Truth be told, lifestyle changes are not always fun or easy, but a necessary part of personal growth. If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to confess that there are two predominant hindrances influencing my growth process: To avoid pain at all costs, and to find the quickest route to reach my destination. Worthy goals for a wimp. What was that, did I just call myself a wimp? Isn’t that what I have just exposed myself to be? This is no joke. My inner person that was once responsible and wore the red badge of courage has turned into a wimp! And can I say it? I don’t think I am alone.
Within the last 75 years, our society has seen a surge in the “fast-food” mentality that cries, “Give me what I want when I want.” Rushing from Point A to Point B we speed up to the first fast-food establishment to plunk down our $5 for a burger and fries in a matter of 10 minutes, then grab for our pain killers at the first twinge of pain. My present circumstances dictate my present actions. Whatever happened to, “My present actions will dictate my future?”
In the midst of our chaotic world and stressed out lives, voices are starting to speak. It is the voice of those who have suffered the affects of such a lifestyle and are advocating a better way, a healthier way. Over the last few months, I have heard the call to action that has demanded my response.
Over dinner, my friend and her husband shared with me about a food documentary they had recently watched that changed the food choices they were making. In the weeks that followed, I watched the film and then it was my turn to respond. Would I make this healthy lifestyle change that would require more time and a little more money to experience a better me? Then the mid-year mark came and it was time to assess my new year’s resolutions. Was I making headway on my physical exercise?
Another voice was an article I was reading in a magazine describing programs started within some national and state parks called, “Park Prescriptions” and “Prescription Trails” which encourages people to prevent and treat physical issues with outdoor exercise. Even some health insurance companies are beginning to partner with these programs by reimbursing its members for park fees. How many times has my doctor or your doctor for that matter, prescribed outdoor exercise or healthy eating as part of the solution?
Kaiser Permanente, my medical insurance company, is one of the leading health care companies promoting preventative healthy lifestyle choices by offering a myriad of programs:
1. 10, 000 Steps Program: Designed to help increase physical activity and reach the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day.
2. Weight Watchers Program: Shortly, information will be available about Weight Watchers’ affinity programs with Kaiser Permanente. Until then, you can click here to become acquainted with the popular weight reduction program.
3. Complementary Health and Fitness Programs: Discounts on chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy services, fitness club memberships, herbs, vitamins, and supplements, health and fitness books and videos (will vary by state).
I have no excuse, and if I were to sit down and have a little chat with the wimp inside of me, I would remind it of my mother’s wise counsel, “Without pain there is no gain, and “Good things come to those who wait; persevere in the process.” It’s a small price to pay for a healthy return.