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Making Healthy Choices: A new you in the new year

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Health, Lifestyle

Mel Robbins, lawyer, motivational speaker and public personality, famously—along with George Carlin—said, “Motivation is bull…” something or other. You can take a guess as to how that sentence finishes. Basically, she believes, quite rightly, that motivation from anywhere other than inside yourself is unreliable, a waste of energy—and ultimately will be inconsistently productive. 

Life is about the choices we make, and a healthy life is about—you guessed it—healthy choices. 

So, how do we get there? How do we arrive at balance, within a lifestyle where we are not only healthy, but happy and content to not stray into places that are ultimately hampering us as men or human beings in general?  

Live a life defined  

Set goals, not numbers. It is more than OK that you want to lose 20, 50, 100 pounds. It is something worth pursuing if you have a weight issue. But what we really need to look at is how we got to this place, the decisions that left us unhealthy and how they fall outside of what we consider a healthy lifestyle. I repeat … ahem … lifestyle 

You need to define—specifically—what a healthy life looks like to you and then create a system of choices, a code, a manual, a creed, whatever you want to call it, to live by. If ice cream doesn’t qualify as a good choice, we don’t make its consumption a regular thing. It is OK to indulge occasionally because indulgence is by definition irregular and infrequent, but those infrequent indulgent choices must be surrounded by a consistently healthy lifestyle that adheres to the parameters you establish and stick to.  

Know thyself 

If this is the beginning of your health, fitness and wellness journey and you have historically made choices you consider classically bad, avoiding the environments and situations that precipitate and encourage those choices might be necessary for establishing time-founded habits that make self-control and goods decisions part of your fundamental reality.  

For instance, if you were trying to cut back on the amount of alcohol you’re consuming, frequenting a bar is probably more temptation, stress and availability of negative influence than you need to put yourself through. If you are trying to establish better eating habits, planning ahead will save you the headache and heartache of trying to find anything that matches your goals on a fast-food menu. Again, choosing to shop responsibly, meal prep and make healthy choices ahead of these challenges will save you the trouble of having to settle for the lesser nutritional evil down the road.  

Stay informed 

As far as choices go, this might be the area where staying on the right path is the most difficult. There is so much information, so many claims and a ridiculous number of trends to choose from, all offering you a different path to a “healthier you.” When looking for the information to help you stay on your lifelong wellness journey, keep in mind that quick and long-term change almost never go together.  

Maintainable transformation is always gradual. Do your research, find reliable sources and never trust “silver bullet” solutions. 

Do difficult things and don’t talk yourself out of them 

Self-sabotage is real. The human brain and body seem to be designed to rationalize our way around difficult choices, because in the wild, difficulty meant risky and risky meant dangerous and dangerous often resulted in untimely end of our genetic legacy. However, in the modern and comfortable world of abundant coffee shops and grocery store grazing, this mindset results in us avoiding the conflict of difficult activities. 

Lifting weights is hard. Running sucks. Swimming … well, swimming is super fun and good for you, so take note, I guess. The point is, while doing difficult things is hard, energy spent will always equal results gained. You are playing the long game, so don’t expect immediate results. You have to accept that time invested—the series of health choices you make today and the day after, as long as we stay within our defined system of options and choices—will pay off in a sustainably healthier tomorrow.  

At Missouri Men’s Health, we offer perspectives and advice supported by the latest science and programs proven to get real results. If you’re about to engage in a New Year of health and self-discovery, maybe we can help you stay on the path.  

Start your path back to optimal performance today.
Call (573) 334-1341 or visit our clinic.