When I am asked what my biggest or best piece of advice is for someone who wants to turn his or her health around, I always say: “You gotta own it and take responsibility for your health”. This lesson took me a long time to learn and got me in a lot of trouble before I could figure it out (more can be read in Part One)
I still stand by this advice. You gotta own it. There is just no other way to put. When the going gets tough, there has to be commitment or the temptation to give up and walk away can be overwhelming. Step up and take responsibility for your own health.
Sometimes, this can be taken too far though so I want to go back and clarify a few things.
First of all, your body is not the enemy. Although, when you are sick, it definitely doesn’t seem to be on your side either. Not matter how much you are determined to take responsibility for your health, sometimes your body is going to act just plain stupid. There will be times when you will try to control every variable you can but your body will still act out. No matter how much control you have, you can’t control everything.
This leads into most important part of this post and I hope you hear me on this. Don’t beat yourself up. You can do everything right and your body will down right fail you. It happens. The problem happens when you take too much responsibility. I know, I know. Bear with me on this one.
When the pressure is on for every single action you do and every choice you make, then everything that goes wrong becomes your own personal failure. You messed. You weren’t thinking. You aren’t committed enough. You are a failure because your body failed.
Wrong. So wrong!
To put this into perspective, I have dealt with acne since I was 13 years old. When I slip up and don’t eat a 100 percent perfect diet then I get acne that refuses to go away. But I also can get acne for absolutely no known reason. I found that I was tearing myself apart for every zit I got. Everything as my fault because I was the one that put that food in my mouth. I was forgetting that it doesn’t always work that way for my body though. Now, this is not an excuse to not care for my body but I needed to acknowledge that not every time my body reacted was a direct result of my actions.
There needs to be a balance. You need to take responsibility for your health and body (I will advocate for this any day of the week) but leave room for error. You will make mistakes and your body may react but you’re not a failure. You might do everything right and you may still sick but you’re not a failure. This balance looks different for everyone so as long as you aren’t beating yourself up over every little thing that goes wrong but are still taking ownership of your health then you can’t really go wrong.