Looking for ideas to stay healthy? Are you too tired from your day-day chaos to implement any long-term solutions? Read on for practical solutions and strategies…
You, often think to yourself, this is the year I am going to be healthy. But, when it comes to implementation, you face a ton of hurdles. Your spouse doesn’t cook on time, your kids want you to buy ice-cream and cookies that tempt you, so many Indian festivals around the corner with so much sweets and snacks exposed to you,..etc, etc.. The deck seems stacked against you. I am sympathetic to your challenges, believe me…I will give you my own list of how the world is plotting against me :).
But, here’s what distinguishes the lifelong healthy folks from the dabble-in-health folks. They put their health first, without any drama or fuss. I have 2 real-life examples of people I admire who consistently choose good health decisions both in day-day life and during stressful ones. I am going to change names, so as to not offend anyone with this story.
Example 1 – Choosing health on a day-day basis
When Raju was in grad school, he had 2 room-mates, and all 3 would take turns cooking dinner. One of the them, who was a wonderful cook, however, would only start cooking at 8:30 pm. And dinner would be served at 10 or even 11 pm sometimes. This was too late for Raju, who is an early eater. Instead of whining or complaining, which would have been rather pointless, he decided to pivot. He would stick a carrot, celery, cucumber, some salt, pepper in blender – make a vegetable smoothie for himself and called it a night. He would then have the leftovers from the dinner for his lunch the next day. There was no animosity between the room-mates and each got the freedom and space to be themselves.
Example 2 – Choosing health when the going gets tough
Shanti is a very busy woman. She is a a very busy professional handling a high-level technical role, has 2 young children and commutes more than 1 hour each way to work. Given this busy lifestyle, you can imagine the added stress in her life when her uncle fell sick? This uncle lived alone and needed Shanti’s assistance for a week while he recovered from a minor heart attack. Under these circumstances, she called me and asked for suggestions on where she can get home-cooked style food in that area. She was meticulous and decided that planning ahead will avoid options like oily Indian restaurant food or unhealthy fast food. I was very impressed that in-between planning for her kids and uncle, she ensured that her food for that one week does not waver in quality.
In each of the situations, it would have been easier for the above people to react with blame and anger. However, they chose to stay calm and choose wisely, which is a lot harder.
Choose your health first
I admire the way in which these people choose their health first. This needs to be the norm, especially given our Indian background. Sacrifice, at the risk of forsaking one’s health, is celebrated more often than self-care. That attitude needs to change.
Is your food not being cooked on time? – Choose a fruit or snack on a salad until it is ready.
Is your work leaving you exhausted? Even when ordering from outside, choose healthy restaurants or look for home-cooked meals being offered in your neighborhood.
Too many festival sweets around? – Freeze most of it. Don’t see it, don’t get tempted.
Choose good food. Choose your health. Let us tear up our “world-plotting against me” list and make a new “Here’s how I am going to work around my constraints” list…