BY COSHANDRA DILLARD
It's been a while since I've touted the information on 101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy, a sister site to a wellness magazine. With the regional weight-loss contest, Lighten Up East Texas kicking off next weekend, it is a good time to revisit some of those points.
One that sticks out to me is No. 5: Repossess your health. “Reclaim responsibility for your well-being; own your daily choices; minimize your reliance on the broken sick-care system.”
Deciding to lose weight is a great start because being overweight causes or worsens many health problems. Just remember that the same habits created for weight loss need to be continued longer to have a good quality of life.
And it's not just extra weight that causes problems. You can be at a “healthy weight” and be unhealthy. Just because you are pleased with what the scale reads isn't a pass to shovel unhealthy food (and in many instances, food-like substances) into your mouth.
Cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes happen in thin people, too.
So while we're celebrating dropping unwarranted pounds in the next few months, let's also celebrate good health.
Good health means not being too reliant on over-the-counter and prescription medications, doctors and hospitals. We have the power to prevent a lot of the problems that require medical care.
Our body is made to be healthy and is designed to repair itself when things go wrong — if we take good care of it. We were not meant to live in pain, stress and carry a lot of extra weight. Why place an unnecessary risk on a body that already combats a toxic environment every day?
Eating real, whole food, drinking water, avoiding alcohol and food binges and getting regular exercise are choices that can make a big difference.
A Harvard Medical School newsletter lists tips for managing common diseases without medication. Seven of the eight conditions it lists are improved by regular exercise. (Read it here: tinyurl.com/99zkw6f).
Exercise is hard, especially if you're overweight. There's no fun in being sore, achy and overwhelmed with a goal that seems so far away. It's even harder explaining to your child that you're too tired to play or why you are huffing and puffing as you climb the stairs. It's also hard to spend a large portion of your well-earned paycheck on medications and doctor visits.
We have choices and they all may be hard. Which “hard” will you choose?