bodies are meant to be in a state of homeostasis. A state of balance. A state of optimal, peak performance and energy.
Yet many of us have not felt that optimal state for so long. Our state of imbalance is so normal that we believe it is the only way of life.
I don’t believe that for a minute. Our bodies are beautifully and wonderfully made. Our bodies have an innate ability to work synergistically and return to a state of balance if we give it the nourishment, movement, rest, and state of calm it needs. We must give it a chance.
Now I am not saying all illnesses can be reversed. No, there are states of illness of no return to 100% optimal. But there always are things we can do to help our body run and feel better even if we can’t be 100% healthy.
Even though I was sick most of my life. I did think it was normal and nothing I could do. I was waiting for the white coat cure. Finally, it was getting so bad I started making lifestyle changes and my health took a turn for the better. In my late 40’s I feel better than I did for most of the years prior. No, I am not at 100%, but when I think about how bad it was. When I think about how bad I would be now if I hadn’t made those changes. I know things would have continued to get worse. I know that the changes were worth it.
If you had told me then, that I would be eating completely different, become a morning person, getting in movement every day, praying and meditating, rarely if ever experiencing stomach issues, and avoiding a hysterectomy, I would have thought you were crazy. It would have been too overwhelming, but through small changes that became a way of life, it happened. It isn’t overwhelming, and I am feeling great most of the time.
My wish for you is that you don’t accept your little signs and symptoms as just a part of aging. That you don’t fall for the belief there is nothing you can do to stop the slow decline. You can make changes. You can move from normal to healthy.
First, figure out why you want to be healthy and not normal. Figure out what area of health to start with. Add in the basics of healthy eating. Make changes slowly. It all counts. Don’t let overwhelm take over. Rome was not built in a day, neither will your move from normal to healthy.
Start out fall with a healthy and fitness focus. Join the 7-Day Healthy Habits Email Challenge in your email box starting September 8.
Need help to develop your health goals and strategies to achieve them? Schedule a 20-minute phone call with me to see if we fit.
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