Adapting new lifestyles, removing unhealthy food items for our diet, sticking to healthy choices over time, integrating them in our daily routines, – all rather straight forward – and still, most of us, never get there. We find all the (wrong) reasons and excuses for staying put where we are. Hence, are we really ready for change?The longer I observe eating habits, our worries, our wrong and obsolete beliefs, what the press says about food and health – I don’t think we are really ready for change. Well, we are more than “ready” for change (it is more of an urgency) – in the sense that as a society we are sick, favour the wrong food and consider a pill to be the solution. However, we are “not ready” in the sense of becoming responsible for ourselves and our actions (see taking responsibility). We are not acting like responsible adults, rather like children that wait for authorities to decide for them or dictate them what to do…
I wonder whether the idea of “taking care of one’s health through conscious life style” is still only for the very few. For some kind of minority, sometimes considered weirdos, at the edge of society or extremists? The vast majority of our society continues as they have always done, either not worrying about food and health at all, or pretending that there is no real issue at stake.
Psychology indicates that our mind and our emotions (emotions create thoughts and thought create emotions, in both cases not necessarily “logic and reasonable” thoughts) are capable of telling us all kinds of stories and fabricating all sort of excuses and reasoning: Such as why changing eating habits is “not a good idea” or “not quite necessary, because I am feeling OK” or “a little bit of everything is just right” (see transformational curve). In a way, we are sometimes – or rather most of the times – involuntarily dependant on our psychological setup.
Besides mind and emotions, there is another way of looking at the matter of “no change”: When are we really motivated to change (in any given area)? Well, only when the “amount of unease or suffering of staying put” exceeds the benefits of not changing. Said otherwise, only when the suffering become unbearable, do we manage to change. Hence, is our best – our only – motivator of change a high degree of suffering?
This is exactly what I observe regarding lifestyle choices and eating habits: We have to become very ill and our life might be at risk, before we even consider a change of how we eat. Just feeling bloated after every meal, having poor digestion, taking daily medication for high blood pressure, or feeling terribly tired right after we eat, is – most of the times, it seems – not enough suffering to motivate a behavioural shift. The amount of overweight people is mind-blowing, but a bit of a belly – particularly when we grow older – is considered “normal” (including poor blood test results, clogged arteries, dark circles under the eyes, grey complexion…) and apparently not enough unease either to wake up…
What do I think of all of this? Well, is it just an impression, that I very often write articles with a critical view on our eating habits, society’s health and current lifestyle? 🙂 Well, there is a bit of frustration (yes, I still have some difficulties in accepting what is, what I see, what happens in this world right now…), a bit of anger mixed with incomprehension. Maybe, I am too impatient and/or I wish things were already different from what they are right now?
- How many more years will it take – another 5, 10 or 20 or 50 years – before our consciousness will shift on a larger scale?
- How many more years will we have to continue facing horrendous increases in lifestyle illness (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes 2, immune system issues…) and associated suffering, before our mindset will shift?
- How many more years until restaurants will offer healthy food choices and will use nutrition experts’ advice for theirs menus?
- How many more years until packaged, dead food, full of sugar, salt, fillers and conserving agents will disappear from our supermarkets?
- How many more years will we still accept fizzy drink dispensers in hospitals and cancer units?
- How many more years before a Fruit Platter (FPML) will be orderable special meal on long-haul flight of all airlines (and not just a very few from Asia and the Middle East)? 🙂
- How many more years before meals in hospitals and schools will include fresh green juices, and fresh, nourishing and healing produce?
Will I still be able to see a major societal shift in my lifetime or will it only happen in the next generation (as I am convinced that we are heading into such a “better and healthier” direction)? HOW MANY MORE YEARS…. in the meantime I continue cherishing my green juices, home-grown sprouts and organic produce…
©The Vibrant Factory
About Stefan Lehner: Executive coach, Life coach, as well as nutrition coach & educator based in Paris, available to intervene worldwide. He previously worked in management in an international corporation. Advocates the tremendous impact of food and lifestyle choices on our health, wellbeing and our life. Durable transformation and challenging the quick-fix-ideal is one of his focus.
www.thevibrantfactory.com, on Facebook and Instagram