My (Hard-A**) Health Philosophy, #NoExcuses

50b4b703f9217650cd2246a674b1b8e5

The quote above blew me away. Too many times I hear people say they don’t have time to take care of their health because they are too busy taking care of others. When I tell people that their health is the most important thing, and that they need to make healthy choices for themselves above all else, it does sound and feel selfish. And no one wants to be selfish…we all want to be the martyr. But if you can’t take care of yourself, how will you be there for anyone else?

For example, after I pay all my bills, I end up spending the rest of what’s left over on food. Compared to some, my food bill is pretty pricey. I don’t waste money on supplements, pills or powders…but I spend a lot of whole, fresh fruits and veggies. Sure, I could save now for my future if I decided to live on oatmeal, instant ramen, and PB&J sandwiches on ninety-nine cent white bread. But what would my future be like if I did so? Diet and lifestyle affects more than just how you look…it effects everything. My mood would suffer and I would be depressed, I would be injured more frequently and recover slower from running, my eating disorder and body image problems would certainly come back…things would probably start to crumble. I’d probably have to start relying on multivitamins (pricey) and anything I saved in the short term would be spent long-term as my physical, mental, and emotional health began to take a hit. So I don’t sacrifice on the foundations of my health, because it is the most important thing you can have. It’s easy to take for granted, but don’t! Don’t wait until your health is gone, when you can only look longingly at others and wish you had a healthy body to walk, run, and play.

ph-sticker

My Health Philosophy Assignment (one of the last of my undergraduate education!): My philosophy regarding health as a future health educator. I already know my professor won’t like this. For some reason, no one likes to hear that it is their own responsibility. The current health theory is that it is genetics (epigenetics is huge right now) and a sick food culture that people are victims of. But public health/ community health is about prevention. In that respect, my health philosophy is the core of PH, advocating for you own health by making your own choices is prevention!

take-responsibility

My philosophy places a lot of responsibility on the individual to take control of their own health. Largely, I believe that a person creates good health or bad health as a result of the decisions an individual makes. I do acknowledge, and realize that there are factors outside of individual control such as environment (built and natural), family (history, habits), biology (genetics, gender, age), and government (policy or lack of regulation) that can inhibit or facilitate health of a person.

After reading the text and taking this course, my philosophy has not changed. In fact, I am more certain than ever that the individual needs to bear the burden of the responsibility for their health. A person’s health status is a direct result of their choices in life. How, as a health educator (receiving my Bachelors in a week!) do I justify my philosophy on health?

No one will live in a perfect environment that promotes health of individuals above all else, that utopian society does not exist. In America, money talks above all else, and it is profitable to sell people corn, soybean, or wheat-filled/fed products which the government subsidizes. The end result is cheap meat, dairy and egg products, and cheap junk food and fast food- like products. The meat and dairy industries profit, the junk food industry profits, fast food chains profit, and people get sick. Then the health care industry profits off the sick population. Health insurers, doctors, and the pharmaceutical industry make money by keeping people unhealthy and sick, but tout medical advancements to extend lifespan…and the billions of dollars they can make off of longer lived, life-long patients.

peope-are-fed-by-the-food-industry-which-pays-no-attention-to-health-and-are-treated-by-the-health-industry-which-pays-no-attention-to-food-quote-by-wendell-berry-facebook-meme

No one lives in an environment that makes it easy to be healthy. But remarkably, there are people who still maintain their health. They do this because they have realized that no one else cares about their health, they need to care about themselves. Yes, some people have family history and genetics to work against, but I believe that “genetics load the gun, and environment (lifestyle choices) pulls the trigger.” If you are not doing what you can to promote your best health by seeking your own education, eating plant foods, exercising, and sleeping enough, then you need to own up and take responsibility for your poor health state. Blaming genes or the environment is an excuse and a cop-out.

We all live in the same Take-charge-of-your-own-lifecurrently unhealthy environment, yet many people manage to create good health for themselves because they have taken action. They’ve stopped allowing others to dictate their food and lifestyle choices. Going with the flow in America will only make you sick. Being healthy is abnormal. What it all comes down to, is a choice to be abnormal in society. Buck the media advertisements, fast food chains, and grocery store sales. Our health situation in America is dire, because people only care about your money, but they trick you into thinking they care about your well-being.

 

Take care of yourself so you can cultivate your own health and have a good quality of life that allows you to pursue your passions, enjoy your work, and be there for your friends and family. This is my philosophy regarding health as a health educator.

you-must-take-personal-responsibility-jim-rohn

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “My (Hard-A**) Health Philosophy, #NoExcuses

  1. Pingback: Don’t be fooled: Decipher a health study like a pro! | Veggies Fuel Running!

  2. Totally agree with all of this, and I have a very similar health philosophy for myself. However, for those who live on food stamps and have low access to healthy foods, buying fresh fruits and vegetables is more than just difficult; it’s sometimes not possible. I do think we also need to restructure how subsidies work and the influence factory farms can have on government guidelines.

    Like

    • I agree, it’s a convoluted problem with no simple answer. I completely recognize how privileged I am to be able to buy fresh food, but even for those on food stamps, whole simple foods like beans and rice is much cheaper and will feed a family for not much more than the price of a McDonald’s meal.

      But, before that can happen, we have to do something about food deserts and other community and policy barriers to health.

      As a community health major, I am simultaneously motivated and overwhelmed! Thank you for offering your insights, and taking the time to read my blog. Hopefully change will come because of opinions like ours!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is true – people do need to take responsibility for their own health. However, I hope you realize that unless the person you are educating “buys in” to this idea, you will be taking to a brick wall. The art of being a health educator lies in not just educating, but coaching and counseling. When people feel judged, or preached to, or that their struggles are disregarded, they rarely listen to the (good!) advice they are given. It is ok to validate people’s FEELINGS that that they are overwhelmed or helpless without buying into that as truth. When we are truly client-centered, we can empathize without enabling. The power is in the relationship, and in asking the right questions to allow them to discover that they want to take ownership of their health. Once this dynamic is established and the client is ready for change, I am sure your wonderful philosophy will be adopted and you will see amazing change in your clients.

    Like

    • Of course I would never barrage any sort of client of even friend for that matter with preachy, scripted speeches like the one I published….my philosophy that I posted was merely what I believe at the core of my health education and is how I would approach any individual health concern, of course being tactful and first understanding the context of any of my clients as I know full well that there are many interlocking factors of environment and lifestyle that seem completely out of my clients control at first glance. But my end goal will always be to empower individuals with the knowledge they need and the belief that they can, control their own health. As a side note, I am entering my post-grad education and will be getting a masters in counseling! So I will be better able to identify with and help others. 🙂 Thank you for your kind feedback!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s