Healthy living is a decision. A choice you make somewhere along the way, usually a decision that’s propelled by something. An event in your life. An article you read. Something your friend told you. The way you feel. Something ignites your desire to live healthier.
My question for you today: Is it sustainable? Do you have a strong enough why to keep you on the healthy living path when temptation is all around you? Is your why compelling enough to make healthy choices when everyone around you seems to be on the opposite path?
For me, the answer is yes. I have strong reasons for why I choose a healthy lifestyle for me and my family. Keeping these whys at the forefront of my mind helps me stay on track. It reminds me that I’m not just trying to be healthy for vain reasons. Healthy foods, exercise, getting enough sleep, and choosing natural, toxin-free products is all part of my healthy living path that I stay on because I have strong whys.
I’d like to share my whys with you today and encourage you, if you haven’t, to think about your own. Write them down. Make them a part of the fabric of who you are. If they are important enough to you, they will keep you on the path on which you mean to stay.
My whys are actually quite simple. They are based on the assumption that the choices about how I live, what I surround myself with, and what I eat can all affect my outcome in life. I believe my lifestyle choices are more powerful than genetics. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2010 showed this to be true. (source)
“Research illustrates so clearly that we do not “inherit” mortality to any great extent, but instead that it is the sum of our own habits that has the biggest impact.” (source)
It is with this concept in mind that my whys are formed.
WHY I choose healthy living for my children:
- I want them to live up to their genetic potential. Sounds rather dramatic, but I truly believe what they eat, what toxins they are or are not exposed to, how much they sleep, what they do with their minds, and how physically active they are can all contribute to their proper growth, brain development, etc. This is not something we can measure or ever know for sure, but I do know that the thought of maximizing my kids’ potential is powerful for me.
- I don’t want them to get sick. I believe that poor nutrition and environmental toxins can contribute to both mild and serious childhood illness. If I can minimize their risk, that’s what I’m going to do.
- I want them to develop habits that they will carry with them forever. Habits are hard to break. If they grow up eating junk food and soda and watching TV all day, chances are, that’s the same path they’ll follow as an adult. I want to help them develop healthy habits that they can carry into adulthood.
WHY I choose healthy living for myself:
- I don’t want to get sick. This propels me forward every single day. I want to be a healthy, active grandma when that time comes. I’ll do whatever it takes to minimize my risk of getting cancer, having a stroke or heart attack, or suffering an autoimmune disease.
- I want to have enough energy to be a good mom. From cooking healthy meals to reading with them to disciplining to getting outside and playing with them, everything that encompasses being a good mom takes energy. The diet and lifestyle choices I make directly affect the energy I have to do all those things that I prioritize.
- I want to be a good example for my kids. I can’t just tell my kids about healthy habits, I have to show them. What does it mean if I tell my kids to be active, yet I sit in front of my computer all day and don’t exercise myself? What meaning does my explanation of why sleep is important have if I don’t prioritize sleep for myself? I don’t want to be a hypocrite.
- I want to feel good in my skin. When I feel good in my skin, I’m a better mom, a better wife, and a happier person. I want my body to be strong, able, and fit.
I encourage you to find your whys. Every time I’m faced with a choice that may cause me to wander off course, I ponder these whys. I force them into my mind and I remind myself that they matter more than whatever is tempting me. It’s the best way I know to stay the course for the long run.
Do you know your WHYS for living a healthy lifestyle? Share them in the comments!