I want to commend you on taking the time to consider that maybe your lifestyle choices up-to-now haven’t always been the best. Even if you haven’t even begun your journey to a healthy lifestyle the fact that you are interested in the possibility of becoming healthy, means that you already know that there is a problem. You are following your gut feeling toward health and you need to continue to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle and always be striving to help yourself to be as healthy as possible. You can get and maintain a healthy lifestyle!
The Hurdles I Have Encountered During My Healthy Lifestyle Journey
People always think that giving up something they like is the hardest part about switching to a healthy lifestyle, but that is actually the easy part and eventually you don’t even want those awful things anymore. My greatest and most continuous struggle related to changing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is EVERYONE ELSE! Yep, it wasn’t me… shocking right?
Back when I was still eating whatever was available, I thought that changing my life for the better would be too hard, because it is so easy to look at everyone else and say that I am doing what everyone else is doing; plus, all the wrong foods seem to be freely supplied everywhere! On top of that, I was absolutely addicted to all the bad chemicals in the food and I always managed to find a way to rationalize how I will be fine to continue hurting myself.
However, when I actually took the time to contemplate changing my lifestyle to benefit my health I was incredibly easy to convince, because I could feel in my gut that my health was in jeopardy. Then, I started doing research on some simple things like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFC), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and phenylaniline (known by many names) I realized that I was worse than I realized and changing for the better seemed like a no-brainer.
Other people trying to sabotage my progress was by far my most difficult obstacle to health.
The real problem I run into constantly is other people that think it is funny to mock people trying to learn and do right in order to better themselves. This behavior should sound strange to you, but it is incredibly common. Consider this for a moment: when a child goes to school and learns how to read, then they come home wanting to show you how great they can do while they stumble over the words; you don’t stand there and ridicule them for the things that they don’t know, instead you tell them what a great job they are doing and offer to help them in any way possible, because that makes sense… they are learning to do something great that will benefit them for their entire life. Apparently, when it comes to health and nutrition everyone’s manners seem to fly right out the window. Especially, if you are turning down a food offer…you will never hear the end of how much everyone loves that particular food that you said no to; oh, and they will make it a point to make sure that you see and smell said food while they savor it in front of your face. Well, when you really like that food and you are purposefully choosing to not eat it for health reasons this just makes them look like a jerk, but I promise you that I have encountered this and more from others during my transformation into a healthy lifestyle; more times than I would have ever imagined.
Dealing with the taunting behaviors of others while staying on track to health
Personally, I just ignore others when they have anything rude to say about my eating habits, unless it has scientific merit. I know that most people are not so nonchalant about what others think about them, so ignoring them may not work for you. The best thing that I can tell you is that they are trying to justify what they are doing as being right, in order to stay in with the “in crowd” or they just don’t want to be wrong. Been there done that! Most commonly people are just blinded by their denial. Being in good health makes you a part of the real “in crowd”. They even have fast-food restaurants now that serve organic foods, because there are so many people who have opened their eyes to the reality of the adult weight myth. Once you have fully swallowed the red pill of health, there’s no going back!
BE STRONG! YOU CAN HAVE YOUR LIFE AND HEALTH ON THE RIGHT TRACK!
If you are not an ignore what is being offered to me and ignore the rude comments kind of person, then you are going to need to make sure that you are prepared for what is going to be coming to you.
- Always have a healthy snack or two handy. Protein bars are a great way to eat on the move or for a quick appetite suppressant until you get to a healthy option for real food.
- Be prepared to explain why you are choosing to not eat whatever items you may come into contact with; most often I run into animal products as my number one deterrent from food offers that I will not accept. Oh, and heckling from not eating bacon and cheese is a guarantee.
- Know why you are changing your lifestyle and give words of encouragement to others on how they can join you in your transformation. They will probably metaphorically spit in your face, then trash-talk you to everyone they know, so they can feel better about the trash “food” they prefer to continue eating. Other people will call you crazy, but you know you’re not and that is the only thing that matters. Just ignore those haters and move on with your new path to health. Who knows, you may find a lost soul that needs your encouragement to change their life for the better.
- Learn cooping mechanisms for dealing with other people being in denial. This may sound silly, but I have literally been called names by people that are careless with their health and think the world revolves around meat.
- Always remember that you are giving yourself the gift of health and wellness and more happy years of disease-free living; don’t let anyone steal your happiness with their negativity about becoming healthy.
