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MOTIVATIONAL MINUTE: "So You’ve Been Warned: Quit Smoking, Eat Healthier and Begin to Exercise ... Bet I Can Motivate Ya”

So you had your annual physical and this time your doctor sat you down and issued you a warning... NOW WHAT?

So you had your annual physical and this time your doctor sat you down and issued you a warning, “Your numbers are back and at this point I can unequivocally say that you’re at serious risk of heart disease, as well as some other serious health issues. The good news is, you can change the direction you’re heading. First, you must quite smoking. In addition, I need you to follow these dietary guidelines and without exception—GET MOVING... NOW!"

I hear ya, ‘Wow, nice intro Candace.' Well if you recall, I mentioned last Monday, that February is American Heart Month. I also told you that one single, nagging session wasn’t going to be nearly enough for me to feel as though I’d made some kind of a dent here. America, we have some serious health problems. In all fairness though, then again… who doesn’t? As far as I’m concerned, we’re still the Greatest Country on God’s Green Earth; however, we do have our share health issues we could be ‘OH SO BETTER’ at dealing with now don’t we? Topping the list, our ability to ignore the warning signs of serious illness—Right into the ground (literally speaking—unfortunately). The real confusion here is that slowly but surely, we’re choosing to kill ourselves, even though we have more ‘opportunities’ to live for in this—the U.S of A—than most could ever dream of. 

Even more dumbfounding, are the statistics about our denial quotient. Once a health issue is brought to our attention, I mean down, right front-and-center (like the intro scenario I so boldly started with), it’s usually met with an attitude of complacency that blows me away. Want a real example? Unfortunately,  I’ve got a few—this one should do ya. 

About three years ago, I sat a client down for a heart-to-heart. I do this quite often. They hate it! I don’t mind because while these precious ones are on my watch, I refuse not to. Hate me or love me, I’m gonna fight for you and that just might mean going where others fear to tread. I told this gentle giant that if he didn’t listen up and change his diet and begin to adapt the ‘Healthy Lifestyle Changes’ we’d been working on for Months, he’d surely and soon widow his wonderful wife, leave his kids and grieve the throngs of grandchildren that just adored him.

“That’s hitting below the belt Candace," were his exact words and me… "Friend, I love ya and I’ll hit you anywhere I have to if it’ll get your attention!"

Did he listen? Nope and 5 months later I was called and told He’d had a stroke! My stomach turns as I write about it even now. He just wouldn’t HEAR ME! Here’s the real kicker… HE’S OK! He made it. He literally (THANKS BE TO GOD a thousand times over), lucked right out. But that’s not the crazy part. After his narrow brush with death, one would think he’d pay attention. Surely now he’s taken heed and make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to ensure a long and productive life. After all, he’d been warned, thumbed his nose at and outright cheated death and was actually here (rather unscathed at that), to talk about it.

Did he change his poor health habits? NOPE—NADDA... NOT A BIT!!!

AMAZING isn’t it? Not really. Actually in this country, it’s quite average. Hard to imagine I know, but it’s true.

According to Ulene, a board-certified specialist in preventive medicine in Los Angeles:

“The fact is, people who have already suffered heart trouble, diabetes or other lifestyle—related illnesses—people who intimately know the consequences of their behaviors—often have an especially hard time turning things around. It seems it takes more than a wake-up call, even a life-threatening one, to get people to give up their unhealthful ways. At least 40% of smokers who survive a heart attack for example, are still puffing away a year later (Los Angeles Times, Health)."

The same holds true for the effects of exercise and many types of cancer. Many studies have shown that women with breast cancer for example, who are willing to participate in regular physical activity, can reduce their risk of breast cancer death by 50% when compared to their counterparts who remain sedentary. Staggering! But that information fails to insure they’ll get up and get moving.

So where’s the magic bullet here? I mean really, if a heart attack won’t get someone’s attention—nor Stroke or Cancer even? What then… what will finally light a fire under someone and get them ‘MOVING’ in the right direction. Well, it comes through education. Self-induced education and then a “once-in-a-lifetime," life-changing decision (based on that evidence), to change. It takes a radical rearranging of one’s basic belief system. One must truly believe that they’ll actually be making a dramatic change in their health by participating in the work it takes to make these healthy lifestyle changes (either in a pre- or post-diseased state). Let’s face it, change is hard. They and they alone, must be convinced that by doing the work, suffering the angst that these changes will surely initially bring and putting in the time that participating in New Healthy Habits will take, will ultimately be more than worth it. This friends, takes time. So right now, we’re addressing “Health Heart Month." Here’s some education for you to digest and consider, from the Mayo Clinic. It’s a link to their “Heart disease prevention page;" offering 5 strategies to help keep your heart healthy… before trouble strikes (posted below). It’s a bit of education that you and your loved ones can and should consider studying and then implementing very, VERY SOON! I’ve called it before, don’t make me right again. Unless it’s about the fact that you’re all enlightened enough to start making Healthy, Lifestyle Changes NOW! That’s one I’d like to take to the bank!!!

Until next time,

“Why not choose to live life with the energy of your full potential,"

Candace    

Your link: Heart disease prevention: 5 Strategies keep your heart healthy— MayoClinic.com http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease-prevention/WO00041

For more articles go to www.CandaceGrasso.BlogSpot.com

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