Being Healthier: Labor of Love or Hate?
I wanted to write this Blog AFTER yesterday: the celebration of Labor Day. I didn’t want to take away from the true reason the first Monday in September was created. As you know, Labor Day was is dedicated to those who have and will continue to contribute to making our country strong and prosperous.
It is our personal and collective obligation to become and remain healthy, wealthy and wise as it not only directly relates to our personal quality of life, but in sustaining our free country as the most powerful society in the world. Yet statistics show, we are currently the most “unhealthy” nation in every sense of the word: emotionally, socially, and physically. We are destroying the exact vessel (our mind and body) required to keep our country strong and prosperous. Nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obesity; you got it - 7/10 are struggling with their health.
I don’t hide it – WELLNESS IS FRICK’N HARD. No joke. I am not a coach who will tell you to trick your brain on this one - to pretend it isn't and it won't be so … IT IS HARD.
However, HARD or let’s call it LABOR, is subjective. Whether you fall off the Wellness Wagon landing by the front tire meaning you have a few things slide or whether you fall off the Wellness Wagon and roll all the way down the hill into another county where you feel like you are starting your journey all over, wellness is HARD. It is HARD to get healthy and it is HARD to stay healthy.
Let’s look at two different peeps and how “HARD” or “LABOR” might look differently:
1) The last several years Candace has learned to live a life of maintenance. A lifestyle for her REAL WORLD. She finds the fun in fitness and no longer dreads it. She is finally able to vacation and find her favorite foods at the buffet. She has destroyed her self-loathing and self-sabotage. However, she has let a few healthy habits slip due to a busy project at work. She might have fallen off the Wellness Wagon and landed by the front tire. She is not TOO FAR off her lifestyle.
Candace saw her Red Flags within weeks: a few pounds have crept up, she started craving tempting treats, excuses started multiplying and she wasn’t returning calls to friends. Starting to conquer her HARD – “LABOR” was to throw out all those foods that call her name at 11 p.m. and start back playing tennis with her pals. IT IS HARD. Yet her baby steps and steady pace find her back on track in less than a month.
2) Getting healthier for Charles is a Labor of Hate. He has lost count of his trying-to-get-healthier journeys. He is the dude that has fallen off the Wellness Wagon and all the way down the mountain. He has, yet again, gained back the same 50# he has lost 10 times. His HARD is just trying to get to 2,500 steps a day. He eats fast food daily. He is back on his second blood pressure med. He doesn’t feel like a strong or prosperous contributor for himself, his family, his company and for sure, not his country. “His” HARD would seem "so easy" for Candace. However, let’s respect that Candace has lived Charles’ HARD before.
Whether your wellness journey is a Labor of Love or a Labor of Hate, we have to as a people take personal responsibility for our contribution. Our families, friends, businesses, communities and our nation are counting on us. It is HARD to GET and TO STAY healthy. The effort and path to living healthier is not comparable. We would never tell a brand-new Army recruit to lead a platoon just because we now find the embedded “habit” easy as we near retirement. Seriously.
To all, happy belated Labor Day.
To all, whether your wellness journey is just a thought or you are in baby steps or you are living a healthy lifestyle, you will continue to bounce between a Labor of Love and a Labor of Hate. The difference between the two is the amount of time it takes to get back on the Wellness Wagon when you fall off – because we ALL FALL OFF at some point. Celebrate successes along the way, embed healthy habits so you don’t have to keep repeating them, and no matter what don’t compare your HARD to anyone else.