- Be prepared to watch other people suffer while you become happier and enjoy your life more. This is a very hard one! At first, you will want to save everyone, because you literally have the cure for cancer in your hand and you want to save them, but they don’t want to be saved. Don’t hurt yourself to suffer with them in peace; do what is right for yourself and let others live their life. If they ever decide to hear you and follow the narrow path then be the biggest support that you can be, instead of telling them how they should have listened to you from the start. If they never want to be healthy then let them bare their own burden of disease and pain; your life is your number one priority.
I Successfully Changed My lifestyle – So Can You!
I will be the first one to tell you that my diet choices until I was about 30 years old were AWFUL! I ate all the fast-food (including 4th meal), animal products galore, boxed sides and tons of Beefaroni. My favorite snacks were beef jerky and Coca-Cola followed by some kind of insane amount of sugar from various sorts of candy.
One day, I was sitting in my college lab scarfing down some candy and I offered it to the person across from me; they denied my offer. I don’t exactly recall the entire conversation word for word, but I am sure that I asked why they didn’t want this delicious treat or something of that sort. The response I received changed my life forever! They said NO, because the candy had phenylaniline in it, they pointed out to me that it is in bold letters on the back of the package with a warning and then they explained to me that this chemical is a neuro-toxin – jaw dropping befuddlement struck me, “Are you serious?” This was the food that I have been eating for years and your telling me that it has toxic chemicals in it, not just sugary goodness? WHAT?!? I immediately stood up, walked to the trashcan, spit out the candy in my mouth, and threw away the almost full pack of fairly expensive candies. Now the shock was on the other end, because this person was not used to people reacting positively to the truth. Typically, people will say, “oh well” as they shove more in their face and say how great it tastes as they walk away from the person that tried to save them.
I heard this person’s words, because I was open to the truth.
My very next free moment to get my hands on some form of internet took me on my first step to a healthy lifestyle. I am pretty sure that I hadn’t ever looked at the label of anything that I ever purchased from the grocery store in my entire life, but after learning about the chemicals that were being added to food and what they were doing to my body it became impossible to not read the food label; how else could I avoid the danger? After, I successfully started avoiding some choice chemicals I tackled my Coca-Cola addiction. By far, way harder to kick than the animal products, but so worth it! I started drinking water and switched to coffee for my caffeine.
Within the month of my first health conscious decision, as I was curbing my need for pop, I started getting more water and I was already feeling way better! My headaches went from daily to rare and my shaky hands and aching wrists were starting to subside.
Next, I stopped eating out, except for lunch and special occasions. Then I finally stopped going out for lunch and dropped 10 pounds in about a month’ish, on top of feeling less sluggish after lunch.
After, I realized how much better I felt by changing some small yet significant things in my eating habits I set out to learn more, because I wanted to continue to feel even better. Could I cure everything I have wrong with me through food? My research says I can prevent and reverse most, if not all, avoidable diseases through a plant-based diet.
Finally, my last step was to kick animal products to the curb. I started with red meat and pork products, then worked my way down to eggs and cheese. For a while I was only eating chicken, eggs and cheese in the animal product area, but recently I found out in the book “How Not to Die”, that chicken is worse than beef and I wish I would have just stopped eating it all at the same time instead of thinking that I should ween myself off slowly. So, after a few months of slowly researching the health benefits of not eating animal products I finally decided that I was being lazy not going all in on my health and took the leap. I actually tried tofu… for anyone that has ever known me I am one of the most picky eaters you will ever meet (second only to my son) and I loved it!
It took me a while of trying and retrying many different foods, that most people probably already like to eat, before I finally built up my diet enough to be able to call it healthy. I was 33 before I finally tried an avocado, onions, asparagus, brussel sprouts and so much more. Now, I eat avocado almost every day and I have actually become very fond of the things that I eat in my plant-based diet – it is so much better than the things I used to eat and I don’t feel tired, bloated or in pain after eating and drinking anymore.
Now, my diet is 100% plant-based, 100% non-GMO and about 99% organic. I feel great and I have so much more energy to do the things that I want to do with my life. I didn’t let others get in my way; you can help yourself too!
Remember that you know how you will do best to make your transformation into a healthy lifestyle. Set a manageable goal and meet it, then repeat. My next step is more exercise… leave a comment below with the step that you are on in your journey. Please like and subscribe to my blog; I look forward to continuing our journey on the right path together!