By Lori Hanson
There are two potential ways to answer “yes” to this question. The first group will readily respond an energetic “Yes!” because they live a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, exercise, balance and happiness. The second group will answer no because they don’t even see that their lifestyle is selfish. They life on a river in Egypt called Denial.
Life in the 21st century for many people has turned into survival. You greet someone you know, or send text to say hello and ask how they are doing. The response? “Dude, I’m crazy busy,” or “I’m exhausted,” or “No time to talk now, hugs.” All superficial and all a result of not understanding how to cope with the issues and schedule of the day. The general perception is that everyone is just trying to get by. Make some money, pay the bills and keep your head above water, right? Even if you’re a teen or college student, you know the stress and pressure over being over schedule and trying to meet ridiculous expectations.
But I want to share the specifically thought about selfish that prompted this post. In going through recent events of a funeral of a close friend and now seeing his widow and 20-year old son left without him. It’s very sad. But there is an opportunity to share his story and inspire others because of this situation. It happens everyday and doesn’t need to.
My friend Rodney was overweight the entire 21 years I knew him. The ongoing joke was that the Nordic Track became the “clothes valet.” He had a great smile and always projected a positive attitude. But if your life is in balance and you are dealing with issues in a healthy way, you aren’t significantly overweight. Extra weight is armour that you use to protect yourself from whatever or whoever you don’t want to let in. It can make you feel safe and avoid getting hurt again, all at the subconscious level.
It’s all the same which is why I call it “The Whack-a-Mole-Syndrome.” Whether you drink too much, eat too much, gamble, have an eating disorder, are verbally or physically abusive to people, it’s the way you’ve chosen to manifest your lack of desire, or more accurately inability to deal with stress, confrontation and communication.
I’ve heard obese people (in the media) talk about how they are happy and love their bodies just the way they are. But I’m sorry, if you are obese that attitude is a facade and you are hiding (from) something. But the bigger issue is your health. Hence my question, “Are you selfish about your lifestyle?”
We all knew Rodney was a health risk carrying that much extra weight for the period of time that he did. Not eating regular meals, not eating healthy balanced meals, rare workouts and working insane hours in stressful–yet fulfilling job take a toll on your body and health. Your body gives you warning signs, but if you aren’t tuned in to listening to your body, you won’t hear or see them. And on day your body just says “Dude, I can’t do this any more, I can’t continue to support you, I’m worn out.” And you die. This is why BALANCE in your lifestyle is so important. We are not meant to go 24/7 seven days a week! Our bodies and minds need rest and relaxation on a daily and weekly basis.
After spending 28 years in the corporate world, I know the lifestyle of feeling like you just can’t slow down. Utter exhaustion, pressure to perform, politics, work bullshit, family bitching at you (or you at the family) eating or drinking too much to get through it and hating where you’re at, but not really knowing where to turn. I lived that life for many years. And in current society we don’t communicate at a level to tell someone we are concerned about them because it’s not appropriate. And when we get up the nerve to do it, they are embarrassed, uncomfortable and don’t want your help or advice, right?
So whether you are overweight, an alcoholic, or alcoholic in denial, someone who screams at other people to intimidate them to get your way (otherwise known as bullying when you’re younger), a smoker, drug addict or have an eating disorder…you are being selfish and unfair to lose you love and those who love you! People with addictions, including behavioral addictions are the most selfish of all. Their entire focus is on themselves. Harsh words perhaps, but if you stop to think about it…how much time do you spend focused on what other people in your life need?
So as you read this blog post alone on your computer or phone. I’m challenging you to ask yourself , “Are I selfish about my lifestyle?” Do you know that you are a health risk? And if you were to suddenly collapse and die, who would you leave behind and how would they exist without you? If you have a family and people who depend on you, you made a choice and you’ve made a commitment to support and love them. You owe it to your family and YOURSELF to take action and get some “B” (balance) in your life.
Balance means work, family, financial, health, personal, spiritual and recreational. And yes, we all ebb and flow with more to do in one area of our lives at different times. But keeping your eye on balance overall is critical not only to your health, but your happiness.
The truth is, it really isn’t that difficult. I work with people everyday and help them rapidly and easily improve their lives, health and attitudes. It starts with a choice. You always have a choice! So what if you decide today that you are going to be selfish about your lifestyle and turn it around? What if you decide to get some help understanding how to improve your health, lose the excess weight, change your attitude about your addiction(s), stop smoking and find time to understand and enjoy time with the family?
All you have to do is chose to take a step out of your comfort zone. Yup, change and growth can be uncomfortable, but it is so rewarding! Find a coach who will be your mentor and friend to guide you through the process. Make the decision today to be selfish about eating healthier, getting more exercise, resting more, stressing less and honoring your commitment to those who love you and depend on you. The rewards are huge and you’ll be so glad you did.
Like this article? Get help to be more selfish about your lifestyle today.