I was recently at a reunion of my family. We all got together in Texas where one of my sisters lives. There were four of us – my mother and two sisters. This is the first time we have all been together in years. Every time I do get together with them I am reminded what a different path my life took from that of my sisters. I first joined a gym in my teens and started becoming aware of health at that point. My life took me through gradual changes in the choices I made to be as healthy as possible. I changed my eating habits little by little; gradually eating healthier with each year. As I learned new discoveries about what to eat and why, I applied them to my life. Now, years later, I find myself feeling really great with little to no aches and pains.
When I got together with my family, I was especially surprised to see how much my oldest sister had aged. She complains of rheumatoid arthritis, numbing in the hands, pain in the back, pain in the leg, pain in the foot, swelling in the foot. I could go on and on as she did for the entire trip. I not only found it sad that she focused on her poor health so much but was incredibly frustrated that she does not work to eat better. She knows what I do for a living and what I practice in my daily life. In fact, she even commented on how healthy I seemed to be and yet whenever I tried to bring up the idea of her starting to make better food choices, she not only ignored it but talked about the burrito that she likes from Taco Bell, about eating pizza, or how she just doesn’t have the time to eat well.
Now I do realize that there are limitations on what is available depending on where you live yet this particular sister lives in Southern California where the choices are as great as here in Boulder, Colorado. Given this, I find it baffling why she doesn’t choose to learn more about health – she could read my blog or ask me. I do know that there are statistics that indicate that what you eat as a young person will most likely affect your food choices as you become an adult. To some extent I can buy into this. On the other hand, the two of us grew up in the same household so this tells me that we can also adapt to better choices and habits if we so choose.
This brings me to the reason for this blog entry. My ultimate goal is to educate people about health and healthy choices in life. I really want to find ways to affect people to the extent that they want to become healthy. I am trying to figure out just what makes this happen. I did speak with a woman, a friend of my ‘Texas’ sister, about her health. Apparently she had been very overweight and sick, with lots of pain, for a long time. At some point she had had enough and started down that path to health. Today she is a healthy weight, is very aware of what she puts in her body, and seems pretty much pain free.
As far as I can tell my oldest sister must be in as much discomfort and yet still chooses to remain unhealthy. I am therefore asking each and every one of you that has made the decision to become healthy just what was the deciding factor? What is it that motivated you to change? What could I do or say to someone that would really have enough impact to make them want to take a different path? I would appreciate any and every insight you can offer me.
Thanks and I look forward to your comments!