I have a confession to make. Ready?
I can be a bit of a baby when it comes to being a grown up about my health. You know, like making (and going) to annual doctor appointments, stretching before running, drinking a ton of water (does the water in coffee count?), etc. Don't get me wrong. I'm not bad. I eat healthy and exercise, but honestly, as long as I feel great on the inside, I'm the right number on the scale, and there's no blemish on my face, my brat, whom I've nicknamed "Baby Lauren," has no problem being a few months late for my yearly physical or any other doctor appointment, for that matter.
I mean, if it ain't broke dot dot dot...
But, come on. As a forty-six year-old woman with three children, let alone the co-founder of a company that believes wholeheartedly in Personal Integrity - aligning your head (a plan) with your heart (what you want) with your body (your actions), does it really sound legal for me to tantrum about going to the dentist or scheduling a mammogram? And truth is, the minute you walk out of that X minute appointment you spent Y months avoiding, there's a great amount of pride you feel for yourself for finally growing up about it and taking care of the most important vehicle you own - you.
So, how did I get "Baby Lauren" to grow up about her health and become an A in this area of her life? I sent her to camp -- a bootcamp, of sorts, and created a coaching assignment to go along with it. The camp activities looked something like this:
1) DO AN INVENTORY
Everyone has a list of things they know they should be doing when it comes to their health. Make your list. Go from head to toe, thinking about every body part and every criteria of how each specific area can be healthy. Write it all out. Here are some questions to get you started.
- How are you treating your skin?
- How are your teeth doing?
- How do your joints feel?
- How is your eyesight or hearing?
- Are you going for regular dental / doctor check ups?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you exercising enough?
- Are you eating healthy?
- Are you drinking enough water?
- Are you drinking too much alcohol?
- Are you wearing sunscreen?
- Is your health insurance up to date?
2) GRADE YOURSELF
Now that you have done your inventory, you need to give yourself a grade for each item on the list. Think about what getting an A would mean for you with each area. For example, if you're grading your skin, do you wear sunscreen or wash it with special soap every night? What would an A looks like for you and your skin?
Now, everyone is different, which means that everyone's grade will be unique to them. One person's A in skincare might be a C for someone else. It's your body, tell the truth about what is right for you.
Grading yourself like this makes it harder for you to fake it. Sure, you go to the gym 4 times a week, but when's the last time you went to the dentist? Did you let your insurance expire a couple of months ago?
Time to get honest and back on track (or to the track).
3) BREAK THE LINEAGE
When clients get a C or lower in any area of their health, often they will blame their family history. Like, for example:
"Obesity runs in my family"
"My mother had bad knees."
"Everyone in my dad's family has teeth issues."
They think blaming the family tree gets them off the hook from taking the right steps. When actually, it's the opposite. It should put you in the right actions so you don't repeat the health issue.
How you treat your health is a natural reaction to how your parents treated their health and the culture you grew up in. You are either doing it similarly to them, better or worse than they or the complete polar opposite of them. The more you understand your reaction to them, the more you can direct it.
Personally, my mother is hyper-vigilant about going to doctors. She's on time and very extreme about it. My default response to my mom's, in my view, excessive vigilance, was to be ever so more relaxed (obviously!). However, the insight I truly needed to have was that instead of just reacting to my mother, I needed to come up with my own way to be about my health. Not be too intense like she OR overly relaxed, but instead to figure out a level of responsibility for myself that had integrity for me.
Honor your lineage, not by blaming it, reacting to it, or one upping it, but breaking it, by evolving it.
4) CARE ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK & FEEL
Do you love the way you look? Your body? Your face? The clothing you wear, etc.?
Being healthy is about your overall well being, on the inside and the outside. You know the famous saying, 'beauty comes from within.' It's true, but being happy with how you feel about yourself and how you see yourself is also a key part of your health. Feeling beautiful, strong, and healthy goes a long way. It impacts your sex life, your marriage, relationships, your pride and self-worth.
And, guess what? It influences your kid's attitudes about their own health and self-image.
Now, of course, there's a balance between not caring and obsessing.The goal isn't perfection, it's contentment and self-respect. It's up to you to figure out what's important to you and make it happen!
- How DO you want to look?
- How much do you want to weigh?
- How do you want to feel about yourself?
- Would exercising more make you happier? (Fine. For my fellow brats, happier once it's over).
5) TAKE ACTION AND GET A BUDDY
Now is time to grow up and deal head on with your list and see what promises you're willing to take regarding your health. I am not thinking you are necessarily going to do everything on the list, but there are some important ones you may want to address now.
My revelation when looking at my list was that I wasn't being true to the basics. I was sloppy and late making doctor appointments. I wanted to be inspired by my own well-being and actually have integrity in this area. So, I made one non-negotiable promise: for the rest of my life, I had to go to all my annual appointments (Dentist / GYN / General Practitioner and Mammogram) on time, period. And, wisely, I went public with my promise to my husband, family (yes, my mother) and friends about it so I had a support team.
Look at your own list and figure out what actions you want to take right now that would inspire you. Create your own support team like I did. And, pick a buddy or hire a coach to help you stay accountable and start addressing all of the other items on your list as well.
Taking care of yourself is an act of love for yourself and others. You'll be amazed to see how much better you actually feel when you take the steps to reclaim ownership of what matters most to you or should matter most to you.
- Make the appointments.
- Go to the checkups.
- Decide what you want for yourself and choose your path.
It's your one and only body - it's up to you to grow up about it, take care of it and feel honestly healthy about it. No one else is going to do it for you! No one else should. It is after all, all yours.
If you're ready to do what it takes to grow up and get healthy, try our 12-week Dream Body Tele-Course, where you will get into action and start taking the steps needed to design your health. Or, for more coaching on how to create the life you've always wanted, try our flagship course, Design Your Life 12-week Tele-Course where you will learn how to design your life and start to take the right actions that will have you, once and for all, realize your dreams.