I had the privilege of attending TEDxVancouver on Sunday, where Lainey was one of the presenters. While we were waiting for Lainey to speak I was lucky enough to hear many other inspirational talks and the one theme that really stuck with me was the need for our society to quit thinking about everything in the short term. Although the context of this talk was related to technology I took that advice and applied it to health.
In today’s society we are constantly searching for the quick way to become healthy, skinny and fit and hoping for instant results. When we are standing in line in the grocery store we are surrounded by magazines telling us how to lose weight without even trying, or how these simple three exercises will make us look like Heidi Klum. When we are watching television, our living rooms are inundated with infomercials promising us if we use their machine for 10 minutes a day or take their supplement we will be rewarded with results tomorrow. We hear from friends about the latest juice cleanse or IV diet and you cannot walk 10 blocks down a main street without passing a weight loss clinic promising quick results or a cosmetic spa that promises their laser treatment will melt the fat off of your body. The fitness industry is a multi-million dollar industry, and for what? A lot of broken promises, dust covered equipment and failed attempts at the next fad diet.
Health is not short term, health is not something that you do for five minutes a day and health is not lying on a bed while a technician is attempting to remove your fat off of your body with a buzzing wand. Health is a lifestyle and health looks different on everyone. Health is something that you wake up and do everyday, from preparing your breakfast, to constantly setting new goals to getting outdoors for a hike on the weekends. As our lives change what health is to us will change but it continues to be something that is included in our life every day life.
Perhaps you have a job where you have to travel a lot or work long hours and may not be able to exercise everyday but you pack your running shoes in your briefcase and if you have 15 minutes in the morning to hit up your hotel gym or go to your office gym on your lunch, you do.
Perhaps you have three kids who you are chauffeuring from activity to activity each day and you have zero time to get in a run but instead of standing on the sidelines and watching your daughter practice soccer, you and the other moms walk around the field.
Perhaps you are on a budget or you are a single parent with limited time and you find it difficult to eat healthy but instead of living off of convenient, inexpensive and pre-packaged foods you take time on the weekends to make soups, stews and casseroles that you freeze for the remainder of the week.
We need to stop thinking about what is going to make us “skinny” tomorrow and begin to think about how we can inspire ourselves and others around us - friends, partners and children - to be healthy. My client’s daughter was away on a trip with friends and when she came home (she is 4) she was telling her mother she thinks she is fat, at four years old! She does not learn that on her own but from hearing others make comments about themselves while she is around. A good friend of mine has a one year old daughter and she is already making sure she is not putting herself down or commenting on food and other health issues around her daughter to ensure that her daughter’s views of herself, and health, are positive.
Do not quit something because you have yet to see results in a week or you cannot keep up with the rest of the group. Health does not have to be something that we dread, if it is then you are doing it wrong. Find something you enjoy, find a goal that does not end in three weeks and once you have created the life you want help someone close to you do the same.
(Lainey: attached - One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson at a charity football match the other day. His gf Eleanor was there too. And I have to throw in a few of Harry Styles. Sorry.)