Thursday, September 15, 2016

Out with the old and in with the new

We are all creatures of habit. Some habits serve and support us, many don’t. Either way, all are learned. We learned them when we were young, usually when we are too young to remember. We learn how to deal with stress from people around us. How we act and react can often become so habitual that we may come to feel that there is no other way we can do things or even lack motivation enough to change them until we’re forced to. This is what happened to me.
Over the years, I developed many unhealthy habits. I didn’t really realize they were unhealthy, I just didn’t know any better. These unhealthy habits were a major cause of my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease just after graduating college. For several years after my diagnosis, I just took the medications the doctors prescribed.  Nothing worked.  Sure, some of my symptoms were eased, but I wasn't better. 

Before they put me on an immunosuppressive drug that could effectively change my life, I decided that I needed to try on my own.  I needed to take back control of my life and choose healthy habits to regain my health.  After some study, I realized how I needed to hydrate more and learn to like eating healthier foods like freshly made vegetables. I was totally convinced that diet and nutrition mattered. I still am.  The doctors didn’t think nutrition was important because they were mainly taught about pharmacology and how to treat the symptoms of disease. The impact of nutrition on health has become more well-known and there are readily available healthier food options.  

Even though we have increased health food options, so many people still don't eat healthy or stay hydrated enough. I believe the reason more people don't eat healthier is that we all have underlying emotional  thought processes that sabotage us. I was on a self-sabotage roller coaster for several years before I realized that I needed to work on the mind and emotional pieces to my healing puzzle as well as my physical body. Along the way, I discovered that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel deserving and worthy of health. I was taught as a young child by watching those around me that it was selfish to care for yourself. A woman’s role was to be everyone else's caretaker. Also, I was hiding behind the crutch of illness because I didn’t know how to say “no” to people. The disease became the bad cop instead of me, and the disease became my way out of being perfect. I wasn’t flawed, the disease was.

I devoured self-improvement books and sat through many seminars about how to stand in my own power and to love myself enough to feel I was worthy of the time and effort. After a time I started to become more consistent in my daily healthy habits of nourishing my mind, emotions, body and spirit. I now enjoy radiant health in all these areas and my body is in the best shape of my life at age 53. It’s like I’m aging in reverse, just as in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The reason we don’t take care of ourselves physically is because of emotional and thought diseases. Once we peel the layers away and learn to love ourselves unconditionally, only then can we stop the disease-creating habits we have, and replace them with healthy ones. Even if you aren’t ill now, eventually unhealthy habits can catch up to you and it gets harder as we get older to change them. The sooner you start, the easier it will be, and you will live a longer, healthier and happier life!
Barbara Steingas
By Barbara Steingas
Radiant Life Coach
Live a Radiant Life - Tips to improve your health, happiness & joy

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